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Buttery Shortbread Pastry Dough

Scott Phillips

Yield: 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.

Turn leftover pastry dough into shortbread cookie bars.


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Reviews (6 reviews)

  • steveftc | 07/05/2021

    Very salty. I'll decrease the salt by 1/2 next time. The dough came together beautifully, and even though I was working in a really hot kitchen I was able to roll it out to 10" tart pan size and get a good, crumbly crust. I thought it might not hold up when cutting but it was great.
    I used it for the Mixed Berry Tarts with Lemony Filling and baked it as directed in a 400-degree oven, covering the bottom AND edges with tin foil. It came out beautifully browned in 25 minutes.

  • Jumpfishntertainment | 09/26/2019

    @Danamay07. This is exactly what I want to do with the dough;
    Can you share the turnover recipe where you substituted the peaches?


  • Danamay07 | 08/23/2011

    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!

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