Easy as Pie: Pie Week 2021
If there’s one thing the Great British public are proud of, it’s our array of traditional recipes. From Cornish pasties to seaside fish and chips, all the way through to a classic roast dinner, the people of the United Kingdom know how to whip up a tasty, homegrown dish (and we’re quite good at eating them, too!). Ranking pretty high on the list of best British dishes sits the pie. Pies have been a custom in England as far back as the 14th century, so it’s no surprise that they’ve come to have their own celebratory week…
Pie Week, which is traditionally the first week of March, was the idea of British ready-to-bake pastry makers Jus-Rol back in 2007. They believed the proud history of pies across the UK, plus their many varieties including both savoury and sweet, is something that should be celebrated and we can’t help but agree! According to Jus-Rol, 75% of people across the country happily welcome a pie to their dinner table at least once a month. So it seems we don’t need much encouragement to eat pies, but what about making them?
Pie-doting website Pierate hold their own pie-making competitions and rate a selection of the best ones across Pie Week, inspiring others to do the same.
Feast Your Pies on This…
Research shows that the most-loved “traditional” pie fillings include steak and kidney, steak and ale, chicken and leek and chicken and mushroom. The filling for your homemade pie is arguably one of the easiest recipes out there – simply lightly fry the ingredients in a pan before adding them to a slow cooker alongside plain flour and your choice of stock cubes dissolved in water, then heat for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. If you don’t have a slow cooker, pop the ingredients into a casserole dish and into an oven pre-heated to 160C and cook for 2 hours, until the meat is tender. The organic products you need for a delicious steak or chicken pie filling, including organic flour and organic meat, can be found right here on our site!
Now, here’s where things can get a little more complicated. Some say pie pastry making is not for the faint-hearted (or heavy handed), but hopefully with this simple pie recipe and useful tips homemade pastry won’t seem so daunting.
Luckily, the ingredients list for a shortcrust pastry (ideal for making savoury pies) is pretty small. All you’ll need for a 6 serving pie is:
- 225g plain flour
- 100g butter chopped into small pieces
- Pinch salt
- 2-4 tbsp water
- 1 egg, beaten
To adjust the serving size, the general rule is half butter to flour.
TIP: Keep the preparation area (and yourself!) as cool as possible.
- Sift (to make sure the flour doesn’t have any lumps and allow air to flow through) the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter, which should be allowed to come to a cool room temperature for around 2 hours before use, with your fingertips until the mixture is breadcrumb-like.
TIP: Be as gentle as possible with the mixture – light handiwork is key!
- Add a pinch of salt and sprinkle cold water (as cold as you can make it!) onto the mixture. We recommend adding the water one tbsp at a time to make sure you get the right amount for your individual dough. You’ll know you’ve added enough water when there are no dry or cracked parts.
- Cover and let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes in the fridge. This will make it more elastic and less likely to break when rolling out.
- Dust a flat surface with flour and lay the dough on top. Knead lightly into shape, then roll flat with a large rolling pin that is also lightly dusted with flour. Make sure to save part of the dough for the lid of the pie!
TIP: If possible, use a metal dish for cooking your pie as this will ensure a more evenly cooked, crisp finish.
- Place the larger section of pastry along the bottom of the dish, add the pie filling (ensure this has cooled completely) and top with the lid. For a delicious crisp, brush a beaten egg along the top and sides.
- Cook for 20 minutes at 200C, until golden and crispy!
As much as attempting a homemade pie may sound like fun, we know it might not be for everyone. We’re conscious that the key ingredients of meat and gluten in traditional pies might not be to everybody’s taste.
If you’re one who prefers a more plant-based diet (or simply don’t have the time or patience for home pie-making), we’re excited to be launching a selection of Clive’s Pies just in time for Pie Week! See what organic pies we have to offer here.
British Pie Week runs from 1st to the 7th of March 2021 – plenty of time to enjoy a yummy pie! Show us your creations on Instagram (@eversfield_organic), Facebook (Eversfield Organic) or Twitter (@eversfieldorg).