A top-crust pie should be made with slightly thicker pastry than that for an open tart. For covering a 1.2litre (2pint) oval dish, you will need shortcrust pastry made with 300g (10oz) flour, 200g (7oz) butter, 1teaspoonsalt and 2-3tablespoons well-chilled water. Using a pie funnel prevents the pastry from falling in on to the fruit filling.
Spoon about 1kg (2lb) stewed fruit or 1–1.2kg (2–2½lb) fruit filling, sugar and any flavouring, such as spices, around the funnel.
Roll out about one eighth of the pastry into a strip as wide as the rim and long enough to go right round the edge of the pie dish. Carefully lay the strip in position all along the rim of the dish, pressing the edges with your fingers to seal them together.
Roll out the remaining pastry to cover the pie dish. Brush the pastry strip with water, then lay the large piece of pastry on top, using a rolling pin so it doesn’t stretch. Cut a small hole for the funnel. Press the edges to seal. Chill for 20 minutes.
Trim the edges, then glaze with milk or egg yolk beaten with a little water. Bake at 200° C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6 for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is golden. If the filling is uncooked, continue baking at 160°C, 325°F, Gas Mark 3 for another 20 minutes.