The difference between puff pastry and shortcrust pastry is that puff pastry contains fatter and requires an elaborate dough-folding technique that creates dozens of layers during baking. Shortcrust pastry is thick, hardy, and does not puff or separate into layers. It is a popular choice for tart and quiche bottoms, while delicate puff pastry is preferable for turnovers and upper pastry crusts.
Most of the people and popular chefs say that the basic shortcrust pastry is extremely versatile and easy to make. Standard recipes call for water. For more flavor and a tender crumb, the water can be replaced with eggs.
Puff pastry turns golden brown and rises dramatically in the oven. However, it is difficult and complicated to make from scratch. Frozen puff pastry is a popular alternative. The BBC states that another option is “rough puff,” a flaky pastry with the rich, buttery flavor of puff pastry. It is quick and simple to make from scratch and does not rise while baking.
Shortcrust and puff pastry have both sweet and savory applications. Another popular dough, pate sucrée, is extremely sweet and useful only in pies, tarts and other desserts. According to the BBC, pate sucrée contains much more sugar than puff pastry and shortcrust dough. Its intense richness comes from egg yolks.
Simple Shortcrust Pastry Recipe: Apple Pie
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. To make the pastry, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the butter or margarine. Using your fingers, mix together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add about 3 tbsp cold water – 1 tbsp at a time – to bind the mixture into a ball. Then wrap it in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge while you prepare the apples, or for 30 mins if you have time.
- While the pastry is chilling, core the apples, then cut into even-sized chunks so they all cook in the same amount of time. Put the apples into the pie dish, drizzle over the honey and add the cinnamon, mixed spice and about 2 tbsp water.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface until it is large enough to cover the pie dish. Using the rolling pin, carefully lift the pastry and lay it over the top of the apple mixture. Carefully trim off the excess pastry (this can be rerolled and cut into shapes to decorate the pie crust if you like) and press the pastry edges onto the dish to create a seal.
- Make a small cut in the pastry so that the air can escape during cooking, then brush with beaten egg to glaze.
- Bake the pie in the oven for 20-30 mins until the pastry is golden and sandy in appearance and the apple filling is bubbling and hot. Serve while still warm with crème fraîche, ice cream or natural yogurt.
So now as you see, these are the main differences between the shortcrust pastry and puff pastry. Both of them taste great and are perfect for different types of desserts.