Shortcrust Pastry Shrinkage


Site Owner
Staff member
11 Oct 2012
Local time
7:43 AM
SE Australia
Quick question.

Due to various time constraints and the fact that I have yet to find a homemade shortcrust pastry recipe that is dairy free and that I am happy with, I have been buying one (Jus-rol which is vegan). But I assume it has a high water content because it shrinks really badly when cooked... And I mean very badly. It doesn't really bother me too much when making flans/quiches etc but I was wondering how I stop it shrinking to less than 1/2 the height of the quiche dish which is about 1 inch high. I always cut the pastry off with a sharp knife that is held vertically against the outer edge to try to maximise the amount of pastry involved to try to take this shrinkage into account, but it seems to be much worse than when I was making my own (pre dairy allergy days).

I just find it curious that it shrinks so badly vertically, but not horizontally. Horizontally in a 12 inch dish I will only lose about 1/4 inch in width, but the 1 inch height falls to 1/2 inch. I am using baking beans, and pre-cook the pastry. It is taken straight from the fridge and has minimal handling - literally being rolled out immediately, into flan dish, shaped, cut, baking beans on and then cooked in the oven.


27 Apr 2014
Local time
5:43 AM
Between a frying pan and a fire
Yikes! Maybe fold it in with a little more extra flour? There's a book called How To Read A French Fry that just might explain a lot of these things (the science behind the culinary arts), but I can't recall exactly what it said about crusts that shrink and it's currently being borrowed by a friend.

That dough seems particularly responsive to gravity. That's annoying if you're not cooking in outer space. Maybe the oven heats it up slower at the sides than at the bottom, giving it more time to react in a shinky way?
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