Have you been looking for an easy pastry recipe that tastes amazing? Look no further! Our hot water crust recipe takes just 5 ingredients and a few minutes to throw together.
Use your homemade crust in Irish dingle pie or in these hand-raised chicken, bacon, and apricot pies.
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Hot water pastry doesn't take any fancy ingredients, and can easily be made vegan. Let's explore each ingredient in this recipe.
- Flour: Using a mixture of bread flour and all-purpose flour gives extra strength. You can use 100% all-purpose flour if you're not using this for free-form pies.
- Lard: Lard has a higher melting point than butter, and gives this pastry a beautifully crisp texture when baked. Substitute with vegetable shortening if you're vegan.
- Water: This ingredient binds everything together. Melting the lard and boiling it along with the water is what makes this recipe unique.
- Salt: This adds flavor. Fine table salt is best here, as it easily incorporates into the mixture.
How to Make
Since our hot water recipe moves along quickly, I recommend measuring out all the ingredients before you start. You'll need all-purpose flour, bread flour, salt, water, and lard. (Using a little bread flour gives it extra strength.)
- Put the lard and water in a small saucepan and heat it up until the lard has melted and the mixture is boiling.
- While the water is heating up, sift the flours and salt into a broad bowl.
3. Immediately pour the boiling liquid into the flour mixture and stir until a dough forms. It will look pretty dry at first, but will come together as you stir.
4. Knead the dough for a minute or two, until it's smooth and has cooled some. This will build the gluten.
5. Once the dough has been kneaded, use it while it's still warm, or keep in a double boiler until needed. It will get hard and brittle when it's cooled.
6. Roll out the crust and use it in a pie. Our recipe is especially useful for free-form pies, such as hand-raised chicken, bacon, and apricot pies. It's strong enough to support itself while holding these heavy fillings.
It is similar to choux, a cooked dough made from flour, butter, water, and eggs. Hot water crust, however, doesn't contain egg, and uses lard instead of butter for a crisper texture, and it doesn't puff up in the oven like choux does.
This crust is ideal for savory pies, such as this beef and potato pie. Since this pastry is quite strong when baked, it's traditionally used for freestanding, hand-raised meat pies like pork pies or these chicken, bacon, and apricot pies. I wouldn't recommend using it for a sweet pie, as it is savory.
It has a crispy, flaky texture and a slight chewiness from the bread flour. It has a neutral flavor than can be used with sweet or savory pies.
You may not have added enough lard/water, or you may have added extra flour. Either of these issues will make the end product dry and crumbly. However, if it cools off too much, it will harden and become brittle.
How do you store hot water crust pastry?
It's best to keep it in a double boiler if you wish to keep it warm while you're preparing fillings. Pastry cases can be refrigerated overnight and filled the next day. Once it is baked into a pie, it will have to be stored in the fridge if the filling requires refrigeration.
Can I make hot water crust ahead of time?
Not really; it must be kept warm, so you need to make it fresh shortly before using it. It can't be refrigerated until after it's baked, or it will get cold and brittle. However, you can refrigerate empty pastry cases and fill them later once they have hardened.
Can I freeze it?
Yes, you can freeze hot water crust after it's baked, but I'd recommend making and enjoying it fresh for the best texture. Most savory pies made with this crust will keep in the freezer for 1-3 months as long as they are well sealed.
- Gluten Free: Use your favorite measure-for-measure gluten free flour, such as Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur.
- Vegan: Swap the lard for vegetable shortening.
- Butter: Use a 50-50 blend by weight of butter and lard. Keep in mind that the pastry will have a different flavor and texture.
- Make sure all the ingredients and equipment are ready before you start.
- Sift the flour to get rid of any lumps.
- Add a few extra drops of water if the mixture seems too dry or crumbly.
- Make sure to knead it well to build up the gluten structure.
- Use the pastry while it's warm. Keep it over gentle heat in a double boiler if you can't use it right away.
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How to Make Hot Water Crust Pastry
- ½ cup lard
- ½ cup water
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup bread flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Place the lard and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the lard has melted and the mixture is boiling.
- Meanwhile, sift the flours and salt into a medium bowl.
- Once the mixture is boiling, immediately pour it into the flour mixture and stir until a dough forms. The dough will appear too dry at first, but it will come together as you work it.
- Knead in the bowl or on a work surface until it's smooth and has cooled a little.
- Use immediately for a savory pie, or keep over gentle heat in a double boiler until needed. For free-form pies, shape the pastry cases while it is warm, but chill them in the fridge to harden before adding the fillings.
- Make sure all the ingredients and equipment are ready before you start.
- Using bread flour gives it extra strength, which is ideal for hand-raised pies. Feel free to substitute it with all-purpose flour.
- Add a few extra drops of water if the pastry seems too dry or crumbly.
- This pastry is wonderful for savory vegetarian and meat pies, but isn't recommended for sweet pies.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.
This hot water crust recipe was originally published on August 6, 2018 and was republished on July 1, 2022 with resized photos and refreshed content.
sandeep kr dubey
Pa Booth the Pieman
If you are making a pork pie or hand raising the pastry around a pie dolly or jam jar, HOT hot water crust (HCW) pastry will tend to collapse. It seems counterintuitive but you are actually better letting the pastry cool to room temperature. It will still be malleable enough to form around the dolly but will retain sufficient strength to stand. At this stage the formed pastry is known as a pie coffin and can be filled. It the pastry is too cold, simply knead it for a couple of minutes, it will then be workable.
Also 50/50 lard and butter gives a much richer pastry.
Thanks for sharing this tip! I like to shape the pastry while it's still warm (not hot), as I find it gets brittle as it cools. I can definitely understand waiting to fill the pastry with the filling once it has cooled, as it would reduce bulging and would support the filling better.
I am using this hot water crust pastry for a quiche. This was the most straightforward HWCP I could find.
Typically the cold butter cold everything pastry tends to slump and shrink during the blind bake, Also, it is very crumbly and requires multiple rounds of chilling. I am hoping that this HWCP will hold up. I may have been too conservative in rolling it out as the dough filled the ceramic container but sprung back quite a bit. So you have to be pretty firm with the roll out. Still, it seems to hold well and it's just a different style of pastry. Maybe in the next few times I will actually use it as a free form pastry crust with savory fillings. .
Overall, very easy to work in betw sheets. I used all purpose flour not having bread flour on hand. Also, used bacon fat as I have so much.
Thank you for this recipe!!
Hi Connie, thanks for your detailed comment! HWCP isn't the typical choice for quiches, as it's pretty sturdy, but it would taste delicious. HWCP is actually the best for freeform pies like the British pork pies. I do love how this pastry feels when one is working with it! Please check back in and let us know how you enjoyed eating it.
Perfection-this ticked all the boxes with no drama.If you want it a bit lighter,add a pinch baking powder.More golden? add a pinch.of turmeric or dry mustard.Butter flavored Crisco makes it even easier(and cheaper).And as for dessert,it can work beautifully.Lower the salt,use part vanilla in the boiling water,and 2-3 T sugar with the flour and salt.
Thank you for sharing your variations, Carslon! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the pastry.
Thank you back,it's a great recipe.
After you've made the pastry...how long do you cook it for once you've filled your pie?? Also, if you don't have bread flour, can you use all purpose flour for the whole thing?
The cooking time and temperature will depend upon the recipe you're using the pastry for. For example, my recipe for individual chicken, bacon, and apricot pies cooks the pies at 400 F for 50 minutes.
I have never used 100% all-purpose for the pastry, but feel free to try. Just realize that the pastry will not be as strong, because all-purpose flour contains less gluten than bread flour.
Happy baking, Meagan!
This pastry is very good for savory pies. I like how this pastry is strong enough to support a filling.
Me too! It's good eating, too.