Can we talk about pies for a moment?
There is one thing in particular about pies that I struggle with, and it’s probably not what you think.
In fact, you may think it is rather trivial.
But, here goes . . .
They are so terribly difficult to take a decent photo of.
It didn’t help that I had to take photos of this particular pie much later in the afternoon than I would normally like, so the sun was casting unappealing shadows on the kitchen table and I had to decamp to photo studio number 2, otherwise known as the dining room. The light in there is not as good as the light in the kitchen given that there are less windows and it is almost always in the shade. So trying to get a good picture of the inside of the pie was tricky. So was trying to take a good picture of the rest of it.
Hopefully you think I have done a good enough job. I was so busy trying to squeeze everything in that I just had to arrange quickly, point and press, crossing my fingers that they would turn out okay and that with a little tweaking I could use them.
I have to say that upon reviewing them this afternoon whilst composing this post, they are not as bad as I had remembered them to be. Isn’t that always the case?!
The moment I found out that last week on the Great British Bake Off was pie week, I knew I wanted to make this pie.
I first made it a few years ago with a traditional hot water pastry (of the wheat variety) and it was a massive hit. It has been on my mind for a while to make it again with a gluten-free pastry and pie week gave me the perfect excuse.
The trickiest bit is, needless to say, the pastry, but even that isn’t too taxing (you can make it in a food processor if you wish) and the stuffing is mixed together and then thrown in (not literally), put a top on it and bake.
Pork, Spinach & Chorizo Pie
For the pastry:
- 80g rice flour
- 75g sorghum flour
- 15g buckwheat flour
- 50g tapioca flour
- 70g ground almonds
- 4 tsp flax meal
- 2 pinches of sea salt
- 100g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 8 – 10 tsp cold water
For the filling:
- 10g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 100g spinach
- 375g pork mince
- 25g chorizo, chopped into small pieces
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- grating of fresh nutmeg
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt and pepper
- Start with making the pastry – combine the flours, ground almonds, flax meal and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and using your finger tips, rub the butter into the flours gently until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg and lemon juice and 4 tsp of the water. Using your hands, bring the mixture together to forma dough, adding more water a teaspoon at a time as necessary. The dough should be damp but not sticky.
- Wrap in cling-film and place in the fridge until needed.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 Fan / 350 Fahrenheit. Grease a ceramic pie dish with butter and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the spinach. Cook until wilted down then season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small sieve and allow to drain and cool until needed.
- In a separate bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients (reserve a little of the egg), making sure you season it well. Add the cooled spinach, chopping it a little if necessary.
- Roll out half of the pastry between two sheets of greaseproof paper until it is large enough to cover the base of your pie dish and it at least 5mm thick. Carefully transfer to the dish, making sure there are no air bubbles trapped underneath it.
- Place in the filling, pressing it down gently so that it fills the dish. Brush the sides of the pastry with some of the reserved egg.
- Roll out the remaining pastry until it is large enough to top your pie and is at least 5mm thick. Carefully transfer to the dish and crimp the edge with a fork. If you have any leftover pastry you could cut out leaves and any other shape and place them on top. Brush with the leftover egg and cut two slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
- Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until golden brown and the pastry is coming away from the sides. To check that the centre is done, insert a knife into the centre of the pie (ideally using one of the slits) and hold it there for 10 seconds, remove it and carefully check that it is hot. The filling should also feel firm when inserting the knife.
- Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes and then serve. Can also be eaten cold.
- Store any leftover pie in the fridge.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2014
Pastry lightly adapted from River Cottage
Pie filling inspired by Rachel Allen