This turkey and cranberry pie is one of our favourite ways to use up leftover turkey, ham and cranberries after Christmas.
For ease, you can use a shop-bought shortcrust pastry for this pie. Roll it quite thickly, about the depth of two £1 coins. Since the pastry is only used around the edges of the pie and the topping is created with cranberries, shortcrust is sufficiently crisp and crumbly to made a delicious pie. However, if you would like a more traditional effect, try making a hot water crust pastry - see tip below. It's easy to do and less temperamental than most pastries as you don't need a cold room for best results. This pie is perfect for buffet lunches between Christmas and New Year.
- 1 packet shortcrust pastry, or hot water crust pastry (see tip)
- 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
- 25g butter
- 25g plain (all purpose) flour
- 300ml whole milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cloves
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
- 50ml double cream
- 3tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 115g prepared cranberries, thawed if frozen
- 50g caster (superfine) sugar
- 115g cooked turkey meat, finely chopped or minced
- 115g cooked gammon, finely chopped or minced
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Grease and line a 20cm (8inch) diameter, 4cm (1¾inch) deep loose bottomed cake tin. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry quite thickly to fit the tin and transfer the pastry inside. Trim, and reserve any off-cuts.
- Line the inside of the pastry case with baking parchment and fill to three quarters with ceramic baking beans (see tip). Place the tin on a baking tray and blind bake for 20 mins.
- Remove the beans and paper and remove the pastry from the tin. Put on a baking tray, prick the base with a fork and brush inside and out with egg. Bake for a further 20 mins until richly golden. Cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, roll out the trimmings thinly and cut out a 11cm star shape. Place on a lightly greased baking tray, prick lightly with a fork and brush with beaten egg. Bake for 12–15 mins until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- For the filling, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Add the bay leaf, cloves and nutmeg. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, until boiling, then simmer for 2 mins. Remove from the heat, stir in the cream, 2 tbsp parsley and seasoning. Set aside to cool. Discard the bay leaf and cloves.
- Put the cranberries in a small saucepan and add 2 tbsp water. Heat gently until steaming then simmer for about 3 mins until the berries just begin to soften. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Leave to cool.
- To assemble the pie, put the pastry case on a serving plate. Put the turkey and ham in a bowl. Mix in the sauce and season to taste. Spoon into the pastry case and top with the cranberry mixture. Add the pasty star on top, pressing down a little so the cranberries sit around it. Either serve immediately at room temperature or chill for an hour before serving. Sprinkle with remaining parsley to garnish.
Top tips for making turkey and cranberry pie
To make a hot water crust pastry, melt 110g lard in a saucepan with 280ml water. Sieve 500g plain flour into a mixing bowl. Mix in 2 tsp salt. Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour in the lard mixture, a little at a time, mixing thoroughly using a wooden spoon until you have a dough. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rest for 20 minutes before using.
Blind baking beans are small ceramic balls, about the size of frozen peas, which you put into pastry for blind baking. If you don't have any, you can use a quantity of raw dried pulses (lentils for instance) or raw rice. Reserve the pulses or rice afterward - can not cook them after blind baking, but you can reuse them for the same purpose indefinitely.
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Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.
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