Thursday, 19 July 2012

Pie pie

I'd been making do with a roasting dish for my pie making, and been thinking about getting a proper enamel pie dish for a while, when I found this one in a charity shop for £1.50. Spurred on by my newly acquired professional kit, I rushed off to John Lewis to find myself a pie funnel, and came back with this handsome blackbird.

{pie dish also available from Falconware}

So, my favourite pie recipes are this Chicken & Leek Pie and the Mushroom, Leek, Roquefort and Walnut Pie from Joanna Weinberg's book, How to Feed Your Friends With Relish which I use a lot. It's a good veggie pie, and I don't think the recipe's available online. Because I'm nice, here it is below.

Mushroom, Leek, Walnut and Roquefort Pie

Serves 4
375g ready-made pastry
300ml milk
2 onions
2 bay leaves
few whole peppercorns
freshly grated nutmeg
350g mixed mushrooms
2 tbsps olive oil
60g butter
2 leeks, white parts only, cut into 5mm discs
1 tbsp flour
100g Roquefort, crumbled
50g walnut halves
small bunch flat-leafed parsley - remove leaves and chop
1 egg, beaten

Divide the pastry into two balls, one twice the size of each other. Wrap in clingfilm and allow to rest for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / gas 4. Put the milk in a saucepan with one of the onions cut in half, the bay leaves, peppercorns and a hint of nutmeg. Bring to a murmur and keep on a very low heat.

Meanwhile, fry the mushrooms in the olive oil until they release all their juices. Set aside, reserving the liquid separately in a jug.

Chop the other onion. Melt half the butter in the frying pan and cook the onion until soft and translucent. Add the leeks and continue cooking over a fairly low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking.

Strain the infused milk into the jug containing the mushroom liquid. In a small saucepan, melt the rest of the butter, add the flour and cook very gently for 2 - 3 minutes until golden and sandy. Gradually add the milk mixture, stirring constantly so that the sauce is smooth and has the consistency of thick double cream (don't worry if that seems quite thick; it will get thinner and more soupy as the mushrooms release more liquid into the pie).

Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for a few minutes, still stirring. Remove the pan from the heat and add the mushrooms, onions and leeks, Roquefort, walnuts and parsley.

Roll out the two balls of pastry into circles, lining your pie dish with the larger one and allowing the excess pastry to flop out over the edges. Pour in the filling, then brush some water around the rim of the pie to dampen it. Cover with the other pastry disc, trimming the extra pastry from the edges, and sealing the rim with the prongs of a fork.

Brush the whole surface with beaten egg and bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked.

Let's face it, it might be July, but it's still pie weather. Just serve with new potatoes and a green salad, to keep things feeling a least a little summery.

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