Due to the coronavirus outbreak Leiths has made the difficult decision to cancel all planned courses (except our online courses) until the end of June. In these exceptional circumstances all students who have booked places on our courses will be offered the opportunity to cancel or reschedule their course. If you are currently in the process of taking a multi-part course, you will be offered new dates to complete the course later in the year. Of course we will be dealing with a high volume of calls and emails and we thank you for your understanding and patience during this unsettling time. We look forward to cooking with you at Leiths in the near future.


When making a pastry case, for ease of unmoulding we generally use a loose-based metal flan tin or flan ring (without a base) placed on a baking sheet. If you do not have either of these, use a solid metal tin, or if none of these is available, a ceramic flan dish is the next best thing. Most of the recipes in this chapter were made using a 24cm diameter flan ring, 2.5–2.8cm deep.

...Make a flat tin (pastry case)

Step by step

1 Roll the pastry to a circle large enough to line the bottom and sides of the flan tin or ring. You can work out the diameter of pastry needed by measuring the tin or ring from side to side with a piece of string and checking this against the rolled out pastry. However, with practice it is easy to measure by eye.

2 Carefully wrap the pastry once over the rolling pin to support it and place it over the flan tin or ring, set on a baking sheet, with the side of the pastry that was uppermost when rolling now against the baking sheet.

3 Gently lift the overhanging pastry up a little, encouraging the pastry inside the tin or ring to fit snugly, right down to the corners. Now start to lift the edges of the pastry out and over the edge of the tin or ring.

4 Tear a small piece from the excess and use it to push the pastry well into the corners. (You could use the side of your knuckle instead.) Ensure the pastry is smoothed up the sides of the flan tin or ring and folded over the edge.

5 Using a rolling pin and starting from the middle of the flan tin or ring, roll away from you and cut through the pastry, removing the excess. Turn the baking sheet around and repeat.

6 Working your way around the edge with your thumbnail, release the pastry a little from the flan tin or ring, then neaten and smooth the top rim of pastry. Cover the pastry closely with cling film and chill until ready to use.

A note on lining…
Avoid stretching and pulling the pastry as you line the flan tin or ring. Note that it is important to get the pastry well into the corners, or it will fall into them as it bakes and cause uneven shrinkage around the top edge.

Sign up to the Leiths newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest news, offers, recipes and tips from the Leiths experts. Occasionally we send information about specific courses. Help us tailor it to your interests.

I am interested in:


Post me a Leiths brochure

I am interested in:

Please complete the device above to help protect us from spam. Then press submit.

Thank you

We have received your request and will send a brochure to the address you have given us.

Loading course information...