I love hot water crust pastry. It’s the most forgiving, malleable and reliable pastry there is. It’s the best option for tentative bakers, bored/housebound children and exhausted parents in need of a comforting meal.
Homemade pastry is often deemed as a finickity, time-consuming activity for show-offs and many apprehensive cooks may avoid making their own. But, as this show-off will gladly tell you, Hot Water Crust pastry is unlike all other pastry! IT’S THE BEST. It’s ridiculously easy to conjure up and endlessly impressive. And, although it takes yonks to bake, it takes a moment to make.
I could happily make pies and pasties every week but I usually ration my melting of lard to Christmas time. (Because, LARD.) But, desperate times call for desperate measures and I just happened to have a lot of leftover lard in the fridge from December. This plus sad, shrinking veggies that needed eating = pasties for dinner.
Makes 4-6 pasties.
(Depends whether you’re as greedy as me)
For the filling
- 1 small potato (diced)
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 1 tbsp flour
- 3-5 grated garlic cloves (oh hush, we aren’t going anywhere…)
- 1 oxo cube (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp beer/cider/water
- 100g grated extra mature cheddar
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp English mustard
- Roughly chopped bacon – 4 rashers (optional)
- ½ tsp salt
For the pastry
- 125g lard (or Trex if you want to make this vegetarian)
- 100ml water or beer/cider
- 300g plain flour
For the Filling
- Preheat oven to 180c fan
- Boil your diced potatoes for 5 mins, drain and set aside.
- Mix together all of your dry filling ingredients. Add enough tablespoons of water/beer/cider until the mixture is slightly slackened. Set aside.
For the Hot Water Crust Pastry
- Melt your lard and water in a saucepan over a medium heat.
- Add your flour and mix into a scraggly dough
- Turn out the dough onto lightly-floured worktop and knead until it forms a smooth dough. (Careful – it will be VERY hot!)
- Divide the dough into 4 (or 6, if you prefer smaller pasties…)
- Roll your quartered dough into circles of 20cm
- Add 1 heaped tbsp of mixture onto the circle, fold the pastry over into a semi-circle and seal.
- Wash with milk or beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes on non-stick tray at 180c fan and then lower to 160c fan and bake for a further 40mins.
- I like to give my bakes another milk or egg glaze in the last 10 mins of baking too. Just so they’re nice and shiny 🙂
- Hot water crust pastry becomes more difficult to work with as it cools down. So, keep the remaining portions of pastry in the warm saucepan with the lid on whilst you are shaping the others.
- These were so easy and delicious to make. I’m contemplating a vegan pasty of spiced sweet potato, chickpeas and spinach next!