Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Pie Day

Like most Kiwi children of my age I grew up with a love of my mother's homemade bacon and egg pie which we would invariably take to picnics, family gatherings, Agricultural and Pastoral shows and on other journeys or outings.  Many years later and bacon and egg pie remains a firm favourite.

Although I loved my mother's pies I don't make mine quite the same as hers.   Only occasionally do I have the second layer of pastry on the top.  I prefer a light sprinkling of cheese. 

Last Thursday, knowing that Andrew was going back to working nights next week, I decided it would be a good thing to make several pies and keep some nice big portions in the freezer so he could grab a slab any time he felt like it to take to work. 

To me recipes often seem a bit redundant, especially when it comes to making pies of this kind as really it's only layering and pies seem quite forgiving.   I work to a few rules though - don't make it  too thick unless you intend to cook it quite a bit longer than the standard 30 minutes or so at 200C in the oven.  I also pre-cook and first cool some of the ingredients, for example I generally pre-cook and caramelise onions and garlic in preference to putting them in raw.   Once you have the ingredients together large pies are really simple to assemble and cook once you have greased the bottom of some pie dishes and lined them with a sheet of pastry.

We also made some small pies in the pie maker.  The pie maker is aways fun to use and experiment with a few different combinations.  They're cooked in 6 - 10 minutes so a pie maker is a really handy little machine to have around.  If you have some pastry and even leftover mince or fruit it's very easy to make a hot and tasty pie in minutes.  

These are some of the pies we made once we put down the pastry sheet. The layers are listed from bottom to top. 

Bacon And Egg Pie
Large pies
Pastry base

1. Cooled, caramelised white onion and garlic
2. Pieces of crispy, browned bacon
3. Tomato relish (dotted, too much ruins it)
4. Peas - frozen peas, thawed and drained
5. Free range eggs - broken into pastry case but kept whole
6. Mixed herbs - sprinkled
7. Salt and pepper - sprinkled to taste
8. Grated cheese - sprinkled
9. Tomato slices 

Sausage, Bacon & Apple 
Small pies
Pastry base 
1. Browned, crispy bacon
2. Sliced, cooled pork sausages which were cooked in the wok with curry powder, plum chutney, diced onion and garlic and salt and pepper.
3. Applesauce (spread over the top).
5. Pastry lid

Sausage & Roast Vegetable
Pastry base
 1. Roasted, cooled, sliced orange kumara (sweet potato), pumpkin and potato
2. Sliced, cooled pork sausages which were cooked in the wok with curry powder, plum chutney, diced onion and garlic and salt and pepper.
3.  Peas - frozen peas, thawed and drained.
4. Free range eggs (we used 10 beaten omelette style with a tbsp of fresh cream)
5. Salt and pepper.
6. Sliced mushrooms
7. Sprinkling of grated cheese 

Ham, Caramelised Red Onion & Mushroom
Large pies
Pastry base
1. Caramelised red onion and garlic.
2. Diced, browned ham steak.
3. Sprinkled mixed herbs.
4. Salt and pepper.
5. Eggs mixed omelette style with cream (we used 8 eggs to 1 tbsp of cream). 
6. Mixed vegetables - we used peas, corn and diced red capsicums. 
6. Sprinkled grated cheese.
7. Sliced mushrooms.

You can also used sliced tomatoes or sliced red onions or a combination of tomatoes, mushrooms and red onion on top.

Ham Steak, Roast Vegetable & Feta Cheese
Small pies
Pastry base
1. Sliced roast vegetables - orange kumara (sweet potato), pumpkin and potato.
2. Caramelised onion and garlic.
3. Diced, browned ham steak.
4. Plum Chutney.
5. Feta cheese.
6. Pastry lid. 

Seafood Pies
Pastry base
Caramelise onions and garlic in butter and then make a thick white sauce with flour, milk, salt and pepper and mustard. Add flaked, smoked fish, chopped mussels and prawns. If preferred you can just use fish or other seafood as desired.  Add a pastry lid or make into small savouries. 

 Fruit Pies
Pastry base and pastry lid
1. Apple - made with stewed apple and cinnamon.
2. Apple and blackboy peach - made with stewed apple and blackboy peach.
3. Three Fruits And Rum - made with mango slices,  stewed apple, blackboy peaches and rum. 

Of course it's a bit hard to resist freshly made pies with fruit from your own trees.....

 We did manage to get around 3 dozen containers of pie into the freezers.
And use several dozen of our eggs.....


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