I never used to make any pies. I was always a bit frightened of pastry and the – oo-er missus, soggy bottom –but having kids has made me a lot more conscious of what I put on my family’s plates. Shop bought is easy, but it’s increasingly difficult to know what’s gone into pre-packed foods – even the good stuff. These days, I’m much happier if I make it myself, if I have the time
Sweet used to be my favourite, but now savoury, pies are one of our favourites. In my book they’re the ultimate comfort food, with crispy golden pastry giving way to tasty fillings, there’s nothing not to like! And as for those soggy bottoms, well they’re easily avoided.
If you use a Judge Pie Maker, it will pretty much do everything for you; you can even use supermarket pastry without a problem – and seriously, why not save time where you can?
But cooking in the traditional way for a flan, you simply need to bake blind – pop the pastry in a hard-based tin with a sheet of greaseproof topped with baking beads for 15-20 minutes, then put in your filling and away you go, where as a lidded pie make the complete pie add some decoration, brush with egg for a golden finish and bake.
Top Tips to prevent a soggy bottom, make sure your sauce is thick sauce and you bake it a little longer than you think – perhaps even turn the temperature down a little for those extra 5 mins to prevent it getting too brown.
Whether an indulgent lemon meringue, or a hearty hodgepodge made from leftover Sunday roast – chicken, potatoes, sprouts and gravy wrapped in pastry? Heaven! – pies have become my go-to winter warmer.
Who ate all the pies? Just follow the trail of crumbs!