Pastry-Making for Pies

Preparation info

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

Method

Make pastry for fruit pies at least 30 minutes before rolling out; a relaxed pastry will shrink less in the heat of an oven. You can save time on preparation if you keep a supply of ready rubbed-in pastry in the refrigerator. Just add water to make the pastry. Crumble toppings on fruit are quickest of all if you are really in a hurry. Add sugar to the rubbed-in pastry mix, sprinkle over the fruit and put to bake Layer the fresh fruit for a traditional pie with sugar to sweeten, about 75–100 g (3–4 oz) per 450 g (1 lb) of fruit, depending on the acidity. Finish with a layer of fruit – sugar next to the pastry crust makes it soft and sticky underneath. Use a pie funnel to hold the crust up when using soft canned or bottled fruit. Add only a small amount of liquid to pies, remembering that most of the juices will come from the fruit itself. Only 2–3 tablespoons of juice from canned or bottled fruit is necessary. The remaining fruit syrup can be thickened with a little cornflour and served as a sauce.

Set pies to bake in a hot oven – the richer the pastry the hotter the oven is the general rule. Once the pastry has browned, usually about 10–15 minutes, lower the heat for the filling to cook – about 20 minutes for soft fruit and up to 40 minutes for hard or stone fruits. Hot fruit pies are lovely served with chilled thick cream or vanilla ice cream.