Sunday, 9 September 2012

Pork, Apple & Sage Pie

A Facebook Friend of mine entered the cakes vs pies competition for CarFest South and was really excited about it all. It got me interested in it and when she did very well in the cake competition and I saw all the pictures of the event, I could understand her enthusiasm. So when CarFest North announced that they needed pie makers for the event at Cholmondeley, I didn’t hesitate a moment and send an e-mail that I could make pies. I didn’t really expect to hear anything of it, but got a phonecall and was asked what pie? Uhhmmmm, I hadn’t really thought about this, so blurred out: pork, apple & sage pie! Sounds good, was the reply….you are in! And so a week of pork pie making started…….and this came out as the recipe that worked best. To make a 20cm diameter pie you need For the filling 450 gr (1 lb) of pork shoulder meat, diced ½ medium onion, roughly chopped 1 large eating apple, diced A handful of fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped Freshly grated nutmeg Freshly ground black pepper Salt (to taste) 50 ml (still) cider A tub of good quality chicken stock For the pastry 125 gr lard 150 ml water 450 gr (1 lb) of plain flour Salt (to taste) Heaped teaspoon of dried sage 1 egg, beaten
1. First make the pastry by bringing the water and lard to the boil. In the food processor mix together the flour, salt & sage and while the food processor is turning add the hot water/lard mixture. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. 2. Generously butter a 20 cm (8 inch) loose bottomed tin. 3. Roll out approx 2/3 of the pastry mixture and place into the tin, pressing down well. 4. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to set 5. Keep the rest of the pastry in cling film in a warm place. Preheat the oven to Fan 180C/Gasmark 5 6. Mince the pork shoulder meat in a food processor and add the onion, apple, sage, nutmeg and seasoning and mix together well. Add the cider and give it another little whisk. 7. Fill you pastry case with the meat mixture nice and full but make sure you don’t overfill it or the pastry case will burst. 8. Roll out the remainder of the pastry and top the pie with this, crimping the edges together. Make a little hole in the middle of the pie top. 9. Whisk the egg loose in a bowl and brush the top of the pastry with this. 10. Place in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes 11. Remove from the oven, leave to stand for a few minutes before removing it from the tin and placing it on an oven tray (take your time over this, as it is a delicate procedure) 12. Brush the sides of the pie with the rest of the egg wash and place back in the oven for another 20 – 30 minutes. After cooking, let the pie cool completely on a wire rack and then in the fridge. Warm up the stock and carefully, using a small funnel, spoon the stock into the pie through the hole that was made in the pastry. Keep spooning it in until the pie will take no more liquid and put it back it the fridge to set. My pie ended just outside of the top ten with a score of 79/100 which for a first attempt I am quite happy with. Some of the comments of the judges were: "pastry should be richer" and "more fat in filling" - I have to say even though I used pork shoulder, I actually removed quite a bit of the fat, next time I know not to!! It was a great fun day and I would do it all again, maybe I should try a cake next time.
The judges looking at my entry

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