Perfect pie pastry

Posted on: October 7th, 2009 by admin 7 Comments

It’s one of those recipes that seems basic and simple and I should know off by heart, but I never found a good one- until now. Lately we have been eating savory pies a lot – chicken pies, meat pies, veggie etc, so a good pastry is a must.  Making a sweet pie crust is the same, just a couple extra ingredients.


  • 130g (4.5 oz) butter, cold
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3-4 Tbsp water, icy
  • (for sweet pies add 2 tsp sugar and 1 egg)

The trick with shortcrust pastry is keeping it all really cold while you’re making it.

Mix together all the dry ingredients, then cut the butter into the mix, using your fingertips to rub it in, so that the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs (like making scones). Add the (egg for sweet – you may not need water) water one spoonful at a time until the mixture holds together and it forms a firm dough.  Do not knead.

Split the dough in two- one half slightly larger than the other. Slap them into round flat shapes and refrigerate in plastic for at least 30 minutes. Then take the larger dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Line your pie tin with the dough and bake blind for 10 minutes in a preheated 200ºC (400ºF) oven.

Baking blind,

is where you weigh the pastry down while pre-baking (before the filling goes in). You can do this a number of ways, we cover the dough with a layer of tinfoil and then fill the pie with dry lentils or red beans. Anything that’s dry and heavy. There are cooking weights specially made for baking blind too.

Once the pie base is partially cooked you can continue to make your pie of choice, just remove the foil and beans and add your filling. Roll out your remaining dough and top the pie. Cook for another 15 minutes and voila! PIE!

This recipe is an amalgamations of a few, I compared a bunch and averaged them.  Moosewoods, Nigella, Jamie and


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7 Responses

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