Veal and Ham Raised Pie

/ Categories Tricks of the trade, Recipes, Behind the scenes / Author:

Veal and Ham Raised Pie

This year's Great British Bake Off has passed its halfway point and last night saw bakers crumble under the pressure of Pastry week. Can you rise to the challenge of a hand-raised pie? Give our Veal and ham pie a go, shaping like a top hat optional...

Ingredients

6 - 8

Hot Water Crust Pastry
150ml water
60g butter
60g lard
350g plain flour
¾ tsp salt
1 large egg

For Filling
1 small onion
Bunch of flat-leaf parsley
550g boned shoulder of veal
100g piece of gammon
150–200ml aspic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Put the water in a medium saucepan. Cut the butter and lard into 1cm cubes and add to the pan. Place over a low heat and melt the fats; the water must not boil before they have melted.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Break the egg into a small bowl, beat lightly with a fork and pour into the well. Carefully flick flour over the egg to protect it from the hot water and fats.
  3. Once the fats have melted, increase the heat and bring to the boil. As it comes to a rolling boil, take off the heat, pour over the flour in the bowl and immediately mix everything together well with a cutlery knife, until you can no longer see any dry flour. The pastry should be warm and greasy to the touch. Bring it together in your hands until smooth, then divide into 2 pieces, one twice the size of the other.
  4. Shape the smaller piece of pastry into a disc,10–12cm in diameter, and the larger piece into a disc, 15–18cm in diameter. The discs should be smooth, with no cracks or pleats. Wrap both individually in cling film and chill for 45–60 minutes for the fats to firm up.
  5. While the pastry is chilling, prepare the mould for the raised pie. Traditionally, a wooden mould is used. A large 400ml soufflé dish, 12.5cm in diameter, works well. (Individual pies can be raised without moulds.) Cut a disc of greaseproof paper for the outside base of the dish and a band to go around the outside walls of the dish. Stick the greaseproof paper to the outside of the dish using sticky tape. Now place the dish on a large sheet of cling film and bring the cling film up the sides of the dish and down into it, pulling the cling film so it is taut. The soufflé dish is now ready for the pastry.
  6. Remove the larger disc of pastry from the fridge; it should be firm, but pliable. Turn the soufflé dish upside down and lay the pastry across the upturned base. Gently ease the pastry down the sides of the dish. The warmth from your hands will help to soften the pastry a little and make it easier to mould. Avoid pushing too firmly or the pastry will crack. Roll a rolling pin lightly across the top of the dish or use your hands flat against the top, to encourage the pastry to expand and ease down the sides of the dish.
  7. With your fingers flat against the side of the dish, gently ease the pastry down. You need to work on the top and sides alternately to coat the dish all over in an even layer of pastry. Avoid using your fingers over the corners of the dish as this can easily create a thin layer of pastry. Place uncovered on a tray in the fridge for 5–6 hours, or ideally overnight, for it to firm even more and dry out.
  8. The next day, or when ready to cook, heat the oven 190ºC/gas mark 5. For the filling, halve, peel and finely dice the onion. Finely chop enough parsley leaves to give you 3 tbsp. Remove any surface gristle and sinew from the veal, trim any excess fat off the gammon and veal and cut both meats into 1.5cm cubes. Mix the onion, meats and half the parsley together in a large bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Reserve the rest of the parsley for the aspic.
  9. Remove the shaped pastry and the smaller disc from the fridge. Turn the shaped pastry the right way up and peel the cling film away from inside the dish. Ease the cling film a little from the dish and lift the dish out of the pastry without damaging the pastry. Peel away the cling film and greaseproof paper from the inside of the pastry case.
  10. Carefully lift the pastry case up to the light and check the corners; if you can see light through them you will need to reinforce them using a thin band cut from around the edge of the pastry for the lid, by gently pushing it into the area needed.
  11. Wrap a double layer of baking parchment around the outside of the pie case to support it and secure with paper clips or string (don’t tie string too tightly or it will create a waist in the pie once cooked). Make sure the rim of pastry is not covered by paper, so you can seal it with the lid.
  12. Place the pie case on a lipped baking sheet and add the filling, packing it into the corners, to help support the pastry, and doming it on the top. Check the pastry lid is the right size to fit over the top. Lightly beat the egg with a very small pinch of salt, using a fork, then pass through a sieve into a bowl. Brush beaten egg on the inside of the pastry lid. Lay the lid on top of the pie, fold the edges of the lid up against the inside of the pie and press together to seal. Using a pair of scissors, trim off only the top edge, not too deep or you will break the seal.
  13. Using your thumb and forefinger, crimp the pastry edge. Now make a steam hole in the middle of the top and insert the tip of a 5mm piping nozzle (this will prevent the hole closing). If you have any pastry left, roll it out thinly and cut out decorations, if desired; stick them to the top of the pie with the beaten egg.
  14. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg to glaze. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven setting to 170ºC/gas mark 3 and bake the pie for a further 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and take off the paper collar. If the pie suddenly begins to slump and lose shape, tie the paper round the pie again and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes. If the pie holds its shape, brush the sides and the top again with beaten egg and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until cooked.
  15. To check that the pie is cooked, insert a skewer into the middle through the steam hole, leave it for 10 seconds, then remove and immediately touch it to your inner wrist; it should be hot. If not, cook the pie for a further 15 minutes. Once the pie is cooked, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  16. Follow the instructions on the aspic packet to dissolve and sponge it. When the aspic begins to thicken and set a little (still pourable but thick enough to hold the parsley in suspension), add the reserved parsley. Carefully pour the aspic through the piping nozzle into the pie, allowing it to seep into the air holes and between the meat and the pastry. You might need to lift the pastry around the steam hole first to allow the aspic to feed through, taking care not to break the pastry. Allow the aspic to set for 3–4 hours before cutting the pie.

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