I have always wanted to try my hand at making pork pies from scratch.
Being my first attempt i did not want to make a huge cake sized pie so i opted to follow a recipe from one of my favourite cook books - Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard.
Another plus to this recipe is that it uses a stock cube and gelatine sheets to make the jelly so you don't have to make it your self from pork bones and worry about it setting - maybe i'll try that next time!
The recipe details as well as in the cook book are available on the Guardian website here
They take quite a while to make, you really need to get the ingredients ready 3 days before you actually want to eat the pie but the processes involved are very simple and even achievable on a hung over Sunday afternoon.
I chopped the meat ingredients up and mixed them with the spice on Saturday.
On Sunday afternoon i made the pastry, because this type of pastry is made with hot water you need to allow an hour or so for it to cool down before you can actually use it. Don't put it in the fridge though as it would get too cold and become difficult to work.
I found shaping the pastry round the jar the most fiddly stage of the process, it took a while to get used to how much you can mess around with the fatty dough, i am used to shortcrust pastry which you handle as little as possible. Once I had squashed all the folds that formed, from draping it over the jar the pastry looked like it was going to be quite tall but i found the pie shells relaxed a lot once i removed them from the jar and made a wider shallower pie.
Once filled and the lids added the pies need to chill for a while in the fridge before they are baked in the oven.
While the pies bake the meat shrinks in size leaving a gap between the filling and pastry, this is where the jelly comes in.
After cooling for half an hour the hot jelly mixture is poured into the pies through a hole in the top, the pies then need to be returned to the fridge and so won't be ready for sampling until the following day.
This recipe makes 2 generous sized pies which will take you a while to get through, they last up to 2 weeks in the fridge though.
Best enjoyed with a picnic on Primrose Hill after playing rounders!