Few recipes cause as much anxiety as those for pastry—it seems sometimes that there are as many pastry recipes as there are cooks. The key to successful pastry is matching the correct type of pastry to the filling. That and keeping the ingredients as cold as possible.

Raised pies have traditionally been made with a hot water crust. It’s fun to make, very forgiving, and delicious. It’s perfectly fine for raised pies served cold, like Pork Pie. But the drawback is it doesn’t hold up very well with deep-dish hot pies—the sides have a tendency to collapse before you can cut the pie, leaving an unappetizing mess (still delicious, but not pretty). I tend to use shortcrust for all my raised pies, from cold picnic pies to Sweet Lamb Pie and Beef and Mushroom Pie.


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Shortcrust Pastry


  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 60 ml or 2 oz ice-cold water
  • 510 g or 4 ¼ c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 10 g or 1 ¾ tsp fine sea salt
  • 255 g or 9 oz butter, chilled and cut into 1” cubes


  1. Combine the eggs and water and keep in the fridge until needed.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until lumps of butter are pea-sized. With the machine running, quickly add the egg mixture through the chute. Let run for a few seconds until the machine makes a heavy rumbling noise. Turn off immediately; do not overmix.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and gently form it into a ball. Divide the ball into the quantities required for the recipe and flatten into discs 1” thick.. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least an hour.



Adapted from The Pie Room by Calum Franklin.

  • Author: Helen Kain