It's Pie Time!

So this week is a celebration of all things Pie – it’s British Pie Week. Whether you like yours sweet or savoury you really can’t go far wrong with a hot, tasty pie. To most of us they’re just one of our weekly (or daily if you really love them) meals but how many of you know just how ancient the art of pie making is?!

Ancient Greeks are believed to have developed the first pie pastry (when fat is added to a flour and water paste it becomes a ‘pastry’). The 5th century (BC) playwright, Aristophanes (no, I’ve no idea either) mentions pastries filled with fruit. The Ancient Greeks even had specific pastry chefs (not sure what they were called in Ancient Greece – sorry) whom were completely distinct from their bakers. The Romans made a plain pastry of flour, oil and water to cover meats and poultry which were then baked. The idea behind the pie crust was simply to keep the juices in and to provide a handy, relatively hygienic, way of carrying the pie – you weren’t supposed to eat the crust.

With the development of the Roman empire and its new, improved road transport system, pies were introduced to Europe. They remained a staple of travelling and working folk throughout Europe for centuries with regionally grown and seasonally available fillings used.

Nowadays we are able to make all manner of pies, pastries, cheesecake crusts and the like using many different ingredients and methods but the pie remains a much loved part of British culinary history and long may that continue!

In honour of all things Pie have a go at making one of our favourite winter/spring pies. Its equally good with seasonal veg and gravy or, if you really don’t feel like making an extra effort and need to give yourself a carb boost, chips and gravy!

Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil - Pie Recipe

Chicken, Bacon and Butternut Squash Pie 

A delicious combination of chicken and vegetables under a crisp pastry topper. 

Ingredients

One quantity of our Dairy Free Pastry 

for the filling

2 tbsp Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

200g free range chicken breast, diced

3 rashers British smoked bacon, cut into strips

250g butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 2cm cubes

100g (1 medium leek) chopped

20g chestnut mushrooms, quartered

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

3 tbsp plain flour

100ml dry white wine

300ml good chicken stock

1 free range egg, beaten

Method

Pre heat your oven to 200C / Fan 180C / Gas Mark 6

Make the pastry according to our dairy free pastry recipe and set aside until needed.

Heat the oil in a pan on a high heat and fry the onion, chicken and bacon until the bacon starts to brown, stirring continuously. Add the butternut squash and keep stirring for 3-4 minutes. Then add the leek, mushrooms and garlic. Stir and turn the mixture over a high heat for another couple of minutes then add the wine. Allow to reduce over a high heat for 5 minutes then sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Stir the flour through then slowly add the stock, stirring thoroughly until the sauce starts to form. Turn the heat down to low and cook gently while you roll out the pastry.

Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to a size and shape slightly larger than the pie dish.

Put the chicken mixture into the pie dish, brush the beaten egg around the edges of the dish and then cover with your pastry topper. Trim and pinch the pastry edges to hold the pastry in place and make some small holes in the top to release the steam when cooking. Use any trimmings for decorating the top of the pie crust.

Finally brush the pastry with the remaining beaten egg and place in the oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden.

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