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How to Make Pliable Sweet Pastry Shells

Pliable Sweet Pastry Shell

When our Grandmother comes for a visit, she always has some new adventure for us. Either we are painting, drawing, or she is creating something interesting in the kitchen. On her last visit, she was watching how to make beautiful pastries online and thought it would be worth experimenting with us. Although Mom starts to sweat in nervousness whenever pastry dough is mentioned, our Meema had some tricks up her sleeve that she wanted to share with us. We could not find a suitable recipe online, so she decided to make her own recipe for pliable sweet pastry shells.

Sweet Pastry Shell Cut in Half

No Mixer or Food Processor Required:

Mom started pulling out the food processor to mix, but Meema quietly put it aside. She prefers to use just her hands to get a better feel of how the dough is coming together. The first step was to mix the flour and the sugar together in a large bowl.

Pastry Trick #1:

All of the recipes that we have seen in the past always have you cut your butter into small chunks for mixing. But Meema brought out the cheese grater and said this was the fastest and easiest way to add the butter to the dough. I wish I had known this when making our scones.

We stopped after one stick of butter and squeezed the butter with the flour. Obviously we all wanted to help.

Pastry Trick #2:

After all of the butter was coarsely mixed into the flour, we used our hands to make a well in the middle of the bowl. We poured 2 tablespoons of ice water into the middle and then used our finger to circle the water into the flour.

Adding Water to Flour Well

It was still crumbly, so we added another tablespoon.

Mixing dough with Fingers

Pastry Trick #3:

The dough was not completely sticking together when Meema stopped us and poured honey on top of the dough. Who knew this was an option? At this point, we used our hands to kneed the dough into a ball.

Next, we placed the dough in plastic wrap and cooled it in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Sweet Pastry Dough in Plastic Wrap

Pastry Trick #4:

Every recipe calls for flour to be on the rolling surface, but we used an even mix of flour and powdered sugar! We slowly rolled out a large circle until the dough was about 1/4 of an inch thick.

Rolling out the sweet pastry shell

Using a cookie-cutting tool (we used a 4-inch wide bowl) we cut out disks.

To keep them cool, we layered them onto some parchment paper and kept them in the refrigerator as we started to decorate one at a time.

Creating Fancy Pastry Shells:

Using a comb (that we made sure to wash beforehand!) we lightly pressed it on the dough to create our design. Feel free to get creative at this point.

Using comb to decorate sweet pastry shells

Next, we turned the disk 90 degrees and used chopsticks to squeeze two lines toward the center. This was a bit stressful, as the dough broke apart when it got too warm. This is why keeping them cool is important.

Using chopsticks for sweet pastry shells

Next, we flipped the pastry over and placed a chocolate caramel into the middle. This part felt like we were placing pearls into oysters.

These were absolutely delicious when they came out of the oven and looked so fancy. Our experimenting worked!

Finished Sweet Pastry Shells
How to Make Pliable Sweet Pastry Shells Pinterest Image
Pliable Sweet Pastry Shell

Pliable Pie Crust for Shell Pastry

Yield: 12 Shells
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 1 Cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, Frozen
  • 2 ¼ Cups All-Purpose Flour, Plus More for Rolling
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar, Plus More for Rolling
  • 8 to 10 Tablespoons of Ice Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 12 Chocolate Covered Caramels (such as Rolos)


  1. Mix flour and powdered sugar into a large bowl. Using a cheese grater, grate half the frozen butter. Pinch with fingers until flour is coarse. Then grate the rest of the butter and pinch again.
  2. Make a well in the middle of the bowl, add 2 Tablespoons of ice water. Using your finger, circle the water into the dough. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until dough almost forms. Spread tablespoon of honey on top and finish mixing the dough by hand.
  3. Wrap dough in plastic, and chill in refrigerator for an hour.
  4. Take dough out of refrigerator and let it warm slightly. Sprinkle surface with an even mixture of flour and powdered sugar. Slowly start rolling out the dough into a large circle until about 1/4 of an inch thick.
  5. Using a circular tool, cut out as many circles as you can. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and layer circles in between paper. Place in refrigerator until cool.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  7. Taking one disk at a time, lightly press a comb in evenly spaced rows across the circle. Turn 90° and use chopsticks to squeeze a line toward the middle on both sides. Carefully, flip over, place a chocolate covered candy in the center and fold over. Lightly press the edges to create a seal. Pull sides to make a crescent shell.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden on the edges.

Did you experiment with this recipe?

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