Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Pork Pie Time

Week7. Bake 7.

So this weeks bake is not a cake (for once) it is a pie. A pork pie. I'm not the biggest fan of pork pies but ever since I started this 52 bakes in 52 weeks thing, my dad has been telling me to make pork pies. So this weeks bake is for you dad!

I have adapted The Great British Bakes Offs pork pie to a slightly different recipe but have kept the quail eggs in the pies for two reasons:1. I love quail eggs
2. I actually know how to cook them (as part of our B&B we do a breakfast using quail eggs).

From this cooking experience I have learned that I hate making hot water crust pastry. It is hard to work with, it is crumbly, it is pesky to make and it is not worth the time. I would rather just buy pork pies. So I am not impressed with this pastry and probably won't make it again, but here is how I did it:

  • 200g of plain flour
  • 40g of strong white bread flour
  • 50g of butter
  • 60g of lard
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 200ml of boiling water (half for the pastry and half for the gelatine
  • 1/2 a large onion
  • 300g of sausage meat
  • 100g of smoked bacon
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and thyme)
  • 1 good glug of Worcester sauce
  • 6 Great Snoring quail eggs (which come from the sleepy Norfolk village of Great Snoring!)
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 Chicken stock cube
  • 5g of powdered gelatine
  • 1 egg beaten
  1. Make the pastry: rub the sifted flour together with the butter to make breadcrumbs and make a well in the centre.
  2. In a saucepan melt the lard and remove from heat. In a jug add salt to the 100ml of boiling water and pour VERY carefully into the lard (this will spit and splutter at you).
  3. Once it has settled down, pour the lard mixture int the flour well. Now using a wooden spoon, quickly mix it together into a ball.
  4. Once it is ok to handle, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it for a minute. Then roll it out till it gets to 3mm. You will have to work quickly as it cools and therefore hardens quickly and as a result it will be difficult to put into the muffin tin and will fall apart.
  5. So using a 11.5cm diameter circle pastry cutter, cut out six circles and the mould them into the muffin tins. If you find that when you put the circles into the muffin tins they are very brittle and are breaking every time the pastry isn't warm enough - so using your hands mould the pastry back into a ball and roll out again quickly. This is a difficult balancing act and it may take a few goes.
  6. Using the remainder of the pastry, cut out six lids for the pies (I used a 7cm diameter cutter, but for the best result your should probably use an 8cm cutter).
  7. Once you are happy with the pies, pop them in the fridge to cool and now make the filling.
  8. First pre-heat the oven to 190c. Then chop the bacon into rough cubes, dice the onion, chop the herbs and mix them all in a bowl with the sausage meat. At this stage season the mixture and add the Worcester sauce.
  9. Leave that to rest while you soft-boil the quail eggs. To soft boil a quails egg, bring water in a saucepan up to boiling point and place (by using a metal spoon) six quail eggs (and one for luck!) into the water. Set the timer for 2 minutes and as soon as it beats take it off the heat and drop the quail eggs into a bowl of cool water.
  10. Now peel them. Quail eggs have very tough shells so it will take some courage to crack them to start peeling them. Some people prefer to quail eggs under running water but I prefer doing it in a bowl of water.
  11. Once they are all peeled, make up the pork pies. Do this by spooning some of the meat mixture into the bottom of each pie. Then place the quail egg into the centre and pile some more of the meat mixture on top.
  12. Now beat an egg and brush the rim of the pies with it. Using a fork press the rims of the pies and lids together, or if you can do it crimp the pastry.
  13. Using a piping nozzle put a hole in the top of each pie (to allow the steam to come out and the gelatine go in).
  14. Top of each pie with a final egg wash and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
  15. Once cooked carefully remove them from the pan and let them cool on a wire rack.
  16. Now make the gelatine. Do this by mixing the remaining water (boiling) to the chicken stock cube and the gelatine powder.
  17. Using the icing nozzle again pour this gelatine into the pork pies. And pop in the fridge or cool on the counter top (if cooling in the fridge this will only take a few hours, if cooling on the counter top this will take overnight).
  18. Now eat and enjoy.

Typically as this is the first non-cake bake my dad has spent his evening telling me how much he misses cake. Men!

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  1. Yummy! I would love for you to link up at my Linky Party via: www.ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com

    Mrs. Delightful

  2. I'm not a big fan of pork pies but my husband (and his brothers) would love this. They do look good, even if you found them finnicky! I appreciate your honesty and that you blogged about the experience! Good luck as you continue with your 52 pies. Thanks for sharing at Scrumptious Sunday, and I can't wait to see what you post next!