National Pie Week is going from strength to strength here in the UK. It’s been talked about all over social media and in the traditional media too. Chris Evans and his team have been waxing lyrical about pies they’ve been sent by bakeries from all over the country.
Last year for Pie Week I made a lovely butter pie; this year I wanted to keep with the theme of a vegetarian, rustic, humble pie. I turned to my copy of Pie by Genevieve Taylor that we reviewed last year. I found just the recipe – cheese and celery pies – but with a little twist.
The original recipe is a single pie done in a shallow pie plate. I quite liked the idea of doing little individual hand pulled pies. I used a couple of cling film-wrapped jars in lieu of a pastry dolly.
Pulled pies are usually made using hot water pastry, but I was being lazy and just whizzed up a quick batch of shortcrust pastry. I think it worked just fine, but I’m sure Paul Hollywood wouldn’t approve!
This recipe made 4 small pies but you can easily scale it up. We had one each so I put the other two in the freezer – pre-baked – so that they can be taken out and baked off the next time we fancy a pie.
There was a little bit of pastry left over – isn’t there always? I quite like rolling it out thinly, slicing it into long thin strips, sprinkling over with cheese and baking for 15 minutes. What do you do with yours?
I’ve already started thinking about what pie I’m going to make next year!
- 175g/6oz/¾ cup plain flour
- 50g/2oz/½ cup cornflour
- 50g/2oz/¼ caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 115g/4oz/½ cup butter, chopped
- 1 cardamom seed, removed from the pod and ground
- ¼ tsp vanilla essence
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas mark 3. Lightly flour the mould with semolina (or plain flour if you don't have it) and line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper
- Sift the flour, cornflour and sugar into a mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour & sugar mixture until it binds together and you can knead it into a soft dough
- Divide the dough into thirds (130g/4½oz each) and gently knead the ground cardamom into one, vanilla into the next and ground ginger into the last
- One by one, place each ⅓ of dough into the mould and press to fit neatly and evenly. Invert the mould on to the baking sheet using your fingers if necessary to gently to release the dough shape
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until pale golden in colour
- Sprinkle the top of the shortbread with a little caster sugar and cool on a baking sheet
- Cut the rounds into 'petticoat tails' whilst still warm