Everything tastes better if it’s named after a county, so I named this one after mine.
The special “Pi Day” pie.
The recipe makes enough to fill a 12-inch pie dish, and serve 6-7 people. Start cooking early in the afternoon as the filling and the pastry need to cool before the final assembly!
For the filling:
- 4 chicken breasts, chopped into half-inch pieces
- 6 rashers of unsmoked bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 large or 2 small leeks, sliced
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 8-10 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- half pint of double cream
- pinch of parsley
- pinch of thyme
For the pastry:
- 1lb plain white flour
- 8oz butter
- cold water
- 1 egg, beaten
First make the filling:
- Add some oil and a knob of butter to a frying pan, and fry the leeks over a medium heat until soft and starting to brown. Once done, set them aside in a bowl.
- Fry the onion and garlic until soft and starting to brown, then set aside with the leeks.
- Fry the bacon until cooked, then set aside with the vegetables. Use a slotted spoon to ensure the bacon fat stays in the frying pan.
- Fry the chicken until just cooked, then set aside with a slotted spoon again, leaving some juices behind.
- Fry the mushrooms in the remaining juices on a high heat, until they are cooked and reduced in size.
- Reduce the heat to medium again, and add all the set-aside ingredients back to the frying pan. Cook until all liquid has disappeared.
- Pour the cream into the pan, and mix everything together. Add the herbs and season to taste (using salt sparingly if at all.)
- Continue frying until the cream has thickened.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and leave until cooled.
Then make the shortcrust pastry:
- Place the flour into a large mixing bowl.
- Cut the butter into cubes, and add them to the bowl.
- Rub the mixture between your fingers until it has all combined into a crumbly mixture — this will take a long time!
- Add a few tablespoons of cold water in order to bring the mixture together.
- Once the dough is in one big ball, wrap it in cling film and refridgerate until time to make the pie (roughly an hour before serving).
To make the pie:
- Heat the oven to 180 C.
- Remove the chilled pastry and filling from the fridge.
- Flour up a work surface and a rolling pin.
- Grease the pie dish.
- Take slightly more than half the pastry, and work it with your hands for a few minutes until soft.
- Roll the pastry into a circle big enough to cover the base and sides of the dish, plus a bit extra.
- Lay the pastry in the dish, pushing up against the sides, then cut off the overhanging pastry.
- Fill the dish with the filling, pushing it to the edges and pushing it down so that there are as few gaps as possible.
- Work and roll out the remaining pastry into a circle slightly bigger than the dish.
- Brush the edges of the pastry in the dish with the beaten egg.
- Lay the circle of pastry on top of the pie, pushing down on the filling and the edges of the dish. Cut off the overhanging pastry and crimp the edges.
- Cut small holes in the top of the pie with a knife to allow air to escape during cooking.
- Brush the top of the pie all over with the beaten egg.
- If desired, use leftover pastry to make decorations for the pie, then cover those with beaten egg as well.
- Place the pie in the preheated oven, and bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Serve with vegetables and gravy!