Thursday, 17 January 2013

Pies and Panic

 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!

24 comments:

Ali said...

Bravo you! They look great. Would a little tiny funnel help with the stock gelatine? Mt Dad was talking about making his own pork pies recently - will have to get him inspired by your post.

Joanna said...

I made some pork pies too and they taste wonderful. The gelatine does help to moisten things but it doesn't need much and yes a funnel does help to get them in, as well as tilting the pie in different directions.

Cold spell! Teehee from snowy Latvia

Thimbleanna said...

Oooh, those look yummy! I laughed at your comment about not asking why you would want to make them when you don't eat them -- I see recipes all the time that I would like to try, for some technical reason or another, but I really don't care for the end product. Kudos to you for being adventurous!

Jee said...

Those pies are on my 'things to try' list too. Yours look v yummy. No snow here as yet but forecast for tonight.

Miriam Weaver said...

I love that book Gina, I've made the pasty's they are lovely. Maybe I'll give the pork pies a go. I've tried the sourdough and it was a dissssaster, but I wont give up going to try again!

annjennyg said...

Wow! You are certainly busy! Pies look lovely. I've never tried hot water pastry. Maybe I should give it a go.

Frances said...

Gina, here's a confession. I don't think that I have ever really tasted a pork pie, although I have read about them in many books since childhood. Also know about pork pie hats, but have never worn one.

Your little pies do look scrumptious! The frosty photo is lovely, but how glad you must be not to have had to drive in such dramatic weather.

xo

Katie said...

Those look amazing! My husband would love those. Have fun with your baking challenge! I'll have to check in.

Heather said...

How could home-made pork pies not be delicious? I even like the shop ones. You are right about hotwater crust pastry - even I can make it.
So glad you decided not to drive to Cornwall - much safer and warmer at home knitting! And eating pork pies!!

Twiggy said...

Ooo they look lovely, I've just blogged about the one my BIL made us for Christmas, homemade pork pies are so tasty !!
Keep warm

Twiggy x

Toffeeapple said...

For me, the savoury jelly is the best part.

We are being snowed on right now in North Bucks, so you made the best decision about staying home. Keep warm!

greenrabbitdesigns said...

The pastry looks great Gina although I would need something veggie in the middle!
Looks like we're getting the snow and it's going to hit us first. :( I like it when the weather comes from the east, it usually has run out of steam by the time it reaches us!!
V xxx

Printed Material said...

Gina, having just watched the news I think staying at home is the only option! Keep warm and enjoy being at home for the weekend.

julie said...

Gina, they are some mighty impressive looking pies. I didn't get to see much of the great British Bake Off but the only episode that I watched in full had pork pie making as the technical challenge. It looked rather too challenging for my liking and knowing what is involved makes your pies even more remarkable. So glad to hear that you're not venturing off for a long drive into the face of all that approaching snow - staying home by the fire sounds much safer!

sharon young said...

The pies look absolutely scrumy, I made one once to show off to my new husband back in 1972, I think it was surprisingly OK, memory is a bit foggy.

Julie said...

Impressive pies and I think discretion is definitely the better part of valour in the face of the appalling weather conditions. Enjoy a warm knitty weekend!

Angela said...

The pies look lovely but way beyond my capabilities. Sounds like your going to have the perfect weekend I'm very envious.

BumbleVee said...

Well, they definitely look "awesome" good for you!

Robin Mac said...

You are so adventurous with your cooking, good for you. Staying at home sounds like a good idea - appalling conditions over here in places too, but fires not snow! Cheers

menopausalmusing said...

Hot water crust pastry is on my mental list of things I want to try doing this year..... well done you! Love that little pixie hat in previous post, I echo everyone else when I say that it is so cute.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

I always liked the jelly best, but I haven't eaten a pork pie in a very long time ... essentially I'm a veggie! Hot water crust pastry makes excellent veggie pies too though ... should the urge strike you again ;)

dottycookie said...

Well done , Mrs Piewoman - most impressive! I'm sorry you couldn't go west today but very glad you decided not to risk it - it looks awful!

BumbleVee said...

had to come back to say.....this made me want to watch Julie and Julia all over again.... aside from the cooking angle..it is a love story.... have you seen it?

Jill said...

Two Ryvita after all that cooking! I hope it was because you just weren't hungry.
The pork pies look lovely. I seem to remember making hot water pastry once ... or was it just a dream?