Category Archives: Baking
Sometimes I just feel like eating a simple pie- in fact most of the time I’d rather it without loads of Herbs, Spices & Wine.. I want a pie like they sell in the supermarket! So I make this..
Normally I use Frozen Short Crust Pastry for the base & Frozen Puff Pastry for the lid but as I had a bit of time on my hands I decided to try out Delia Smith‘s ‘Quick & Easy Flaky Pastry’ which I mentioned before in my Pie, Mash & Liquor post. It really is a good recipe & very simple- I will use it again. And I made a simple Suet Pastry for the base.. I love Suet Pastry as I love Dumplings!
For the Flaky Pastry
For the Suet Pastry (Pie Bottom)
- 350g Self Raising Flour
- 190g Shredded Suet (Atora is the brand available here in Tempo! Beef or Vegetable)
- Cold Water (use your judgement!)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Sift the Self Raising Flour & Salt into a large mixing bowl
- Mix in the Suet
- Add a few drops of cold Water mixing with a knife
- Keep adding water until you have a sticky dough
- Now use your hands to finish the dough- it should be smooth, neither sticky nor dry & leave the bowl clean (add a drop more water or a sprinkle of flour to correct if necessary)
- Allow the pastry to rest, covered in the fridge for 30 mins
For the Pie Filling
- 300g Chicken, Skinless Boneless Thighs (I only had Breast & it tends to dry out)- cubed
- 1/4 White Onion, Chopped finely
- 4 Standard White Mushrooms, Chopped
- 25g Butter
- 25g Corn Flour
- 1.5 Cups Milk
- 1 Tbs Heavy Cream
- 1 Tsp Yeast Extract (Marmite)
- 1 Tsp Onion Powder
- 1 Tsp Chicken Bouillon Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Glucose Syrup
- Salt & White Pepper to taste
- Heat Butter, Fry Chicken until it loses most of its pink colour
- Add Onions & Mushrooms, Fry for a few minutes until softening but do not allow to colour
- Sprinkle over Corn Flour, mix well
- Add Chicken Bouillon & Onion Powder, mix well
- Add Milk, bring to the boil till sauce thickens, reduce heat to low
- Add Cream
- Add Yeast Extract & Glucose Syrup, mix well
- Season to taste
- Leave to cool slightly before filling Pie
- Pre heat oven to 200 oc/ Gas Mark 6
- Grease Pie Dish with Butter- I used 2 Terracotta Dishes which each hold a Man Sized Portion of pie!
- Roll out Suet Pastry & Line Pie Dish- Making sure the dough hangs over the lip, trim off excess
- Spoon in pie filling, don’t fill right to the top!
- Roll out Flaky Pastry, cut out a circle (or square!) a bit bigger than your pie dish
- Wet the Suet Pastry covering the lip of the pie dish with some Cold Water
- Cover with Flaky Pastry lid, seal well around the edges & prick a few holes with a sharp knife
- Brush with Milk or Egg
- Cook in Oven for 30- 40 mins, until brown & piping hot
- Either lever whole pie out of dish to serve on a plate/spoon some pie out onto a plate or eat directly out of individual dish
Leek instead of Onion is a nice alternative
I had some of the Flaky Pastry left in the freezer along with Suet Pastry I made the other week so I thought I’d get these out & try making some Mini Pies in my Cupcake 12 hole tin. I used my same Pie and Mash Recipe that I have already written about but this time I used Lamb Mince as I also had some of that leftover. I couldn’t taste any difference so I think the moral of the story is use Beef as its cheaper and under all the Vinegar who is going to know what animal is in the pie!
Oh and I thought ‘I’ll just leave those for a few more minutes’ and wandered off, forgot about them & came back to find them a bit burnt, still I suppose they are more authentic that way!
And the Bain Marie is a must in future, I didn’t use a tray filled with water like last time and the suet pastry doesn’t stay as soft as last time..
It was a friend of ours Birthday yesterday and as Northern Cyprus tends to be short of gift shops (or any nice ladies shops) I opted to make some cakes for her present using my The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.
I had 4 very brown Bananas on the kitchen side (why do we buy them when no one eats them, I do wonder!) so I chose Banana & Chocolate Cupcakes as these would look prettier than a slice of Banana Loaf!
- The recipe says it makes 12 Large Cupcakes (American Size, Muffin Case) or 18 Small Cupcakes- I made 16 Small & 1 Large out of my mix
- The Frosting recipe is very generous I had quite a bit left over
- Once I realised my Frosting was too warm (it IS Cyprus) I put it in the fridge & then it was so much easier to use with a palette knife!
- I will be posting some of my own Cupcake recipes shortly
- Its a really good book!
No I’m not a Pie Monster despite how it seems, some weeks you just don’t fancy another Meze & all you can think about is eating things you can’t get here. I think its called mental torture.. But seeing that I don’t have a Self Sadistic attitude I decided to start making the things I miss from England. (Ha ha No I didn’t buy the weather machine from The Russians to make it Rain- that’s not one of the things I miss!)
Greggs The Bakers sell a delicious Sausage, Bean & Cheese Melt which is matched perfectly with a carton of Ribena & a dreadful hangover. Since I can’t get Greggs here but unfortunately I can still get the dreadful hangovers I developed the following recipe in case of Emergencies..
Ingredients (Makes 2)
Ready Rolled Puff Pastry (remember I have a hangover)– I like to use these Mille Feuille Squares, but use any Puff and cut out whatever shape you like, 1 square folded over is like a Turnover Pie.
1 Small Handful Mild Cheddar, Grated
Milk (to glaze)
- Pre heat oven to Gas Mark 5, 190 oc (or whatever your Puff Pastry packet says)
- Place one Pastry Square onto a baking tray
- Open the can & remove the Sausages to a plate, slice them up & place half onto one Pastry Square
- Pour the Beans onto the plate & lightly mash with the back of a spoon, spoon half of this (approx 2.5 Tbs) on top of the Sausage Pieces on the Pastry Square
- Grate Cheese & Sprinkle over the Sausage & Beans on the Pastry Square- Be sensible, if you put too much filling in it will not be possible to seal it!
- Place Second Pastry Square on top of the filling & lightly press round the edge with a fork to seal
- Brush with milk & put into the oven for approx 20 mins (or follow the instructions on your packet)
- When it is nicely brown remove & leave to cool slightly- yes it will burn your mouth!
If you wish to, before the Pastie goes into the oven you can Score a few lines across it to give that authentic Greggs look!
Greggs Sausage & Bean Melt actually has tiny Sausage Meatballs inside- this wouldn’t be hard, remove some sausage meat from the skin, roll into tiny balls & lightly fry (do not allow to colour)
The best thing about making your own one is that its Hot & Crispy- unfortunately unless you get to Greggs first thing in the morning when its just been baked you are more likely to get one that has been sitting, going limp under a heating lamp for hours.. Also getting ANY Sausage at all in your ‘Sausage’ & Bean melt seems to be a bit hit and miss!
I recommend cutting a corner off & letting the steam escape for 5 minutes- don’t try to bite straight into it 😮