Basic Pastry and Beef Pie (Sunday leftovers)

Pastry is never something I particularly like making. When I do make it I tend to make quite a big batch so I double or triple my standard recipe ingredients (below) and divide the pastry into balls; cover with cling film and put in the freezer.

The next time you need it just pop it out of the freezer an hour before and when you use it will be cold and rested but easy to use. I also tend to use my pastry metal cutter as it minimizes the time my warm hands touch the dough. I don’t exactly understand why this makes a difference but it does work and stops it being tough.

This Sunday I used the pastry to make some jam tarts ( and a steak pie to use up the left over beef from our Sunday lunch.

Recipe for Pastry:


1 + 1/3 cup plain flour

1/2 stick butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp cold water


  1. Cut the butter and flour together. I have a metal pastry cutter that keeps the mix really cold as really good pastry in order to stay crumbly and short needs to be handled as little as possible (
  2. Add the wet ingredients and combine into a ball. Put in the freezer to really chill for 30 minutes


Recipe for Pie:


Leftover bits of beef (shredded)

Spoon of cornflour

Sunflower oil for browning

Leftover vegetables (carrots; swede)

Leftover gravy

Eggs for egg washing


  1. Grease a pie dish and add the shredded bits of piece (if cooked already)
  2. If you are using fresh beef add the beef to a pan and brown in oil. Don’t cook all the way through but just enough brown each side leaving the insides raw. Coat the beef in cornflour
  3. Add the leftover vegetables
  4. Put your leftover gravy in pan and add 100ml of hot water and a beef stock cube to loosen it a bit as it will be cooked again
  5. Add egg wash to edge of your pie dish and lay on the pastry making sure you add an air hole to allow steam to escape without making the pastry soggy
  6. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and bake for 20-25 minutes at 190 degrees c or until golden brown
  7. Serve with even more gravy!

Perfect Jam Tarts

After a recent conversation with my better half when I recently asked on Sunday what dessert he would like after Sunday dinner, he declared he really loved jam tarts as a kid so I went looking for recipe.

Little did I know but jam tarts are the simplest thing in the world to make and I make a lot of simple things. Once you knock up a little short crust party (or be super lazy and buy the frozen stuff) you simply put little shells in a cake tin as if you were making mince pies.

Pastry recipe:

On top of the pastry you add a spoon full of the jam of your choice and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees c.  I also added some little pastry cutter shaped hearts on top and a brush with egg wash  to make then brown.

Simple; quick retro dessert.

Baking tin: