Can I roll the pastry?
Our pastry comes ready-rolled, but if you want to make the pastry go further, or you're making small bite size serves, you can roll it thinner. All you need to do is lightly dust your work bench and the pastry on both sides with flour, then roll it out. After rolling, we recommend chilling the pastry in the refrigerator before baking.
Should I dust the pastry with flour before using?
Yes, dusting the pastry with flour on both sides makes handling and cutting the pastry much easier. Don't forget to give your work bench a light dust as well!
What can I do with my leftover pastry trim?
Pastry trims are perfect for adding a decorative finish to pies - you can use any shaped pastry cutter to cut out your chosen shape. The pastry can also be re-rolled. To do this, layer the pastry pieces on top of one another and gently knead them together, then rest in the fridge for 15 minutes before rolling out. Lightly dust your work bench and pastry on both sides with flour before rolling. When rolling, keep the pastry moving, holding the rolling pin at each end and rolling away from your body. Move the pastry around in short turns in one direction to ensure it rolls evenly.
What should I use to glaze the pastry?
Pie tops or sausage rolls are usually glazed to give a golden, shiny finish that delights the eye! There are a number of pastry glazes you can use, including:
- Lightly beaten egg yolk and salt for the shiniest finish
- Lightly beaten egg white and sugar for a pale, bubbly, crunchy crust (perfect for fruit pies)
- Whole milk to help the pastry go pale golden, but not shiny.
Make sure to brush your glaze evenly over the entire surface of the pie. If you're using puff pastry,
be careful not to brush the glaze over the edges, as it will glue the layers together and top it from rising!
What should I bake my pie in?
We don’t recommend ceramic, Pyrex or silicone bakeware, as we find the pastry sweats and doesn't crisp up sufficiently - they don't conduct heat as well as metal, so the pastry doesn’t cook properly. We recommend using metal or enamel pie tins, or plates with a rim. Springform tins are also excellent for deep pies!
The pastry on the bottom of my pie wasn’t cooked – what should I do?
To avoid a soggy pie bottom, make sure all cooked fillings are completely cold when filling the pie.
When making fruit pies, our tip is to sprinkle the base of the pastry with breadcrumbs or a crushed biscuit to absorb the cooking juices.
Also, see our FAQ: ‘What should I bake my pie in?’.
Can I make my dish ahead of time and freeze it?
Yes, you can do this for sausage rolls, pies and tarts (without their filling). We recommend freezing your dish unbaked. When you're ready to cook it, place it in the oven while still frozen, and add 10 minutes to the cooking time. For example, a family pie can be frozen in a pie plate ready to bake from frozen, making weekday dinners a breeze!
What is blind baking, and when should I blind bake?
By ‘baking blind’, you pre-cook the pastry, so it cooks through before adding the filling - this prevents the pastry from becoming soggy. It’s a good idea to blind bake when you have a filling that cooks at a lower temperature to the pastry or when the filling is fresh and doesn’t require cooking.
How do I blind bake a tart?
To blind bake a tart, start by cutting a circle of dough by measuring the diameter of the tin you're using then adding the depth plus an extra 1cm. For example, if you're using a 23cm tin that is 2cm deep, cut a 26cm circle: 23 + 2 + 1 = 26cm.
Line the tart tin with enough pastry so that 1cm of dough sits above the rim. Using your thumb, gently ease the pastry into the base and up the sides of the tin. Place the pastry in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes. After resting, either trim the pastry flush to the tin or leave the excess on to create a lovely rustic and tasty crust like we do!
Line the pastry with baking paper and fill to the top of the tin with baking weights (you can use rice, chickpeas or ceramic weights) - for reference, a 23cm tart tin takes 600g of baking weights. Bake the pastry at 180c fan-forced for approximately 20 minutes, or until the sides are golden. For a super crisp tart, carefully remove the baking paper and weights, brush the base of the tart with beaten egg yolk mixed with a little water, and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until the base is golden and cooked through.
Why did the sides of my tart shrink?
This often happens when ‘blind baking’ and is usually caused by not having enough baking weights in the tart tin. The weights should be filled to the top of the tin to support the sides when baking.
How do I get the maximum lift from the puff pastry?
Our puff pastry will rise 7cm to 9cm
if baked on its own on a tray in a 200c oven. To make the ultimate pie lid, cut a piece of pastry the same size as your pie dish, place it on a lined baking tray, brush with beaten egg yolk, then bake at 200c for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Once cooked, place it on top of the pie dish filled with the hot filling. See our Beef, Mushroom & Red Wine Pie
recipe for an example of this technique!
What is the best pastry for making sausage rolls?
Take your pick! Our Butter Puff, Spelt Butter Puff or Sour Cream Shortcrust all make excellent sausage rolls!
What is the best pastry for making savoury pies?
Our Butter Puff Pastry and Spelt Butter Puff make excellent pie lids. If you're making individual pies, we recommend our Sour Cream Shortcrust Pastry or the Spelt Butter Puff for both the base and lid.