It’s British Pie week and you may love nothing more than a slow-cooked, steak & ale classic? Or perhaps, a traditional hand raised pork pie, topped with flavoursome jelly, is your ultimate treat. For many, nothing beats a filling of carefully selected West Country cheddar with melting leeks and tender potato pieces, served warm from the stove. But, we are all in agreement, that every pie, is only as good as the pastry that surrounds it.
We share simple tips and tricks to give you a head start to make the ultimate shortcrust pastry:
Tried and tested hacks for shortcrust pastry
Store your rolling pin in the fridge so that it is cold and ready to use. Chill your mixing bowl.
A bowl of iced water is ideal to cool fingertips before rubbing fat into flour.
OR, make sure the bowl of your food processor is cold, before you begin.
Add ice cold water drop by drop. Too much liquid will result in a leathery crust.
Don’t over handle pastry. It will become tough.
Always use fats (or a vegan alternative) that are fridge cold.
After bringing the dough together, shape into a disc or rectangle, depending on the shape of your tin or pie dish.
Rest pastry after making and shaping, after rolling AND before baking. This will help to avoid shrinkage.
To plan weekday meals and help get ahead; during the weekend, prepare fat and flour to breadcrumb stage. Freeze. Mix straight from frozen and create a lid. Ideal for a quick pot pie.
How to make an egg wash glaze for your pie:
Beat an egg together with a ¼ teaspoon of salt.
Leave for 20 minutes and use to brush over pie tops, scones and rolls to create a glaze.
Store remainder in a sterilised jar in the fridge for 2-3 days.