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Milly’s 101: Perfect Pastry

The following tips are an accumulation of knowledge through years of stock making by many members of the Milly's Team.

1. Keep everything - hands, ingredients, beaters, bowls - as cold as you can. A food processor is good for this as the less you can handle it, the better your pastry will be.


2. Once you've made your pastry let it relax and chill out in the fridge for a least 30 minutes.


3. When you go to line your tin, ROLL the pastry, don't stretch it. When it's the right size carefully transfer to your tin, gently easing it into the corners and up the sides. Never stretch it as this will cause it to shrink back when you bake it.

4. Always use cold fillings. A hot filling will melt the fat in the pastry before it has a chance to cook and your finished dish will be soggy.

5. Don't overfill your pie, three quarters full is ideal. As the filling heats it will expand and overflow if overfilled.

6. If you're making a large pie, now's the time to add a pie bird which will allow steam to vent, keeping the pastry crisper and preventing filling overflow. If you're not using a bird, cut a slit into the top pastry to allow steam to escape.

7. When adding a lid to your pie, again roll pastry without stretching it. Egg wash around the lip of your bottom pastry before adding the top to ensure the two are sealed. If you're adding a lid only, place a 1cm strip of pastry around the rim of your pie dish, then egg wash and add the top as above. Crimping your pies gives a lovely effect and a firm crimp will ensure your pastry stays leakproof.

8. We always egg wash the top of our pies for a lovely shiny finish.

9. If you find your pie browning too much before your filling is heated, simply cover loosely with foil, slightly lower oven temperature and transfer to a lower oven rack.

10. And if you find that your bottom pastry is not fully cooked, try cooking pies on a heated baking tray rather than the oven rack.