Call it pie crust, call it pastry, we just call it delicious! This golden casing for countless delicious fillings is so important to get right and we will share our baking know-how on how to bake the perfect homemade pastry every time.
- A cool room, cool surfaces, cool hands and cool ingredients all help. When pastry is too warm it goes very greasy, so make sure that your surroundings aren’t too hot. It’s fine to allow the butter to soften a little if you wish, but be careful not to let it get too hot or your pastry will be difficult to work with.
- Rub in the pastry with light fingers and don’t overwork it. Overworking the gluten in the flour will make the pastry tough. It simply needs the ingredients to be rubbed together and then pressed into a ball.
- When rolling out your pastry, use short rolls. This will prevent your pastry from being overstretched, which can make it tough. When adding your pie filling, leave around 1cm or a little more so that it doesn’t bubble over when baked.
- Allow time for the pastry to relax before rolling out. Wrap up the ball of pastry in cling film and leave it to cool in the fridge for a minimum of half an hour before rolling out. If it’s too cool or hard from being left in the fridge, just give it a little time at room temperature to become workable.
- Use a knife or a rolling pin to cut or roll away excess pastry. If you want to seal the pie, a little bit of egg wash (egg cracked into a cup and whisked lightly with milk or water using a fork) brushed over will help to secure the two edges of pastry.
- The tin can make a difference in terms of how quickly your pie cooks. If you choose to use a ceramic dish, this can be slower to heat than a metal tin. Loose-bottomed metal pie tins make it much easier to serve pies and tarts.
- Blind baking is often included as a stage in recipes so that the pastry case can be precooked before the filling is added. This is especially useful if the filling is wet, such fruit or berries that can release a lot of juice. Pricking the base with a fork before baking will help to stop it puffing up and you can also use a lining of baking parchment and baking beads or pie weights (dried beans and uncooked rice also work) while blind baking to keep the pastry base from forming air bubbles.
- Get creative with your pastry decorations. Crimping is one way of doing it, by pinching the edges of the pastry between your thumb and forefinger. Make decorative indentations with the edge of a spoon or add lines with the prongs of a fork. You can cut out shapes, such as diamonds, and overlay them in circles to make the pie lid. Make a lattice by cutting long strips and overlaying them to make a lid. Cut out leaves to decorate the top or use large leaves of pastry to make the lid. Try using a shaped cutter to leave windows in the pastry lid through to the filling. If you have a message you can even use letter cutters. One thing to consider is to not make the pastry layer too thick if using shapes – this can lead to areas being left uncooked.
- Leave a hole in the centre of the pie lid if completely sealing the pastry, this will allow steam to escape. Cut a cross with a small knife in the centre of the lid; this will help your pie to avoid the fate of a soggy bottom. You can also buy ceramic pie birds, which help to release steam, but these are optional and cutting a hole in the top will work just as well.
- Uncooked pastry keeps well in the fridge for around 3 days for use later or you can freeze it for up to 3 months if you have made extra or want to have an extra supply on hand for an impromptu pie.
We have perfected the authentic American deep-filled pie and we bake ours in a range of mouth-watering flavours.
Order hand baked 9” pies for dessert online or try our individual Mini Pies in-store.
Available in Apple, Lemon Meringue, Key Lime, Mississippi Mud, Pecan and Pumpkin.
Available in Lemon Meringue, Key Lime, Mississippi Mud, Pecan and Pumpkin.