Tips for Making Pies and Tarts

Basic tools for making pies and tarts

Here is some good news for you - Making the perfect pie or tart doesn't need for you to be a culinary genius! A tender, flaky pie oozing with fresh peaches, or a gorgeous golden tart laden with berries, sounds hog-worthy? Well, making it is just as easy if you care to follow a few tips.

Keeping ingredients cold

By keeping all ingredients cold, you can avoid the pastry from turning heavy, as the fat tends to absorb more flour when it's warm. Using cold butter or an icy liquid is a great way to keep it cold. In case your pastry mixture turns a shade of yellow, it means that the fat is turning warm, so stick it into the fridge right away. Even with fillings, use them while they are cold, to get the best of your pie or tart.

Working with the dough

First you must work the flour with the butter until a sand-like texture is achieved. Once a sand-like texture is achieved you add the salt into part of the water specified by the recipe. You do this simply to dissolve the salt. Pour it into the mixture. Add just enough water to form a ball. Smear the dough against the working surface as little as possible just enough to ensure that the ingredients are just blended.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator. Remember when you're working with the pastry, you've got to be quick and light, or it will end up chewy once cooked.

Rolling out the pastry

Once the dough has rested for a while, roll out the pastry and chill it again, to ensure it won't over-shrink once cooked. Use a greaseproof paper while rolling the pastry out, so it won't need another round of flour or be exposed to air as much.

Laying out the pastry

Gently lay your rolled out pastry on the pie plate with the help of a rolling pin. Lift it by its sides gently, and slowly press the dough on to the pan bottom without stretching it. Start pressing the sides onto the tin walls, letting the overhang as it is, to trim it once it's baked.

The baking bit

Brush the top of your pastry with egg wash. This will not only give it that golden shine, but will also make it crispy. You could also try baking your tart tins on a baking sheet that is preheated, so as to help the bottom, cook in pace with the top, so you get a crispy base.

 

For more detailed information and videos on making pies and tarts see full article on 'Tips for Making Pies and Tarts'.

 

back to top

home

back to Pastry FAQs page

other pastry topics