We had heaps of pheasant leftovers on Sunday, so I decided to make a pie. Not just any old pie… one that has deliciously rich red wine gravy which goes so well with this buttery melt in the mouth shortcrust pastry. I have to admit that my pastry making hasn’t been the best in the past – it always seemed to turn out like cardboard… until now! In fact, I’ve had a couple of successes recently, this recipe being the best EVER savoury shortcrust pastry I have served up.
Makes enough to line and cover 10 inch pie dish
250g plain flour (ideally ’00’ flour as this makes it lighter)
175g cool butter (if you use salted, leave out the pinch of salt) cut into small cubes
Pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter)
2 eggs beaten (use 1 ½ eggs for pastry and remaining half for glazing your pastry later on)
Dash of cold water
- Put plain flour in mixing bowl with butter and use your fingertips to make into a fine breadcrumb consistency. Alternatively, you can use a food processor for this part. It is important not to let the butter ‘melt’.
- Add whisked egg and mix, first with a spoon or fork as it gets messy, then get in there with your fingers.
- Add a dash of water – it will feel very sticky to begin with, but as you bring the mixture together, it will begin to become like a soft dough consistency. Try to do this part quickly as the more you handle the pastry, the tougher it will be when it’s cooked. Add more water if necessary, or if you add too much, sprinkle in a bit more flour.
- Lightly flour your worktop. Take half the dough and roll it out to about the thickness of a £1 coin. Be sure to actually roll the pastry rather than stretch it.
- Line your pie dish – it doesn’t matter if there are bits of pastry hanging over the edge – these are nice to nibble later once cooked, or just leave them to make the pie look rustic. Prick with fork all over then put into fridge to chill for at least 20 mins (this is to stop it from shrinking when it gets cooked).
- Finally, remove from fridge and line with baking paper filled with baking beans (I use ceramic beans, but you could use rice or dry lentils for this part)
- Cook at 175 degrees fan oven for 20 mins or so, then remove baking paper and continue to cook for another 5 mins or so, until it seems like the pastry bottom has dried out…. You don’t want a soggy pie!! Whilst waiting for it to slightly cool, you can roll out the lid to your pie.
- Fill with cooled mixture of your choice. Use some of the left over egg to brush over the edges of the cooked pastry, then cover your pie with the raw pastry and press down the edges firmly.
- Brush lid with left over egg and pop back in the oven for 20-30mins until it looks nice and golden.
Yum yum! Let me know if you try this and how yours turns out 🙂