A plate pie is cooked on a shallow metal, enamel or china plate. For a 20cm (8in) pie to serve 4–6 use pastry made from 375g (12oz) plain flour, 3tablespoonscaster sugar and 250g (8oz) butter. Make it by the rubbing-in technique, then stir in the sugar and bind it with 1 beaten egg plus alittle well-chilled water, if needed. As well as helping to make the pastry short, the egg adds richness and flavour.
The filling should never be soggy – a thick mixture of precooked or stewed fruit sweetened to taste is the most successful. Gooseberries, apricots and blackcurrants make three good fillings. You will need about 500g (1lb) of fruit filling.
Roll out alittle over half the pastry and use to line the plate. Add the filling, mounding up well. Roll out the remaining pastry to cover the pie, moistening the edges, press to seal and decorate the edge with fork prongs. Chill for 20 minutes.
Pierce 2 holes in the pastry to let steam escape. Glaze with milk and place on a preheated baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven, 200° C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6 for 45–60 minutes. If browning too quickly cover it loosely with foil after the first 30 minutes.