It's recipe time! Man, it feels like an age since I've done one of these! I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but in our teeny tiny cabin we don't have anything near a Mary Berry style kitchen. In fact, the total counter surface area is probably one square foot so to say space is limited is an understatement! However, I went along to Hampton Court Gardens on Saturday and there was no way I was turning up with a packaged sandwich for the big event.
Alas, I did what most 23-year-olds do on a Friday night and spent two and a half hours baking a pie - because gin and tonics are overrated, right? Right?! If you like stuffing, you're going to love this pie. If you love pastry, you're going to love this pie. If you love a meal that you can hold in one hand, you're going to love this pie.
I'll be honest, this recipe started when I thought back to last year's Blogger's Bake Off and the tiered mass of pastry I made seemed entirely appropriate for two people at a picnic. After rooting around in my cupboards, I found pistachios (from Christmas), cranberries (from a failed granola) and an apple (going a bit soft). The rest of the recipe was built around these things in a very Frankenstein-like manner! It's not a complex pie, especially the pastry, but more on that later.
Cranberry and Pistachio Picnic Pie
750g plain flour
1 egg (for the glaze)
Approx. 600g good quality sliced ham (two packets)
500-700g sausage meat
50g shelled pistachios
50g dried cranberries
1 tsp sage
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 // Prep all your ingredients for the filling first. Chop the pistachios into sizeable chunks, roughly chop the cranberries and dice the onion and apple into little chunks. Combine all these bits in a large mixing bowl with the sausage meat, sage, parsley and nutmeg. Get your hands dirty and smush it all together - spoons are too fussy for this!
2 // Line a deep tin (a round tin or a bread tin would work well!) with baking parchment and grease inside with butter. Set to one side.
3 // Measure out the flour into another large mixing bowl. Melt the butter and lard in a saucepan with 200ml of water until there are no lumps remaining. Pour the melted mixture into the flour bowl and combine until a dough forms. You may have to wait a little while until the dough is cool enough to touch!
4 // Section off 2/3 of the dough and wrap the remaining dough in foil to keep it warm. Weirdly enough, hot water crust pastry needs to keep nice and toasty or it becomes pretty difficult to work with! Other than that, it's the most robust dough out there - you can poke and prod it with not a hole in sight!
5 // Roll the dough out and push this into your pie tin, making sure there are no gaps. (I tried to lattice my whole pie and it wasn't worth it! Just lattice the top. Hot water crust pastry isn't the best for fancy decorations!)
6 // Line the pie with cooked ham, then layer the sausage meat mixture with ham alternately until it's all used up.
7 // Roll the remaining 1/3 of dough out into a rough circle and place your pie tin on top. Cut around the base of the tin with a sharp knife - now you have your lid! Roll the remaining dough out again and cut into long strips. (This will for the picnic lattice to go on top). Work quickly so the dough doesn't cool down too much! Cover your pie with the pie and crimp the edges together. Weave a simple lattice onto the lid with your pre-cut strips. Finish off with a little basket handle!
8 // Egg wash the top of the pie and put in the oven (preheated to 200C) for 1 hour. Then, take the pie carefully out of the tin and egg wash all over again. Out back in the oven for another 30 minutes until golden brown all over. (Tip: You might get some juice leaking out, which is fine! Just place a tray underneath your pie to catch the drips)
If you like the look of this recipe have a look at my other makes and bakes here.
Are you planning many picnics this summer? I know I am!