500g Self Raising Flour 125g Lard 250g Margarine 1/2 cup Cold Water
If you're making a sweet pastry, sprinkle a little bit of sugar over the top.
For extra depth of flavour in a savoury pie, finely chop leeks, garlic or herbs and work it into the pastry for the top of the pie!
Sift the flour into a large glass bowl and add the lard and margarine, broken up into small pieces. Rub together until it becomes a crumble constancy. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge for half an hour. (use this time to make your filling)
Take the bowl out of the fridge and making a well in the centre of the mixture, pour in some of the cold water. Don't pour it all in at once, leaving the rest of the water to one side for as and when the mixture is too dry. Mix the crumb mixture and water together until all of the crumbs have formed a ball-like shape. If at this point you find the mixture it too dry, add a bit more water until it all comes together. If you add too much water, you'll end up with a sticky paste-like consistency which will be pretty impossible to work with. If you do add too much water, throw in a bit more flour.
Sprinkle a cold surface with a dusting of flour and gently work the pastry with the palm of your hand collecting any left over crumbs. Use a bread-making "needing" method making sure you don't over work the pastry. This will bring any loose crumbs together & ensure a smooth pastry.
Cut the mixture in half, leaving the slightly bigger one to one side. This will be used for the top of the pie!
Lightly grease your pie tin with the lard paper and roll out your pastry. The bottom doesn't want to be too thick, otherwise you'll be left with a soggy bottom. Lay the rolled out pastry over your greased tin and gently push it in to the sides. Leave it to one side for 20-30 minutes without trimming the edge! This will help to dry out the pastry, leaving you with a nice flaky finish. At this point, if you haven't finished making your filling - get cracking!
Add the filling and roll out the top, this can be slightly thicker than the base as the top will cook quicker, as the steam generated from the filling will help cook it from underneath, and the warmth of the oven will dry out and golden the outside.
Trim the bottom of your pastry, leaving a little bit over the edge. It's important that you leave enough pastry to help properly seal the pie crust! Layer over the top of the pie crust, and again trim, but leave a little over-hand for crimping the edging. Using your fingers or a fork, gently bind together the top & bottom edge of the pie.