You might recall that some weeks ago I had a rather silly notion of setting myself the challenge of baking all the recipes from this book... well it never got beyond the silly notion stage really. But flicking through the other day I thought I'd like to try making pork pies. Why? Don't even go there... I haven't a clue... I don't even eat them... but I knew wanted to make them.
Ingredients were all bought this week and I kept thinking about it, but was put off by the idea that hot water crust pastry might be tricky and the need to work quickly before it cools down and becomes brittle and crumbly. But finally last night at about 6 pm I took the plunge and decided I would get these pork pies made and in the oven before embarking on the evening meal. The filling was prepared, flours weighed, water boiled... and then the phone went. It was Anna... was I going to reading group?... Ah!... Yes... but I had totally forgotten. But no worries... I still had and hour and half to finish the pies and make a toad in the hole...
And I did manage both... but only just. Dinner was dished up for my men (I had a couple of Ryvita!), just as the pies came out of the oven and Anna turned up at the door!
So given that I was running around like a headless chicken, muttering rude words and leaving chaos in my wake, it was probably not the best conditions for my first ever attempt at hot water crust pastry but it wasn't quite as tricky as I imagined. It felt rather like the home made play dough I used to make when the boys were little... we all loved to handle that while it was still silky soft and warm!
However, there was no way of getting the stock flavoured gelatine down that little hole. I did try and it went everywhere... so in the end I didn't bother. And as Joe said jelly is his least favourite bit in a pork pie, I decided it would be fine without. They certainly look and smell like pork pies... But I'm still waiting for the verdict!*
I'm still waiting for the latest weather update too*. It was -7.5 deg C here this morning with a forecast of more snow coming up from the west tomorrow. I'm meant to be driving West to Cornwall with my Mum in the morning so I'm rather hoping that the forecast is wrong.
This cold spell might look very pretty but it's mighty inconvenient!
* Verdict... pies apparently "awesome" and weather "appalling" so we're not risking a drive to the West Country. Another weekend by the fire knitting I think!