After lining the bottom of your pie and adding the filling, brush the top edges with water. Add the top, gently press to adhere and trim the edges with a sharp knife.
Now use the knife to 'knock back' the edges, using the sharp side of the blade. This should create a flaky pastry 'look'.
Use your thumb and the dull edge of the knife to create scallops around the edge of the pie. This makes your flaky edges expand and look luxurious.
You could finish the pie here and it would turn out beautifully, just remember to add some steam slots using the tip of the knife. However, if you have pastry left over, you can add pastry leaves and so on to the top of the pie. Cut leaf shapes from the dough....
Use the dull side of the knife to score a main centre 'vein' to the leaf and then press the back edge of the knife into the pastry to add the finishing touches to the leaf. Brush the underside with water and position on the pie. Add as many leaves as you wish.
To make a pastry 'tassel' (or as our kids used to call it - the French Fries!)
Roll out a strip about 2" (5 cm) wide by 8 " (20 cm) or so long and cut through the pastry at 1/4" (0.5 cm) intervals, leaving an uncut strip.
Brush the uncut strip of the pastry with water and then gently roll up.
Trim off the excess dough, and having brushed the cut base with water, position on the pie. Carefully fan out the fingers of dough to create the finished look.
Normally pies bake at a higher temperature for the first fifteen minutes to set the pastry and the temperature is then dropped for the remaining cooking time to finish the pastry and cook the filling. I like to brush the pastry lightly with an egg wash (1 egg yolk and 1/2 cup (100 ml) milk beaten together) at the time of lowering the oven temperature. I find that brushing the raw pastry with eggwash without this initial baking time spoils the crispness of the pastrywork.
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