Shortbread crust, also known as sable breton crust, is a buttery pastry used as the crust for pies, tarts, and cookie bars. Learn how to make shortbread crust with this easy recipe! Pin it for Later »
Skill Level: Beginner
Shorbread crust, like shortbread cookies, is a buttery, crumbly, and slightly sweet crust used for pies, tarts, and cookie bars. The contrast of the rich and slightly salty crust works perfectly with fillings like cheesecake, lemon curd, or raspberry jam.
What is Shortbread Crust?
Shortbread crust, also called sable breton in French, is a simple mixture of butter, sugar, flour, and salt. The name “shortbread” comes from the high ratio of butter in the recipe. Butter acts as a barrier against gluten formation and actually shortens gluten strands.
Tips, Tricks, & Techniques
- This crust can be used in place of any pie crust. If the filling will need to be baked after adding it to the crust, follow the instructions to par-bake the crust. If the filling will not need to be baked, make sure the crust is fully cooked and cooled before adding the filling.
- It is important that the butter is truly room temperature so that it is pliable enough to mix with the other ingredients.
- The mixture will be very crumbly after mixed. It will hold together when you press it into the pan.
- Butter adds richness and keeps the crust tender by inhibiting gluten formation.
- Sugar sweetens the crust and contributes to the structure.
- Salt & Vanilla flavor the crust.
- Flour binds the crust together and creates the main structure.
For an 8x8", 9x9", or a 9" round pan
- 1 stick (112 gr) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup (65 gr) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup + 2 TBSP (134 gr) all-purpose flour (*see note for gluten free substitution)
For a 9x13" Pan
- 1 1/2 sticks (168 gr) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (98 gr) granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- large pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cup + 3 TBSP (200 gr) all-purpose flour (*see note for gluten free substitution)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C). Prepare your pan by lightly oiling or lining with parchment paper.
- In the bowl or a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, mix together all of the ingredients at once. The mixture will be very crumbly.
- Using damp hands, transfer the dough crumbs into the prepared dish and pat down evenly. Use a fork to dock the dough all over.
- Bake on the middle rack at 350 F (177 C). If the filling will need to be baked, par-bake the crust for 20-23 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. If the filling will not need to be baked, bake for 30-33 minutes until the crust is completely cooked and let cool completely.
- Use as the crust for lemon bars, cheesecake, ice box pie, fruit bars, etc.
- Gluten Free Crust: This recipe works well with a gluten free blend such as Bob's Red Mill's Baking Blend or Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour.
- Chocolate Shortbread Crust: Substituted 2 TBSP flour with 2 TBSP cocoa powder.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177