Thursday, 14 April 2016

Scotch Pies

Oh dear, 2 ugly bakes on the trot. It's clear that my presentation is not up to scratch. These little hot-water crust pies were really fiddly to make, probably the hardest pies I've tried.

The basic concept is to form a ball of meat (lamb, in this case, as I couldn't find minced mutton), and then wrap it in pastry. Simple? Not really. You make 2 discs of pastry (one 18cm, one 10cm), and the large one is gentled pulled up around the sides, then the smaller one is fitted on top to form a lid. Actually getting the larger one to stay in place to get the small one is some kind of act of luck though.

The recipe is from here, and I won't bother re-typing it this time. I did a double-mixture, so I had 8 pies. The challenges I had were;

1) Hot water crust pastry is a great thing to work with, as it's very forgiving, but you do need to work with it while it's still warm. Doing 8 pies, and them being fiddlier than I realised meant that I took a long time to make all 8, so the last ones were harder, as the pastry become more solid

2) Flour/paper your baking tray. I lost a couple of bottoms when I tried to move a couple, and they stuck. Novice.

3) Definitely have the baking parchment strips and string pre-cut. If I did these again, I'd read up on slip knots, as doing a classic reef with any tension at all was very hard (and you need to have some tension, or the string falls down.

4) I'd be tempted to square off the meat ball a bit, to make it a bit wider and lower, as this would make fitting the lids a bit easier.

5) I ended up tying the pies before fitting the lid, to fold the sides up. Not sure if this was a good or bad idea in retrospect, as it meant that you had a very small area to work in.

6) I actually think the end result is a little...bland. more spice, or more flavours would be better I think.

7) I did hand-risen pies around a dolly previously, and I think I preferred that method over this one!