How to Make Shortcrust Pie Tops

  1. For best results when making a pie with a pastry top or lid, choose a dish with a rim and allow the filling to get completely cold before topping with the pastry. Roll out pastry large enough to cover the dish and with some to spare. Cut a strip slightly wider than the dish rim from the sides of the rolled pastry.
  2. Brush dish rim with beaten egg or water.
  3. Place pastry strip on rim and press firmly down, continue with further strips until all rim covered.
  4. Brush Pastry rim with beaten egg or water.
  5. Roll pastry up on the rolling pin to lift it (as described in ‘Rolling out Shortcrust Pastry’ section) and gently unroll it over the pie dish.
  6. Press the pastry down onto the rim firmly all round.
  7. Using a sharp knife trim off excess pastry by cutting downwards against the edge of the dish. Retain the trimmings for decoration.
  8. Knock up edges to form a good seal by holding a sharp knife horizontally against the cut edge and gently tapping the pastry edge all the way round.
  9. Make a fluted edge by laying your thumb and forefinger of the left hand on the top of the pastry facing outwards, then with the fore finger of your right hand gently pushing the pastry edge up against the other two fingers as shown
  10. Continue until all edge is fluted.
  11. Make a small steam escape hole in centre of lid.
  12. Re roll trimmings by gathering into a ball and kneading gently together and roll out as usual.
  13. To make rounded leaves cut out rounds of pastry using a small biscuit or cookie cutter.
  14. Then use cutter to cut out a ‘leaf’ shape from the discs, you should achieve two from each disc.
  15. With the point of a sharp knife mark veins on the leaves.
  16. Brush pie top with beaten egg for a golden glaze and arrange the leaves on top of pie in a pattern of your choice.
  17. Brush again with beaten egg and bake as directed in recipe.