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Can I Use Brick Pastry Rather Than Filo For Old Rag Pie?

Asked by Clairette. Answered on 16th October 2020

Full question

Hi Nigella and Team, I couldn't find filo pastry to make the Old Rag Pie, so I have bought a couple of packets of brick dough. Is it possible to use this instead? Thanks very much!

Old Rag Pie
Photo by Keiko Oikawa
Old Rag Pie
By Nigella
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Our answer

Nigella's Old Rag Pie (from SIMPLY NIGELLA) is a sweet-savoury pie made with filo pastry. The pastry is layered, with butter brushed in between each layer, so that when it bakes it is light and crisp. Filo pastry is made by stretching out a ball of dough until it is thin enough to see through. It is then cut into sheets before using or storing. Filo contains very little fat and tends to dry out very quickly. The pie gets its name from the torn up strips of filo, that look like old rags.

Brick (brik or warqa) dough also comes in thin sheets but it is made differently, by cooking thin layers of batter on a hot plate or pan, rather like a very thin crepe. It is used in many ways, but perhaps is most widely known as the pastry used for bastilla, a Moroccan pie. Both filo and brick doughs contain very little fat, so need to be kept covered and brushed with metled butter or oil before using. However in our experience, brick pastry tends to be slightly tougher than filo. It is less prone to breaking but also slightly harder to tear up and scrunch and a bit less tender to eat. So you probably can use brick dough for the Old Rag Pie but bear in mind that the pastry will not be quite as flaky and light as filo pastry and our preference would be to use filo if at all possible.

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