Hotwater Crust Pastry

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This is the pastry for raised pies across the land and it is the only pastry to defy all the laws of pastry making. In times of old, raised pies were baked for many hours, the pastry firmed up and become simply a vessel or container for the filling that was eaten with a spoon. These days the pastry is nice to eat along with the filling, forming a perfect harmony. The pastry when cooked has a crumbling texture that melts in the mouth.


Preparation Time: 20 minutes (+ 20 minutes chilling)
Cooking Time: n/a
Serves: n/a


  1. Weigh the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs and whisk them up slightly, then pour them into the well in the flour and cover the egg with some of the flour by flicking it over with a spoon.
    preparing the flour
  2. Into a saucepan over a medium put the water, butter and lard and heat them until the fat has melted and is just coming up to the boil.
    melting the fat
  3. Pour the hot water/fat mixture around the outside of the flour, avoiding the covered egg in the middle and then, using a butter knife, mix it all together.
    mixing in the fat
  4. Stop mixing when all of the ingredients have come together and then cover the bowl with cling-film/plastic-wrap and leave it for 10 minutes.
    stirring in the fat
  5. After the 10 minutes, tip the contents of the bowl onto a work surface and lightly knead it together to form a ball of dough. Wrap the ball of dough in cling-film/plastic-wrap and leave it to rest for another 10 minutes at room temperature before using it.
    the finished hot water crust pastry
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Useful Information

Can it be frozen? Yes.
Can it be prepared in advance? Yes, it can be finished up to 3 days in advance.
Will leftovers be nice? Erm, not really... it's raw pastry.


- Resting the pastry relaxes the gluten in the flour which makes it easier to form into a ball and for rolling out. If this is not done, the pastry is likely to shrink when cooked because it is tight to begin with.

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