This week's bake off was an eclectic one, being all about Tudors. Unfortunately I've had a bit of a bug, so only just was able to try the signature challenge - Tudor pies!
The pastry needed to be hot water crust, which is ideal for me as I love that pastry. It is for me the simplest pastry to work with, doesn't stick to your counter, and it doesn't need to be chilled!
Due to the illness previously mentioned, I had to be quite simplistic in my choice of filling - I decided to base the recipe on what Andrew made, which were pies layered with sausage meat, chicken and apricots. All of the contestants made fancy baking tins to enable them to make mini pork pies. I couldn't work out how to make them or find any in the shops...so I used a straight sided, loose-bottomed mini cake tray (like this one from lakeland). You could alternatively use a deep muffin tray.
I found after making 6 mini pies that I had loads of filling left. So I made a larger 20cm pie as well :)
If you only want a large pie, this mixture can be used to make a 23cm pie. Increase the cooking time to 1 hour 20 minutes if you do this, to ensure that the filling is cooked.
If you only want mini pies, this recipe will make a lot!! I'd estimate between 24 and 30.
Makes 6 mini pork pies and 1 large 20cm pie
For the pastry:
- 530g plain flour
- 110g strong white bread flour
- 110g unsalted butter
- 130g lard
- 2 tsp salt
- 270ml water
For the filling:
- 200g boneless chicken thighs
- 1 onion
- 454g pack pork sausages (the higher the percentage meat the better),
- 150g dried apricots
- 1 tbsp thyme (leaves)
- 1 baking potato
- Salt and pepper (for seasoning)
- 1 egg
1. Preheat the oven to 200c (180c fan)/400f/gas mark 6.
2. Make the pastry. In a saucepan add the butter, lard, water and salt. Heat until the butter and lard have melted, and the mixture is simmering.
3. In a large mixing bowl add the plain and strong white flour. Once bubbling, take the saucepan off the heat and pour over the flour.
4. Beat the pastry well with a wooden spoon at first (it will be very hot), in order to incorporate all of the flour. Once no more flour speckles can be seen, set aside to cool enough to be able to handle (this should be a maximum of five minutes).
5. Take a quarter of the dough. This will be enough dough for the mini pork pies. Roll two thirds of this dough out to about 1/2cm thickness - it shouldn't stick to your counter (if it does, dust lightly with flour). Cut out circles that will cover the base and sides of your pie - for a muffin tin (or the mini cake tin I used), 8cm circles should be large enough. Transfer the circles to the tin, and carefully guide the dough into the corners of the tin. If any tears occur, just use a bit of excess dough to patch them up.
6. With the remaining third of dough, roll out to about 1/2cm thickness. Cut smaller 5cm circles of dough. These will be the lids of the pie. Set aside.
7. Take 2/3 of the large quantity of pastry dough, and roll it out until it is about 1/2cm thick. This dough will cover the base and sides of a 20cm cake tin. Roll the dough until it is big enough to sit on the base of the tin, and spread up the sides of the tin (to the top). For a deep 20cm cake tin, this will approximately be a 40cm circle.
8. Transfer the rolled out dough to the cake tin, again guiding the dough into the sides of the tin. If there are any gaps in the sides, fill them in with excess dough.
9. Roll out the remaining third of the dough to about 1/2cm thickness. Cut a 20cm circle - this will be the pie lid.
10. Roll out any trimmings, and use a leaf cutter (or your imagination) to cut out leaves - 3 per mini pie, and 16 for the large pie.
11. Make your filling by chopping the onion and dried apricot until they are the size of a 1cm dice. In a medium bowl, mix the onion and dried apricot with the chopped chicken thighs and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
12. Remove the lining of the sausages, so that you are left with just the sausage meat. Chop the chicken thighs into bite-size pieces.
13. Peel and finely slice the potato (as fine as you can).
14. To the base of each pie add sausage meat. Top with the chicken and apricot mixture, followed by the thinly sliced potato.
15. Top each pie with it's lid, and seal by pinching the top and the edges together with your fingers. Beat the egg briefly, and brush over each pie.
16. Add the leaves to each pie - I chose to put three leaves on each mini pie, and the remainder on the large pie. Brush these leaves with more egg wash.
17. Bake the mini pies in the oven for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, check them, and if the tops are browning too much, top with kitchen foil.
Bake the large pie in the oven for 1 hour, checking after 30 minutes for the top browning too much, and adding kitchen foil to the top of the pie if it is.
18. Leave the pies to cool - though they are lovely eaten warm but hold together better cold.