Perfect As Pie

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One of my biggest loves in life is making pies and if you know me you’ll know how much LOVE LOVE LOVE and appreciation I have for a good potato top or cottage pie. Something about them comforting and warm with perfect crunchy pastry topped with clouds of creamy mashed potato. So I took it upon myself today to create cottage pies family and individual size.

This recipe is made from scratch just for you all and it sure made me smile tucking into one straight from the oven this morning, It’s never too early for a pie in my book right?

Cottage Pie

Ingredients:
Pie Filling
1kg Beef mince
1 Onion, finely diced
1/2 Leek sliced
2tbsp Crushed garlic
4tbsp The Good Oil (or canola)
2tsp Dried rosemary
1 tin Diced tomatoes
3tbsp Tomato paste
250ml Worcester sauce
2tbsp Malt vinegar
1ltr Beef stock
2tbsp Soy sauce
1cup Frozen peas
1/2tsp Salt
1tsp Cracked black pepper
1/2cup Cornflour
1/4cup Cold water
Mash Potato
6-8 Large Agria potatoes, peeled
1tsp Salt
1/2tsp Cracked pepper
1tbsp Dried Parsley or fresh
1tbsp Wholegrain mustard
1cup Potato flakes
100gm Butter
150ml Cream

4x Sheets puff or savoury pastry (I used puff)
2tbsp Butter
2tbsp Plain flour
1/2cup Tastey cheese, grated

Method:

  1. Heat fry pan over medium to high heat, add 1tbsp the good oil followed by onion,leek and garlic cook until brown add to a heavy based large pot, over a low heat. Browning  the components develops the flavour of this pie.
  2.  Add 1/4 cup water to remove the caramilsation and add to the pot, dry pan with a paper towel.
  3. Heat fry pan over a high heat add 1 tbsp of oil and half of the mince in large chunks, do not break the mince up let the large pieces brown, this is where a huge part of the flavour is going to come from. Once it has been cooking around 2-3 minutes turn the chunks over and start to brake them up. Add to the pot.
  4. Repeat step 3 until all mince is browned add to pot.
  5. Place stock, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper and rosemary into the large pot, stirring well. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.  Making sure you are stiring occasionally to prevent burning.
  6. Taste and check the seasoning, add frozen peas and turn the heat up to high to get a rapid boil happening.
  7. Mix the cornflour and 1/4 cup  water to create a slurry, stir this into your boiling beef mixture. Cook out for 5 minutes, stirring as this can catch on the bottom once thickened.
  8. Spread your pie mix out on a lined deep roasting tray to cool down fast.
  9. Now to make the mashed potato.
  10. Boil potatoes until tender with 1tsp of salt.
  11. Drain and add salt, pepper, butter, cream, parsley and mustard. Mash well until smooth, stir in potato flakes. The potato flakes help give the mash structure on top of the pie.
  12. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
  13. Time to assemble, once your pie mix is cool if using this hot it can make the pastry soggy and not achieve a crunchy finish.
  14. Butter and flour pie dishes I have used some small and a large Family size round dish as well. Bang the dish on the bench to remove excess flour. You can you muffin tins for mini versions perfect for the kids lunch box.
  15. When cutting your pastry you want to cut it slightly larger than the pie dish to avoid shrinkage, any off cuts keep for the edges on the larger pie.
  16. For the large pie I used one sheet of pastry on the base and the off cuts from the small pies around the edge. *see photos below
  17. Once you have lined your dishes with pastry, trim the edges the a knife resting it on the edge of the dish and cutting the overhanging pastry if there is any.
  18. Fill the dishes 3/4 of the way up with the pie filling, you want to make sure there is room for the potato.
  19. Top with potato mixture, for the smaller pies I placed a large spoonful in the center and worked the mash to the edge of the pastry making sure there was no gap left or the mince with boil out in the oven.
  20. For the large pie I placed spoonfuls of mash over the top and repeated this until it was cover. Smooth over the top making sure you get to the edges of the pastry just like the smaller pies to avoid the mince escaping.
  21. Top with grated tasty cheese and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.

I was left with about 1/4 of the pie mix left over, you can make more pies or freeze this down to use later on when you want the pie again.  It could also can be served hot over pasta or creamy mash for an easy mid-week dinner.

Rhubarb and Custard

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Whilst at the farmers market I stocked up some lush red rhubarb which I have started to love. At the time of purchasing it I wasn’t really sure what I was going to make with it but I did want to make some rhubarb cordial, rhubarb frozen yoghurt bites and possibly a pie of some sort.

Now back home and unpacked I  decided I was just going to stew some rhubarb and then decided where from there. With a pot fill of sweet, red stewed rhubarb I decided I would make a crumble top pie and what makes rhubarb even better? CUSTARD of course.

So it is now rhubarb and custard crumble top pie.

Rhubarb and Custard Crumble Pie

Ingredients:

6 rhubarb stalks, washed cut into chunks
1/2 cup. white sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scrapped
1/2 cup. water
2 tbsp. custard powder
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup. ground almond
1/4 cup. gluten-free flour
1/2 cup. white sugar
6 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. thread coconut

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees.
  2. In medium pot combine rhubarb, vanilla bean, 1 st measure of sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, until rhubarb is tender and falling apart.
  3. Place tin foil pie tin on a flat oven tray.
  4. Fill a tin foil pie dish half way up with the stewed rhubarb, set aside.
  5. In small pot combine sugar and custard powder, add 1/4 of the milk to form a paste and remove the lumps. Add the remaining milk and vanilla
  6. Stir over a medium heat until mixture thickens cook for 2 minutes once thickened. ( if the mixture becomes lumpy just beat out using a whisk.)
  7. Add to the pie tin covering the rhubarb mixture.
  8. In food processor add ground almond, flour, sugar and butter, pulse until rough sand texture is achieved.
  9. Add coconut and stir this through, pile the crumb onto the custard and rhubarb filled pie tin.
  10. Bake in oven for 30 minutes until golden brown and custard is bubbling.
  11. Leave to rest for 5 minutes, and serve.
Wash and dice rhubarb into 3cm chunks.

Wash and dice rhubarb into 3cm chunks.

Add rhubarb, sugar, vanilla bean and water to pot.

Add rhubarb, sugar, vanilla bean and water to pot.

Simmer for 8 minutes until tender and falling apart.

Simmer for 8 minutes until tender and falling apart.

Half fill tinfoil pie tin with stewed rhubarb.

Half fill tinfoil pie tin with stewed rhubarb.

Top with custard.

Top with custard.

Add all dry ingredients to food processor.

Add all dry ingredients to food processor.

Pulse until rough sand texture is achieved, stir in coconut.

Pulse until rough sand texture is achieved, stir in coconut.

Pile pie tin with crumb.

Pile pie tin with crumb.

Nice and high.

Nice and high.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Rhubarb and Custard Crumb Pie

Rhubarb and Custard Crumb Pie

This perfect pie is sweet, tart, creamy and crunchy it has a beautiful balance of a classic combination of rhubarb and custard and will please any pie loving person.

Perfect Pie

Chicken, Bacon and Leek Pie.

Chicken, Bacon and Leek Pie.

Everyone loves a good pie well I tell you this recipe is sure to keep your loved ones happy. Succulent juicy chicken with a delicious creamy sauce with hints of wine and almond followed by crunchy melt in your mouth pastry, you can’t beat this!

Chicken, Bacon and Leek Pot Pie

Ingredients:

350 grams boneless chicken thigh, 3cm dice
3 rashers streaky bacon, 3 cm dice
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, rough chop
1 1/2 tbsp. oil
1 cup leek, sliced
1 cup spinach, sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1 stock cube + 1/2 cup water
150 grams sour cream
2 tbsp. sliced almonds
salt and pepper

2x buttery pastry recipe
dusting flour
1 egg, beaten

2x tin foil pie tins*

Method:

  1. In bowl combine chicken, garlic, 1 tbsp. oil, salt and pepper. Stir and coat chicken evenly with oil.
  2. Heat a heavy based fry-pan to a medium heat, add remaining oil and fry bacon until browned, remove and set aside.
  3. Brown chicken on both sides in the pan where the bacon was cooked, once brown remove from pan.
  4. Add leek to the fry-pan cook for 1-2 minutes and then crumble in stock cube, followed by wine.
  5. Stir to remove all the goodies stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Turn off the heat and stir through sour cream followed by chicken and bacon then spinach and almonds, set aside and allow to cool.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees.
  8. Split pastry into to equal parts, dust bench and roll out. Cut two bases  and two lids by placing pie tin on pastry. *as seen below
  9. Once cut out I give them another roll just to stretch the pastry to create an edge to seal the pie.
  10. Line pie tins with base pastry.
  11. And water to cooled chicken mix and stir well, fill pie cases evenly.
  12. Egg wash around the rim and seal with pastry lid, with a fork press around the edge of the pie to seal pastry together and roll over with rolling-pin to remove excess pastry.
  13.  Poke two vent holes with a fork in the lid of the pie, generously egg wash and sprinkle with almonds and bake for 20- 25 minutes until golden brown.
  14. Let pie rest for 5 minutes before slicing. The extra pie could also be frozen and knock into the oven to re-heat for a speedy mid-week meal.

Makes: 2 medium size pies.

*Tin foil pie tins picked up from $2 shop, 6 for $2. These are so easy no mess no clean up, throw away after you eat. Perfect if you are making this to take to someone’s house.

Remove excess fat, dice chicken into 3cm pieces.

Remove excess fat, dice chicken into 3cm pieces.

Dice bacon into 3 cm pieces.

Dice bacon into 3 cm pieces.

Combine chicken, garlic, thyme, 1 tbsp. oil plus salt and pepper. toss until well coated.

Combine chicken, garlic, thyme, 1 tbsp. oil plus salt and pepper. toss until well coated.

Brown bacon, set aside.

Brown bacon, set aside.

Brown chicken, set aside.

Brown chicken, set aside.

Add leek to fry pan after chicken, cook 1-2 minutes,

Add leek to fry pan after chicken, cook 1-2 minutes,

Crumble in stock cube.

Crumble in stock cube.

Deglaze with white wine.

Deglaze with white wine.

Stir to remove the tasty bits stuck to the pan.

Stir to remove the tasty bits stuck to the pan.

Add sour cream.

Add sour cream.

Followed by chicken and bacon. Stir to combine.

Followed by chicken and bacon. Stir to combine.

turn off heat, add spinach.

turn off heat, add spinach.

And almonds, stir through and set aside to cool.

And almonds, stir through and set aside to cool.

Size of the tin foil pie dishes.

Size of the tin foil pie dishes.

Lightly dust bench, remove pastry from fridge.

Lightly dust bench, remove pastry from fridge.

Divide pastry equally in half.

Divide pastry equally in half.

Roll out big enough to fit both pie tins on.

Roll out big enough to fit both pie tins on.

Using a sharp knife, cut around the pie tins.

Using a sharp knife, cut around the pie tins.

Once pastry is cut, roll the pastry circle slightly larger.

Once pastry is cut, roll the pastry circle slightly larger.

Line pie tin.

Line pie tin.

Using index finger push pastry right to the edges of the tin.

Using index finger push pastry right to the edges of the tin.

Fill pie shell with cooled filling.

Fill pie shell with cooled filling.

Generously brush the edge of the pie shell with egg wash.

Generously brush the edge of the pie shell with egg wash.

Cover with the pastry lid. ( roll this out slightly larger too.)

Cover with the pastry lid. ( roll this out slightly larger too.)

Using a fork seal the edge of the pastry.

Using a fork seal the edge of the pastry.

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Remove the trim.

Remove the trim.

Poke two vent holes with a fork.

Poke two vent holes with a fork.

Egg wash the pie lid.

Egg wash the pie lid.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Layers of flavour.

Layers of flavour.

Cut into Chunky slices and Serve.

Cut into Chunky slices and Serve.

Steak, Ale and Cheese Pies

Steak Ale and Cheese Pies

Steak Ale and Cheese Pie with Homemade Buttery Savoury Pastry

Ingredients:

300 rump steak, cut in 2-3 cm pieces
50 ml Worcester sauce
2 tbsp. oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 bottle Speight’s, or any ale
2 cups beef stock
1 tbsp. tomato paste
salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese
3 tbsp. corn flour mixed with 3 tbsp. cold water

 

2x butter savoury pastry
1 tsp. butter and butter wrapper + flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten for egg wash

Method:

  1. Combine beef, garlic, Worcester sauce, rosemary, thyme and a good seasoning of salt and pepper in a bowl. stir and coat well refrigerate for 1 hour or longer to enhance flavour in meat.
  2. Heat heavy based fry pan to a medium high heat, add 1 tbsp. oil brown onions add to a large pot.
  3. Add remaining oil and brown beef on each side, add to the pot with onions.
  4. Deglaze your hot fry pan with beer to remove all the tasty caraamilsed juices also add this to the large pot.
  5. Add stock, tomato paste and salt and pepper to your pot, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer for 45- 50 minutes until meat is becoming tender.
  6. Remove pastry from fridge.
  7. Mix cornflour and water together, stir until lumps have dissolved. Turn your pot onto a rapid boil add cornflour mix stirring as it will thicken. Cook on low for 2-3 minutes to cook out cornflour taste.
  8. Cool your beef mix.
  9. While your beef mix is cooling pre-heat oven to 220 degrees.
  10. Roll your to pieces of pastry out, one slightly thicker than the other. one around half-size of your finger and the other slightly thinner.
  11. Grease large muffin tins with butter, add a sprinkle of flour to each and shake to coat in flour. ( this is creating a non-stick coating for pastry to sit on.
  12. Cut pastry I use a glass that fits the top of the muffin tin for the lid, then a large round object for the base. ( around twice the size of the glass.)
  13. Line tin with pastry bases, add cooled beef mix top, fill 3/4 way up the pastry. Add cheese.
  14. Egg wash with a pastry brush around the edge of the pastry, add the lid and seal by pushing the edges of pastry together.
  15. Egg wash the top and with a fork poke to holes.
  16. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, remove from oven cool slightly before turning out and serving.
  17. These are perfect for lunch’s or dinner.

Makes: 6 individual pies.

Hint: I made the pastry and the meat in advance and assembled and baked  them when I wanted them.

Brown onions, add to large pot.

Brown onions, add to large pot.

Brown beef.

Brown beef.

deglaze hot fry pan with beer.

deglaze hot fry pan with beer.

Roll out on a lightly floured bench and flour our rolling-pin to avoid sticking.

Roll out on a lightly floured bench and flour our rolling pin to avoid sticking.

Roll pastry to this thickeness.

Roll pastry to this thickness.

Cut lids and bottoms.

Cut lids and bottoms.

Grease tins with butter.

Grease tins with butter.

Then sprinkle with flour.

Then sprinkle with flour.

Shake and bang out excess flour.

Shake and bang out excess flour.

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Cut pastry and lined tin.

Line with pastry case.

Line with pastry case.

Smooth out, pushing pastry to the edges.

Smooth out, pushing pastry to the edges.

Ready to be filled.

Ready to be filled.

Addd cooled beef.

Add cooled beef.

Top with cheese.

Top with cheese.

Egg wash.

Egg wash.

Seale with pastry lid.

Seale with pastry lid.

Egg wash the top and prike with a fork.

Egg wash the top and prike with a fork.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Perfect pie.

Perfect pie.

Steak, ale and cheese pie with tomato sauce a kiwi classic.

Steak, ale and cheese pie with tomato sauce a kiwi classic.