April 2012 was Easter themed for Cake'n'Bake Club, and I wanted to have a bash at something savoury. I've always been a bit rubbish at pastry, so thought I'd take the opportunity to get in some practise with a yummy pie. The recipe is based on The Hairy Bikers' Gloucester Squab Pie
For the filling:
450g diced lamb
2tbsp plain flour
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion
650ml hot lamb stock
1/2 tsp mixed spice
salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs of fresh mint
2 bramley apples
For the pastry:
300g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
pinch of salt
75g vegetable shortening, cut into cubes
75g butter, cut into cubes
1 medium sized egg
1 tbsp cold water
Prep Time: 45-60 minutes
Cook time: 120-150 minutes
Makes 8-10 slices
- The filling is cooked for at least an hour and a half before the pastry lid is added, so best to start with that. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5.
- Coat the diced lamb with the plain flour. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and stir fry the lamb until just golden, then place the lamb to one side in a casserole dish.
- Peel and chop the onion, then return the pan to the heat and fry the onions until they start to turn translucent. Add the onions, lamb stock, mixed spice, salt and pepper to the lamb in the casserole dish, then roughly tear the mint leaves and add these. Stir well, cover, then place in the oven for 1.5-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat has cooked and the sauce has thickened. (Don't add the apples at this stage - we will come back to them!)
- Whilst the casserole is cooking, prepare your pastry. Tip the flour and salt into a large bowl, then rub in the shortening and butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre.
- Lightly whisk the egg and water, then pour most of this into the well made in the flour and fat mixture - you'll want to reserve a little bit of this to use as a glaze. Stir the mixture until it comes together to form a dough, then knead the dough for a few minutes on a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a round, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge until ready to use (make sure this is at least 30 minutes so the pastry is nicely chilled!)
- Once the casserole is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool whilst you peel, core and slice the apples. Carefully pour half of the casserole into a large pie dish, then layer the slice apples on top of this. Pour the remaining casserole on top of the apple layer and set to one side whilst you roll out you pastry. Increase the heat of the oven to gas mark 6.
- Unwrap the pastry and roll out to around 3 inches large than the dish you are using. Cut a 1 inch circle from the edge of this, and place the around the rim of your pie dish to use as a support. Cover this in egg wash, then place the pastry over the whole dish. Trim and flute the edges, then glaze the top of the pie with the remaining egg mixture. Cut a small cross in the middle of the pastry to allow the steam to escape, then bake in the centre of the oven for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown all over.