Cakes & Bakes: Plum pie

Slice of home-made plum pie | H is for Home

British Pie Week has rolled around once again – an annual event in which we enjoy getting involved in wholeheartedly!

Cubed butter, and flour in a food processor next to a bowl of plums | H is for Home

I use the week as an opportunity to make a kind of pie that I’ve never made before. This year it’s a home-made plum pie.

Making a sweet crust pie base | H is for Home

I used one of my favourite sweet pastry recipes that I borrow from Dorie Greenspan, pairing it with a James Martin spiced plum filling recipe from in a 2008 copy of BBC Good Food Magazine.

Cooking plums | H is for Home

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of cloves, but it works amazingly well with the plums.

Uncooked plum pie | H is for Home Cooked plum pie | H is for Home

A drizzle of pouring cream or ladle-ful of custard over the top or on the side… a perfect cold weather pudding!

Home-made plum pie with serving spoon | H is for Home

Click here or on the image below to pin the recipe for later!

Home-made plum pie recipe | H is for Home #BritishPieWeek #pie #recipe #plums

Plum pie
For the pastry
  1. 400g/14oz plain flour
  2. 120g/4oz icing sugar
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 250g/9oz very cold butter
  5. 2 egg yolks
For the filling
  1. 750g/oz ripe plums stoned & thickly sliced
  2. 140g/oz golden caster sugar, plus extra
  3. ½tsp ground cloves
  4. 1 heaped tbsp cornflourHome-made plum pie ingredients
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For the pastry
  1. Put the flour, icing sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine
  2. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely - you'll have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pea-size pieces and that's just fine
  3. Stir the eggs, just to break them up, and add it them little at a time, pulsing after each addition
  4. When the eggs are in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds
  5. Just before your pastry reaches this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change, so listen out
  6. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Very lightly and sparingly - make that very, very lightly and sparingly - knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing
  7. Butter the pie dish and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the dish and over the rim. Don't be stingy - you want a crust with a little heft because you want to be able to both taste and feel it. Also, don't be too heavy-handed - you want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but you don't want to press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly shortbread-ish texture
  8. Freeze the pastry for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking
  9. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 4
  10. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminium foil and fit the foil tightly against the pastry
  11. Bake the pastry for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil. If the pastry has puffed up, press it down gently with the back of a spoon
  12. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes. Allow to cool before adding the pie filling
For the filling
  1. Put the plums, sugar and ground cloves in a pan
  2. Simmer until the sugar dissolves and the plums are juicy (8-10 minutes)
  3. Combine the cornflour with a little of the syrup, then mix well into the fruit
  4. Boil for another few minutes, stirring until thickened
  5. Allow to cool completely
  6. Roll out the remaining piece of pastry into a round and, using the rolling pin, carefully lower the pastry over the filling
  7. Press the pastry lid into the pastry bottom either with your thumbs or a fork. Trim the excess and brush the top with a little beaten egg
  8. Make a slit in the pastry lid to allow steam to escape
  9. Bake at 175ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 4 for 20-25 minutes or until crust is brown and juice just begins to bubble through the slit in the crust
  10. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing & serving
Notes
  1. Serve with pouring cream or hot custard
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Spiced apple & sultana pie

Home-made spiced apple sultana pie | H is for Home

We’re coming to the end of British Pie Week so we’re getting involved again and making a pie.

Sliced ball of shortcrust pastry

At the mere mention of the word ‘pie’ we usually get involved – any excuse! Yes, the saying may go, “As American as apple pie”, but we’re famous for our apples here in Blighty – and have no doubt been using them in pies for centuries.

Peeled, cored and chopped apples

We’ve rustled up a spiced apple & sultana pie for our Cakes & Bakes post… it’s quite a comforting, wintery version of the simple classic.

Saucepan of chopped apples and Muscovado sugar

Crisp, buttery pastry with a soft, warm, cinnamon-infused fruity filling… and finished off with thick, cold cream of course.

Trimmed shortcrust pastry pie base

You might have a bit of pastry left over – if you do, don’t just bin it, use cutters to turn it into shapes or letters to adorn the top.

Home-made spiced apple sultana pie top

The perfect, celebratory Pie Week pie!

Lemon & poppy seed loaf
Serves 8
For the loaf
  1. 115g/4oz butter, softened
  2. 225g/8oz caster sugar
  3. 3 eggs, separated
  4. 185g/6⅔oz plain flour
  5. ½tsp baking powder
  6. ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  7. pinch salt
  8. 1tbs poppy seeds
  9. 85g/3fl oz buttermilk
  10. juice of 1 lemon
  11. zest of 2 lemons
For the glaze
  1. 1½tbs icing sugar
  2. juice of half a lemon
  3. ½tbs granulated sugar
  4. pinch of lemon zestLemon & poppy seed loaf ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
  2. Grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin
For the loaf
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter & caster sugar until light & fluffy
  2. Mix in the egg yolks
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt
  4. Mix in the poppy seeds
  5. In a measuring jug, add the buttermilk, lemon juice and lemon zest (reserve a pinch of the zest for the glaze)
  6. Add the dry, flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture in two batches; interspersing it with adding the buttermilk & lemon mixture
  7. Whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks before folding into the mixture
  8. Spoon the mixture into the greased loaf tin and bake on the lowest shelf for 40-50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes away clean.. If the top of the loaf begins to get too brown, cover with tin foil
  9. Whilst the cake is cooking, make the glaze.
  10. Add the lemon juice & icing sugar to a small measuring jug and stir until any lumps have been removed. Set aside
  11. In a small bowl, add the granulated sugar & lemon zest and with your fingers using a crumbing motion. Set aside
  12. Once cooked, remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin
  13. Whilst still warm and using a pastry brush, spread the lemon juice & icing sugar glaze uniformly over the top
  14. Once completely cool, remove the cake from the tin a place on a cake plate
  15. Sprinkle the granulated sugar & lemon zest mixture over the top of the glazed cake
  16. It's now ready to serve!
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Cheese and celery pies

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Home made cheese & celery pies | H is for Home

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.

Flour and cubes of butter in a food processor | H is for Home

 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.

Flour and cubes of butter blended in a food processor | H is for Home

Pastry crumbs poured out on to clingfilm | H is for Home

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.

Pastry wrapped in clingfilm | H is for Home

Veg stock | H is for Home

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!

Cooked off onions and celery | H is for Home

Hand pulled pie cases | H is for Home

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.

Filling pulled pie cases | H is for Home

Making pie tops | H is for Home

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?

Glazing pie tops | H is for Home

Sliced home made cheese & celery pies | H is for Home

I’ve already started thinking about what pie I’m going to make next year!

Cheese and celery pies
Yields 4
for the pastry
  1. 360g/12½oz plain flour
  2. pinch of salt
  3. 180g/6⅓oz cold butter, cubed
  4. 6-8 tbsp cold water
for the filling
  1. 25g/1oz butter
  2. ½tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. ½ head celery, sliced
  5. 125ml/4 fl oz veg stock (or ½ veg stock cube + 125ml boiling water)
  6. 30g/1oz mature cheddar cheese, grated
  7. salt & ground black pepper to taste
  8. a little beaten egg to glazeCheese and celery pies ingredients
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Adapted from Pie by Genevieve Taylor
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Butter pie

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Home-made butter pie | H is for Home

 

Last week was actually British Pie Week so, being big pie fans chez H is for Home, we just had to get involved! We went for the vegetarian variety and decided upon a local, Lancashire favourite – butter pie.

It’s my meal of choice when we get a take away from Grandma Pollard’s, our local chippy. It’s a very humble pie –  😉 – the filling consists of few, very affordable ingredients – potatoes, onions and of course lashings of butter. There are free-to-pick herbs planted all around Todmorden courtesy of Incredible Edible, so we added a bit of fresh thyme too. I’ve not made it before but it proved a very quick & easy dish… and utterly, butterly delicious!

It’s a real celebration of simple ingredients. We served it with stir fried greens, drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar – pickled cabbage is another traditional accompaniment.

Cakes & Bakes: Butter pie

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: makes 2 portions

Cakes & Bakes: Butter pie

Ingredients

  • For the pastry
  • 115g/4oz plain flour
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of white pepper
  • Ice cold water (2-4 tbs)
  •  
  • For the filling
  • 2 medium potatoes (such as Maris Piper or King Edward)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 25g/1oz cold butter (made into curls using a peeler)
  • 50g/2oz butter (for softening the onions)
  • sprig of thyme, woody stalks removed
  • 4 tbs milk
  •  
  •  

Instructions

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl
  2. Add the butter incorporating using your fingertips or pastry blender until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
  3. Add just enough cold water to make the pastry form a ball
  4. Put the pastry ball into a plastic bag (or wrap in cling film/Saran wrap), press out the air and refrigerate for half an hour
  5. Peel the potatoes and onion, slice the potatoes a little thicker than a pound coin, and the onion into half rings
  6. Parboil the potatoes until just soft but still holding their shape (8-10 minutes)
  7. Sweat the onions and thyme over a low heat in the butter until soft. Stir regularly so that they don't stick to the base or colour
  8. Roll out two thirds of the pastry and use to line a 20cm/8inch diameter round pie dish
  9. Trim the edges using a sharp knife around the circumference
  10. Drain the potatoes into a colander/large sieve and allow to cool
  11. Once cool, layer the potatoes, onions and butter curls into the lined pie dish. Season with salt and white pepper
  12. Using a pastry brush, brush around the edge of the pastry with the milk
  13. Roll out the remaining third of the pastry (also using the trimmings from the base if necessary) and carefully lift it over
  14. Using your fingers or a fork, press the edges of the top & bottom layers of the pastry together
  15. Remove any excess pastry lid with a sharp knife
  16. Make a few holes in the pie top to allow steam to escape
  17. Brush the remaining milk over the top of the pie
  18. Bake at 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4 for 30 minutes until golden brown on top
  19. Slice & serve immediately
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