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Buttery Shortbread Pastry Dough

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Yields enough dough for 1 single pie crust, 8 mini tarts, or 12 turnovers.

This versatile dough can be used for everything from tarts to pie crust to turnovers. The dough is quite soft, but all the butter in the recipe makes it forgiving and easy to work with. When baked, the crust is very tender—almost like a shortbread cookie.

  • 9 oz. (2 cups) bleached allpurpose flour
  • 7 oz. (14 Tbs.) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. chilled heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. table salt

In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, egg, sugar, cream, lemon juice, and salt and pulse until the dough starts gathering together in big clumps, as shown below. Turn the dough out onto a counter and gather it together. Shape the dough as directed in the recipe you’re making.

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Leftovers

Turn leftover pastry dough into shortbread cookie bars.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Super easy and very good! What's not to love about throwing all the ingredients in a food processor and pushing a button? I used raw sugar instead of granulated and was concerned that that would have messed the dough up- but it was fine, there were crystals visible in the dough before I cooked it...but it turned out fine. I used the dough in a turnover recipe, where I subsituted the raspberry filling with peaches...Really, really good. Add this recipe to your collection!

Very salty. Pastry was great consistency but inedible.

I LOVE shortbread pastries and this one is truly delicious! HOWEVER, I would not recommend this recipe to someone who is a beginner. It is extremely difficult to work with because it gets soft very quickly at room temperature. So be prepared to refrigerate the dough frequently as you work with it. I used this recipe to make the Rustic Red Raspberry Turnovers here on this site, and just like shortbread, I had to bake it in a much slower oven - 300 degrees instead of the 400 degrees the recipe called for. In the hotter oven, the pastry edges burned before the turnovers were cooked through. Just something to be aware of should you decide to take on the challenge of this pastry dough.

Really lovely flavour and texture. Crumbly, but firm enough not to collapse as soon as you pick up your mince pie!

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