Sunday, 1 May 2016


I love a pie. I love pastry.  I even love making pastry (although I massively contradict this statement in a few paragraphs!).  I have my grandmother to thank for my love of pastry.  She makes the best pastry and always by hand.  When I was at university she used to post me her home made apple pies.  Yes, in the post, she used to freeze them, pack them frozen (on a plate!) and send them by special delivery!  The always arrived in perfect condition and I was always the most popular person in my shared house when they turned up.

The pie on the menu this particular evening is a Gammon, celeriac and parsley pie.  This is a pie with a twist.  I spoken before of the debate about whether a puff pastry topped dish can qualify as a pie.  Today we have a bottom layer of pastry but no top, so the pie debate rages on in this house.  Answers on a postcard to...

Anyways, this is what I am aiming for, recipe on pages 105 - 107:

Ingredients for this are super easy to find and there were no issues here.  It is also quite a cheap dish.  I must confess, due to still being in recovery from my flu and tonsillitis, I cheated today:

Ok, so this is not my finest piece of work, but for a pie, you do not want any leaks and no-one is going to see the inside anyway...

Thank goodness for 'blind' baking:

Banana shallots go in, in large pieces, which certainly makes the shapes and textures in the pie very different from a diced onion:

The rest of the ingredients get added, essentially making a casserole to fill the pastry case:

The lovely twist to this recipe is the grated celeriac on top of the pie.  Nigel recommends using a food processor.  I do not have one so used a normal grater to grate the celeriac and to prevent browning I immediately fried it in the butter which seemed less hassle than putting in a bowl of acidulated water.

Now for those pre and post oven shots:

Even if I do say so myself, this looks good!! I was so excited to tuck into this and it tasted as good as it looked! I would have cut the chunks of gammon a little smaller with hindsight.  I think it would have made it easier to cut and more presentable when served (hence no shots of the served dish!!).  I would also not add any salt to this dish.  I found the gammon more than salty enough for the dish, as well as the salted butter for the topping as well.

This is a cracking pie and one I will definitely cook again. Thanks Nigel!


1/5/16 - How is it May?!?!?

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