Stop pie faults before they start! Evaluate past errors, learn and progress! Seek guidance here for perfect pastry!
- Hard and/ or tough pastry
Due to too much liquid, too little fat, over-handling or insufficient rubbing in.
- Soft and crumbly pastry
Too little water; too much fat or self-raising flour used instead or plain
- Shrunk pastry
Excess stretching during rolling out
- Soggy pastry
Filling too moist or sugar in a sweet pie in contact with pastry. For a double crust pie, use ideally a metal pie plate and either brush pastry base with egg white or butter the pie plate before lining with pastry.
- Sunken Pie
Oven temperature too low; cold pastry put over hot filling; too much liquid in filling or too little filling.
- Speckled pastry
Undissolved sugar grains in enriched pastry crust
Hot water crust
- Cracked pastry
Insufficient liquid; too little kneading; liquid not boiling when added to flour.
- Dry, difficult -to -mould pastry
liquid not boiling when added to flour, too much liquid, dough not cooked enough to set required shape.
- Hard pastry
Insufficient fat or liquid
- Heavy pastry
Insufficient baking powder. Water not kept on the boil during cooking.
- Tough pastry
Dough handled too much and rolled out excessively
- Soggy pastry
Paper and cloth covering over filled pie too loose, and water not kept boiling during cooking.
- Mixture too soft
Insufficient cooling of the flour before adding the eggs; eggs added too quickly
- Pastry did not rise
Self-raising flour used; oven too cold; too short baking time.
- Sinking after removal from oven
Insufficient baking; further period of baking sometimes remedies this defect
Flaky, Rough Puff and Puff pastries
- Too few layers
Insufficient resting and chilling; heavy rolling causing fat to break through and intermingle with the pastry; fat too soft.
- Fat running out during baking
Oven too cool
- Shrinking pastry
Insufficient resting; overstretching during rolling out.
(From The Reader’s Digest Cookery Year, Basic Cooking Methods, Pastry Making by Margaret Coombes and Suzanne Wakelin of Good Housekeeping Institute, 1976.)
Click here for a short history of pastry.