Perfect pastry pie

RECIPE TO LINE A 24/26CM TART TIN

Double recipe for pie (that is top and bottom). For a sweeter pastry (useful for a variety of Fruit Pies), add 2 tablespoons raw sugar, to the flour.

2 cups flour: wheat or spelt and can be: 100% wholemeal OR 50% wholemeal & 50% unbleached plain OR 125 - 180 gm unsalted butter 90ml(4.5 tablespoons)(long dash) 170 ml (8.5-9 tablespoons) ice cold water

Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles large breadcrumbs. The chunks do need to be small, but it is quite okay if some of them are a little smaller than a kidney bean. If you have too many large pieces though your pastry will be tough. If using a food processor, pulse one or two times, or until ready and turn out into a bowl. Don't be tempted to add the water to the food processor (long dash) it is too easy to overwork the pastry.

Using a bread and butter knife, begin to mix the cold water into the flour and butter. The idea is to add a small amount of water, begin to cut and mix it in with the knife. As you continue to add the water, little bit by little bit, you are cutting the wet bits into the dry bits, cutting, mixing and stirring. You use only as much as you need. Once all the mix looks moist, but not wet, bring it together into a ball. Do not knead or play with it. (bold) Flatten the ball, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

ROLLING THE PASTRY

Use a good quality, heavy, decent sized rolling pin. Rolling out pastry is exactly like handling a child (long dash) it must know you have sure, confident and "in charge" hands. When you first start to roll the ball, don't be tempted to more than one or two rolls (bold whole phrase)

Have a good size palette knife ready and here goes. Make sure your rolling pin and surface are lightly coated with flour. Roll once or twice, run the palette knife underneath it. Move the pastry firmly and quickly, re-dust the rolling area with flour, re-dust the rolling pin if necessary and turn the dough over. Continue to repeat this process, though as the dough gets bigger you will probably be able to give it 2-3 rolls each time. If you do too many rolls at a time, the pastry will stick to both the surface and the rolling pin. (bold sentence)Once it has become larger, you may need to fold it, to help move it on.

IF YOU FIND THE PASTRY STICKING: Most often, the pastry will stick to rolling pin and surface where the butter is beginning to melt. If the pastry was very cold to start with and you have worked quickly, this should not be a problem. If this does happen though, (especially in summer), simply pick it up, place it on a tray and whack it in the freezer for a couple of minutes to reset the butter. The other reason is the pastry is too wet, so you'll need to sprinkle it with a little flour and remember to adjust this next time you make pastry.

Fold pastry and using your palette knife or hands, move it to the tin and line. Make sure your tin or dish is buttered. There you have the perfect pie pastry!