It’s leading into the June Long Weekend and at Nundle, in northern inland New South Wales, the weather is appropriately wintery. It’s overcast and showering outside and the fireplace is flickering orange and yellow, the flames warming us through to our bones.
With children at home and a relaxed, unrushed Long Weekend feeling in the house there’s sure to be baking involved.
Having declared it Pie Season weeks ago, I’ve dug out one of my favourite go-to pastry recipe to share (originally published in a Donna Hay magazine years ago). It’s ideal for a family pie base and crust, but also suitable for individual pies. I hope you like the firm texture. It might become one of your favourites too.
Hot Water Pastry
Ingredients: 160g butter, 1 cup water, 3 1/4 cups sifted plain flour (I like the taste and texture of Demeter stoneground organic flour), 1 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs
Method: 1. Place butter and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Place flour and salt in a bowl.
2. Add eggs and hot butter mixture to the flour and mix with a knife until combined. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and combined.
3 Divide pastry into three, wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 4mm thickness. (I find it easier to handle pastry by rolling it between two sheets of baking paper).
4. Line tins or pie dishes with pastry and roll out pastry for lids. Refrigerate for one hour.
5. Fill the pastry case/s with pre-cooked filling and brush rim/s with water. Place extra pastry on the pie/s to make lid. Trim excess pastry and press edges together using a fork. I like to brush pastry with an egg or milk glaze. Cut a small hole in the centre of each lid. Place in pre-heated moderate oven to heat filling and brown pastry (about 20-30 minutes). Enjoy.