We’re coming to the end of British Pie Week so we’re getting involved again and making a pie.
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.
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.
Crisp, buttery pastry with a soft, warm, cinnamon-infused fruity filling… and finished off with thick, cold cream of course.
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.
The perfect, celebratory Pie Week pie!
- 115g/4oz butter, softened
- 225g/8oz caster sugar
- 3 eggs, separated
- 185g/6⅔oz plain flour
- ½tsp baking powder
- ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch salt
- 1tbs poppy seeds
- 85g/3fl oz buttermilk
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1½tbs icing sugar
- juice of half a lemon
- ½tbs granulated sugar
- pinch of lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
- Grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter & caster sugar until light & fluffy
- Mix in the egg yolks
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt
- Mix in the poppy seeds
- In a measuring jug, add the buttermilk, lemon juice and lemon zest (reserve a pinch of the zest for the glaze)
- Add the dry, flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture in two batches; interspersing it with adding the buttermilk & lemon mixture
- Whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks before folding into the mixture
- 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
- Whilst the cake is cooking, make the glaze.
- Add the lemon juice & icing sugar to a small measuring jug and stir until any lumps have been removed. Set aside
- In a small bowl, add the granulated sugar & lemon zest and with your fingers using a crumbing motion. Set aside
- Once cooked, remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin
- Whilst still warm and using a pastry brush, spread the lemon juice & icing sugar glaze uniformly over the top
- Once completely cool, remove the cake from the tin a place on a cake plate
- Sprinkle the granulated sugar & lemon zest mixture over the top of the glazed cake
- It's now ready to serve!
There were a couple of culinary firsts for me this week.
Firstly, I made a vegetarian hot water pastry, based on one I found in my Pie cookbook.
Instead of using lard, I used a bit of vegetarian suet.
I’ve never, ever eaten a pork pie (I’ve been vegetarian since the eighties). I had to ask Justin if my pastry was anything like it is meant to be… seeing as he eats this kind of raised pie on a regular basis. In fact he eats pork pie every Thursday without fail – sharing it with Fudge on their walks after an early flea market forage.
My other first was cumin-spiced pumpkin & chickpea pies.
We bought a pumpkin at Halloween so I was looking for a new way of using it.
I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. Granted, I’ve only had it the once, but it didn’t leave fond memories.
I much prefer these squash type vegetables savoury rather than sweet.
It certainly makes a good substantial filling for this type of pie – great flavour too with the addition of the very complimentary curry spices.
This recipe makes quite a few, small pies. If like us you’re only likely to eat a few at a time, they can be frozen both before and once cooked.
They’re the perfect little autumn pies!
- 50g strong bread flour
- 250ml milk
- 50ml double or whipping cream
- 55ml milk
- 2 eggs
- 540g strong bread flour
- 85g caster sugar
- 8g salt
- 10g powered milk
- 11g instant dried yeast
- 185g tangzhong
- 50g butter, softened
- Add the 50g flour and 250ml milk to a medium-sized saucepan and mix with a whisk until there are no lumps
- Heat over a low-medium heat, stirring constantly. After a couple of minutes (and when it reaches the magic 65ºC) you'll notice the mixture thickening. Lower the heat and continue to stir until the tangzhong begins to come away from the sides & bottom of the saucepan and begins to form low peaks when you lift the whisk
- Put the tangzhong into a bowl, cover with cling film and allow to cool while you make the dough
- In a mixing bowl (I used my Kenwood mixer as there's a lot of kneading involved!) add the cream, milk and eggs and combine for a few seconds
- Add the flour, sugar, powdered milk, yeast and tangzhong and, using the dough hook, mix for 3 minutes on a low setting
- Add the softened butter and salt and mix for a further 10-15 minutes, again on a low setting
- Remove the dough hook, quickly form the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with clingfilm and allow to prove in a warm place until doubled in size (45-60 minutes)
- Grease 2 small bread tins
- Put the dough on a floured work surface, divide into quarters, form each piece into a ball, put them on to a floured oven tray, cover loosely with clingfilm and leave to relax in a warm place for 20 minutes
- On the floured work surface, one by one, roll each ball into a rectangle using a rolling pin
- Fold each rectangle of dough into ⅓s along the long sides, turn over so the overlap is on the underside and re-roll into a rectangle
- Roll up each rectangle along the long end and put into a baking tin with the end of the roll facing down to stop unravelling
- Cover the pans loosely with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for the 2nd prove for 45-60 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 175ºC
- Once proved, brush the top of each loaf with egg wash and bake for 35-45 minutes
- Allow to cool on a wire rack before eating