I know that resting dough/pastry is an integral part of the pie making process but how long can you rest dough for in the fridge prior to using it? The reason I am asking ask is that I am wondering whether I can make the dough in the morning and then complete the pie making process in the evening? Obviously there are often raw eggs involved so I imagine you can't leave it overnight! Thanks!
Most pie dough/pastry benefits from a rest in the refrigerator as it allows the glutens in the flour to relax - this should help to give a more tender pie crust with less shrinkage. It can also give time for the liquids in the dough to be absorbed, giving slightly less dry spots in the pastry. Once the dough has come together, form it into a disc (approximately 1cm/1/2 inch thick) and wrap it tightly in clingfilm before putting it in the fridge. The good news is that as long as the dough is left in the fridge it should keep for 24 hours. When you want to roll out the dough let it sit out of the fridge for about 30 minutes to warm up slightly, fridge-cold dough tends to crack easily when you start rolling it out. The dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap the disc in clingfilm then seal in a large plastic freezer bag before freezing. Thaw overnight in the fridge and remove from the fridge abut 30 minutes before rolling.
Yeasted doughs (including ones with egg in) can be left to rest and rise overnight in the fridge as the cooler temperature slows down the action of the yeast, causing the dough to rise more slowly. Some people prefer this type of overnight rise as it gives the dough a slightly more complex flavour. This procedure is best if the dough is going to be knocked back before being shaped, proved and baked.