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James Morton's tips for perfect pastry

by Sarah Alcock

We had a great day with James Morton at our recent Miele event in Abingdon, where he showed us how to make some delicious food and gave us some of his tips for making the perfect pastry...

1. Making the pastry
The biggest mistake people make when making pastry is adding too much water. Be cautious and slow, and add water a teaspoon at a time.
2. Rolling out
When rolling out your pastry, you should aim for the thickness of a pound coin. The more difficult your pastry is to roll out the better the end result will be, so don't worry!


3. Lining the tin
When transferring your pastry to the tin, always leave some hanging over the edge to allow for any shrinking. It can be cut off once cooked for a smooth edge, and you can dip the cut-offs in jam and eat them! Once your pastry's in the tin, prick it several times with a fork to help stop it puffing up.
4. Blind baking
Scrunch up your baking paper before using it – this will make it much more malleable! Rather than baking beans, you can use a handful of copper coins to weigh down your pastry. Whatever you use, though, don't over-do it, or you'll end up with a soggy bottom...

5. After baking
Don't be afraid to patch up any holes with left-over pastry. You should also store cooked pastry at room temperature, rather than in the fridge.

Want more great pastry tips? Check out James' new book, How Baking Works (Ebury, £20).

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