Pastry Masterclass: Sweet Shortcrust

So last month I brought you a special, step by step masterclass in making rough puff pastry – this month it’s all about sweet shortcrust, perfect for tarts, pies and desserts!

This recipe is pretty foolproof and is super easy if you have a food processor, but even if you don’t, it’s very straightforward!  This one is much easier than rough puff so it shouldn’t cause any problems, and I’m using mine to make a Chocolate, Chilli & Lime tart, so I’ll show you how to blind bake too!

Chocolate, Chilli and Lime Tart

Obviously you can fill your pastry with whatever you want, or simply remove the chilli if you don’t like the heat, but this is definitely one that will impress!  On my first attempt, I added 3/4 of a teaspoon of chilli flakes and infused overnight, and I could barely taste the chilli, so I recommend at least 1 tsp if you want that heat.  There are a lot of steps to this recipe, but that is simply to make sure everything is explained in the simplest form and so each step is easy to follow.  Enjoy!

Chocolate, Chilli & Lime Tart

A Little Effort | Cook: 1 hr, plus cooling/infusing | Serves 8-10


For the pastry:

  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp cold water

For the filling:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1-2 tsp chilli flakes
  • Zest of 2 limes


  1. Before you start on the pastry, get your cream infusing first.  Pour the cream into a saucepan and gently bring to the boil.  Add the chilli flakes, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for a couple of hours or, if you have time, overnight.
  2. Place the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can do this by rubbing the butter in with your hands.
  3. Add the egg yolk and water then pulse again until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
  4. Tip the dough out and knead it two or three times so it’s smooth. Place it in a bowl, cover with cling film and chill for 15 minutes.
  5. Grease the bottom of a 23cm fluted tart tin and preheat the oven to 200C.  Lay a piece of baking parchment onto your work surface and place the pastry on it.
  6. Roll the pastry out to fit your tin and is about £1 thickness.  Now here comes my trick for getting the pastry into the tin!
  7. Take the tin and place it, upside down, on top of the pastry.  Slip one hand under the greaseproof paper, and use the other to hold the tart tin in place, then carefully flip it over and remove the baking parchment.
  8. Push the pastry into the grooves of the tin, and cut off the excess – leaving about 2cm excess in case the pastry shrinks during cooking.  Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  9. Prick the base of the pastry a few times with a fork, cover with baking parchment and fill with baking beans, then place in the oven to cook for 15 minutes.
  10. After 15 minutes, remove the baking parchment and baking beans, return to the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool.


  1. Now it’s time to make the filling!  Strain the cream through a sieve into a new, clean saucepan and discard the chilli flakes.
  2. Heat the cream and sugar together until simmering, then take off the heat and add the butter and chocolate.  Leave to stand for 1 minute, then stir until combined and glossy.
  3. Finally, stir through the lime zest, then pour into the cooled pastry case and place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.
  4. When ready to serve, take the pastry out of the fridge, remove from the tin and place on a serving tray or cake stand.  Serve in wedges with a sprinkling of lime zest and fresh, whipped cream, if you like.


There you have it!  Easy Sweet Shortcrust pastry and an even easier Chocolate, Chilli and Lime filling!  Next month I’m thinking it’s time to tackle Choux Pastry…

Enjoy x


3 Comments Add yours

  1. elyann14 says:

    Chocolate, chilli, lime tart?? I think I’ve just fallen in love! I will totally have to try this soon!!

    1. Haha thanks! If you can handle the chilli, I would definitely make it 2 tsp chilli, I used 3/4 of a tsp on my first go and there was zero heat!

      1. elyann14 says:

        Then I’ll have to try it with 2tsp, my dad will totally fall for this!! =D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s