This is a good, basic pastry dough for all pies. It has a slightly higher fat content than most pastries, but this gives it a lovely buttery, flaky texture.
500g/1lb plain unbleached flour
Pinch of salt
300g/10oz unsalted butter, well chilled
1 whole egg
A little cold water if necessary, to bring the dough together
Sift the flour and place in a food processor with the salt. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Turn on the machine and pulse until you have the consistency of wet sand. Now add the egg and continue to pulse. The dough will begin to come together and form a ball. If the pastry seems a little dry, add a tablespoon or so of cold water, which will soften the dough and help the mixture come together.
It is important not to overwork the pastry, so as soon as a ball has formed, remove from the food processor, wrap in clingfilm or parchment paper and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. You can do it the day before cooking if you like.
For all of these recipes, you will need a 10-inch pie tin with a removable base.