How do I make perfect pastry?
Pastry handles better when chilled than at room temperature - 30 to 40 minutes in the refrigerator before rolling is usually sufficient. You can keep pastry in the refrigerator for up to two or three days if it is wrapped well. However, if you do store it this long, let it sit at room temperature for 5 or 10 minutes before rolling, to allow the dough to become more pliable.
Roll your pastry on a sheet of lightly floured wax paper or greaseproof paper. Invert the pastry right over the pan, or filling, and peel the paper off. Patch small tears by pinching or pressing, fix large gaps with trimmings. Try not to stretch pastry when lining a pie tin with the bottom crust, just ease it into the pan, gently tucking it into the bottom crease.
For a golden finish, sparingly brush your top crust with beaten egg or milk, just before baking.