Friday, 21 August 2015

Recipes: Pies

Martin Dewey from Square Pie, The Gourmet Pie Company shares his summer pie recipes for you to try out at home.

Written by Martin Dewey

Asparagus, Kale and Goats Cheese Pinch Pies (pictured above) 

We call the little beauties pinch pie. They show off great British asparagus , kale and tangy goats cheese a treat and can work really well as a man course with buttered new potatoes with dressed mixed leaves or as a great snack whenever you're in the mood.

Serves 6

For the filling
30g unsalted butter
¼ onion, diced
½ leek, sliced
1 garlic clove crushed
30g plain flour
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
200ml milk
50g kale, finely shredded
100g goats cheese + 50g extra for garnish

For the pies
600g puff pastry
1 large free-range egg yolk
24 spears of asparagus
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon linseeds

First prepare a filling. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat with the butter, add the onion, leeks and garlic with seasoning and sauté for 5 minutes until soft and the mix start to take on colour, add the flour and cook for further one minute whist stirring continuously, slowly add a dash of milk at a time, stir well after each addition, cook the mix for further 3 minutes until cooked and the mix has thickened, stir in a couple of gratings of fresh nutmeg. Set aside to cool completely, chilled is best.

Once the mix is completely cold stir in the shredded kale and 100g crumbed goats cheese.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease a baking tray and set aside. Roll out the puff pastry to about 2mm thickness and cut out six 12cm squares, then brush the top surfaces all over with beaten egg yolk. Trim the woody ends from fresh asparagus spears, and then cut the stems into thin slices, leaving the asparagus spears 8cm long.

Stir the sliced asparagus pieces into the filling.

Spoon the mixture into the centre of each puff pastry square, dividing it evenly. Toss the asparagus spears in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and then lay 4 asparagus spears over each portion of the filling mixture. Crumb over the remaining 50g goats cheese.

With each pastry square, fold 2 opposite corners of pastry over the asparagus so that the pastry joins in the centre and press the corners together to seal (the filling will not be completely enclosed in the pastry). Brush the unglazed pastry with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with linseeds. Place the pies on the prepared baking tray and bake in the oven for 22–25 minutes or until the pastry is cooked, golden brown and crisp.

Curried cauliflower and aubergine filo pie

This is a fantastic vegetarian sharing pie and that tastes amazing whilst being lighter than a classic pastry base pie. Not only that but it looks amazing on the table to share and eats well both hot and cold.

Serves 4



1 cauliflower, cut into small florets
4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
2 aubergines, 2cm dice
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ cinnamon stick
5 in number of each black peppercorn, cloves, green cardamom pods
2 curry leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, 1cm dice
1 celery stick, 1cm diced
100g golden sultanas soaked in 100ml white wine
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
200ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
50g pine nuts, toasted
1 packet filo pastry (225g packet about 8 sheets)
80g unsalted butter, melted
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

First make the pie filling. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. In a large bowl toss the cauliflowers with one tablespoon of oil, seasoning and the curry powder. Spear the cauliflower on a lined baking tray and roast the cauliflowers in the preheated oven for 12 – 15 minutes, until it start to colour and softened.

In the meantime heat a large saucepan over high heat with 2 tablespoons of the oil, add the aubergines with seasoning and cook until dark golden brown all over, about 8-10 minutes, once dark brown tip the aubergines into a colander over a bowl.

Return the pan to medium heat with the rest of the oil and add all the spices and curry leaves and cook for one minute, stir in the garlic and continue for 30 seconds, add the onions and celery with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, increase the heat to high cook for 8 minutes, stir regularly, add the roasted cauliflower and return the golden aubergines, cook for further 5 minutes, Add the golden sultanas and wine, chopped tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 - 15 minutes, stir regularly, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the coriander, set the filling aside.

Grease a 15cm loose base sandwich cake tin.

Remove the filo pastry from the packet. Place one filo sheet on a clean work surface, with a pastry brush, brush a bit of melted butter over the pastry, place another filo pastry sheet on top, brush more butter and repeat the process with further 4 sheets (this pile will make 6 sheets in total) to form a stack, make a separate stack with the remaining two sheets brush the top of the pastry with melted butter.

Lift the 6 layer pastry stack and carefully lay it inside the cake tin with the edges hanging over the rim of the tin. Carefully push the pastry into the tin. Remove the cinnamon stick and curry leaves from the filling and spoon the cooked filling into the lined tin, sprinkle over the pine nuts.

Place the last pastry stack on top and now lift the hanging over pastry back over the pie to make a scrunched 'lid'. It's meant to look a bit rough.

Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden brown. Rest the pie for 5 minutes before carefully removing the loose base tin, place the pie in the centre of the table and serve with steamed and buttered seasonal greens or a green garden salad.

Lamb Tagine Pies topped with Couscous

These pies are great fun with the couscous topping making them the perfect all in one pie meal. The couscous is packed with fresh tomatoes, spring onions and pomegranate seeds which add a great zest to the soft stewed lamb tagine and all wrapped in a crisp and delicious short crust pastry base. Nothing else needed for your own slice of pie heaven.

Serves 6


For the pie filling and base

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1.2kg lamb shoulder, diced
2 tablespoons plain flour
3 cloves so garlic, peeled and crushed
2 onions, diced
1 stick of celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
2 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
1 pinch of saffron
1 cinnamon stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
100g ready to eat dried apricots, diced
100g pitted ready to eat dried dates, diced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
300ml dark chicken stock
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
50g chopped coriander
600g short crust pastry

For the couscous topping
200ml boiling water or chicken stock
200g Couscous
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon harrisa paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch sugar
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
250g baby plum tomatoes cut into quarters
4 spring onions, sliced
2 tablepspoons finely chopped coriander
seeds from one pomegranate
zest and juice of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Heat a large oven safe casserole dish over medium heat with half the oil, in a bowl toss the lamb in the flour and seasoning. Brown the lamb in hot casserole dish until golden brown all over about 6 -8 minutes, drain the browned lamb in a colander, return the dish to the heat and add the rest of the oil and sauté the onions, garlic, ginger, celery, carrots, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, saffron and cinnamon for 8 -10 minutes until golden brown, return the lamb and add the tomato paste, vinegar, preserved lemon and cook for one minute.

Add the dried apricots and dates, diced tomatoes, sugar and stock; cover the dish with a lid and place in the oven for 1.5 hours. Stir once or twice during the cooking time. The lamb should be soft and flaky once cooked. Remove the dish from the oven, stir in the coriander and set aside to cool.

Increase the oven temperature to 180 °C.

In the meantime, roll the pastry out onto a lightly floured work surface to about 2 -3 mm thickness and line 6 individual pie dishes with the short crust pastry.

Fill the pastry cases with the cooked lamb tagine filling and place on a baking tray in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

While the pies are baking make the couscous topping. Bring the stock/ water to the boil. Place the couscous, vinegar, oil, harissa paste, sugar and seasoning into a large bowl pour over the hot stock and mix, cover the dish with cling film and set aside for 10 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the couscous stir in the tomatoes, spring onions, chopped coriander, pomegranate seeds, lemon zest and juice.

Pile the couscous onto the baked pies and serve.

Smoked Haddock and Kale Kedgeree Pot Pies

I've always loved Kedgeree but it's never been easy to make it work in a classic pastry based pie so am really pleased with these delicious pastry free pot pies. They make a great lighter pie whilst retaining all the best bits of classic kedgeree and work really well as either a single large pie to share or in individual pie dishes , whatever works for you.

Serves 6

For the filling
700ml milk
400g skinless smoked haddock fillets
300g haddock skinless (unsmoked)
2 sprigs of parsley
60g unsalted butter
1 large onion, sliced
1 leek, sliced
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
60g plain flour
100ml dry white wine
100g kale, shredded
Zest and juice of one lemon
½ bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the rice and egg topping
200g basmati rice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion diced
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon turmeric
300ml vegetable stock
50g shredded kale
1 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.

Soak the rice in cold water. In a saucepan bring the milk to the boil, once boiling remove from the heat, place the fish in a medium size roasting tray with the sprigs of parsley, pour over the hot milk, cover the tray with foil and place in the oven for 10 -12 minutes until the fish is cooked and flakey.

Carefully remove the fish from the tray, flake and set aside, remove any bones if found. Pass the milk through a fine sieve.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter, and sauté the sliced onions and leeks with the curry powder and seasoning for 5 - 6 minutes, until softened and starting to brown. Add the flour and cook for further one minutes, deglaze with the wine and stir to prevent lumps, slowly add a ladle of the hot milk at a time, stir well after each addition until all the milk is incorporated and the mixture is smooth, simmer over medium heat for further two minutes, stir continuously until the mixture thickened and is cooked. Add the shredded kale, lemon zest and juice and stir in the parsley.

For the rice drain the soaked rice. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onion, cinnamon and turmeric with seasoning for 5 minutes, add the rice and cook for further 1 minute, stir continuously, add the stock and cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stir once or twice, remove the pan from the heat, stir in the kale cover the pan with a lid and set aside for further 10 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the rice and stir in the parsley.

While the rice is cooking boil the hens eggs for 6 minutes until soft boiled, once cooked peel and set aside.

To assemble mix the flaked poached fish into the sauce, grease 6 individual pie dishes and divide the mixture between the pie dishes, cut the eggs into ¼'s and place it on top of the pie filling, top the pies with the rice and place the pies back in the oven for 10minutes to ensure they are hot all the way through and serve.

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