Our hand raised pie serves 12 and is the perfect addition to any buffet or picnic spread as it can be prepared ahead.
This pie generously serves 12 people and is best accompanied by some pickles or chutney on the side and a fresh salad if you’d like to serve it up as a meal. Alternatively, it’s ideal for picnics and buffet spreads as it can be enjoyed at room temperature. Hot water crust pastry is one of the most forgiving pastries to work with and we’re certain you’ll be impressed with the flavour and results.
For the hot water crust pastry:
- 550g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2tsp salt
- 150g lard
For the filling:
- 450g chicken breasts
- 550g diced pork shoulder
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 50g pistachios, toasted
- 1tsp finely chopped rosemary
- 1tsp salt
- 1 beaten egg to glaze
- 3 sheets leaf gelatine
- 150ml chicken stock
- 150ml strong ale
- Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan, Gas 6). Grease and line an 18cm deep, loose-bottomed tin. To make the hot water crust pastry, put the flour and salt in a bowl. Put the lard into a saucepan with 275ml water and warm until melted, then bring to the boil. Add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to make a soft dough; add a little water if it’s too dry.
- Take a third of the dough (put the rest in a bowl and cover with a cloth) and roll out to a 32cm round on a floured surface. Line the tin and sides so the pastry just overhangs the edge to make a rim. Cover with greaseproof paper and half fill with baking beans. Bake-blind for 30 minutes. Lift out the paper and beans and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Slice the chicken into strips and finely chop the pork shoulder. Mix the pork with the shallot, pistachios, rosemary, salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Arrange 1⁄3 chicken in the pastry case and top with 1⁄3 pork. Repeat layering, finishing with a layer of pork, leaving a gap around the sides.
- Roll out remaining pastry, brush the cooked pastry with beaten egg and top with pastry lid. Press down the edges and trim off excess. Make a hole in the top of the pie and brush the lid with beaten egg. Bake the pie for 30 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4) and bake for 1 hour. Remove the pie from tin and place on a baking sheet. Brush the top and sides with more egg and bake for 30 minutes more. Leave to cool.
- Soften the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes. Bring the stock to the boil in a pan. Drain gelatine leaves and dissolve in the stock. Add the ale and leave until cool.
- Slowly pour the ale mixture into the pie using a funnel until filled. Chill for several hours before serving.
Top tips for making a hand raised pie with hot water crust pastry
If you don’t like the jelly in a traditional pork pie, you can leave this step out and simply wait for the pie to cool fully before slicing. You can also use all chicken stock instead of half ale and half stock if you want to keep it booze-free.
Continue reading below for more tips on how to make the best hand raised pie.
What is the purpose of jelly in a hand raised pie?
The jelly adds extra flavour to the filling of a pie but it also helps to fill any gaps that develop as the meat filling shrinks when it is cooked. You can minimise the amount the meat filling will shrink by using the highest quality meat possible.
How to decorate a hand raised pie?
You can use any pastry offcuts you have to make shapes and patterns for the top of the pie. Secure using a little egg wash or a dab of water should also be sufficient. Traditional patterns would include leaves but you can have fun and write out a message with the offcuts. One of food writer Jessica Ransom’s favourite decorations is making little piggy noses and tails.
Why is my hot water crust pastry difficult to work with?
It’s important to shape the pastry while it is still warm and don’t let it dry out. Keep the portion of pastry you have set aside for the lid, covered with a damp cloth until you’re ready to roll it out.
If you’d like some reassurance that the filling of the pie is completely cooked through, we recommend using a meat thermometer. As long as the internal temperature is above 74C, you can be confident the filling is cooked.
Thermapen® Classic - Orange - View at Thermapen
A digital thermometer is a versatile and useful piece of kitchen equipment which will help in lots of cooking or baking recipes. It is available in a variety of colours so you can match your kitchen decor.
The super fast, three second temperature reading means you can quickly and efficiently check if your food is ready. With this thermometer, you can read temperatures from -49.9C to 299C.
For comforting dinner options try our chicken pie recipe or the Hairy Bikers steak and ale pie. You might also like our simple turkey and mushroom pie, it’s great for using up leftovers and can be made with chicken instead if you prefer.
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Rosie is an experienced food and drinks journalist who has spent over a decade writing about restaurants, cookery, and foodie products. Previously Content Editor at Goodto.com and Digital Food Editor on Woman&Home, Rosie is well used to covering everything from food news through to taste tests. Now, as well as heading up the team at SquareMeal - the UK's leading guide to restaurants and bars - she also runs a wedding floristry business in Scotland called Lavender and Rose.
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