Fidget Pie

A slice of Fidget Pie

The Whole Pie

With Autumn fast approaching and a chill in the air I decided that it was high time I made a pie!  What with my current cider related exploits I thought it would be fun to go for a pie which incorporated this wonderful substance and I decided upon a fidget pie.  Fidget pie is a traditional Shropshire dish involving apples, cider, ham and potatoes originally served to workers in the fields.  The recipe I used was taken from the Hairy Bikers Food Tour of Britain and can be found here.  I actually missed this episode, so had not seen the dish made, but it sounded and looked lovely in the book.

The first thing for I needed to do was make up some pastry; the bikers’ recipe just says “shortcrust” with no quantities so I decided to use my usual recipe.  To make something approaching the 500g needed I crumbed 4oz of butter and 4 oz of lard into 16oz of plain flour before mixing through a tsp of salt and combining the lot with water.  The crust needed to be blind baked so I put about a 1/3rd of the pastry in the fridge to make a lid later and rolled the rest out to line the tin.  The hairy bikers recommend a deep false bottomed tin of 23cm diameter so naturally when I measured mine I only had tins of 21cm and 25cm diameter.  I plumped for the 25cm figuring I might not fit everything in the 21cm.

To blind bake the pastry I set the oven to 190C, lined the pastry with baking parchment and poured in my baking beans.  If you don’t have baking beans uncooked rice or dried pulses work fine as well, just make sure there’s enough to cover the bases fully so it doesn’t bubble up.  The case went in the oven for 15 minutes with the beans and then a further 5 minutes uncovered.

While the case was in the oven I started to prep the fillings.  First thing to do was get my potatoes cooking.  I peeled and thickly (but not terribly evenly it must be said) sliced around 450g of potatoes and plunged them into boiling water for just under 5 minutes so that they were soft but didn’t break down when handled.  These were then tossed in 2 tbsp of plain flour, 110ml of double cream and salt and pepper before they went to one side to cool a little.  Next up were the apples, 300g of bramleys; about two large ones, I was supposed to peel these as well but forgot so just sliced them up.  The final thing to prepare since my ham came ready sliced was the onion; 2 onions and a nice rough slice since this pie is fairly rustic.

With my pastry case ready it was time to layer things up.  I started with the apple, followed by potato sage and a little brown sugar and finally some ham before repeating.  Once I had used everything up the pie was pretty full despite being larger than recommended, I’m not sure it would have fit in a 23cm tin had I had one!  Finally I poured in 110ml of perry (I didn’t have any cider to hand unbelievably!  Very remiss of me), topped it with the remaining pastry and then realized much to my horrow that I had left out the onions.

Figuring it was a bit late to fix the missing onions I put the pie in the oven for an hour or so (still at 190C).  When it came out I left it to cool for a while before removing it from the tin.  It was not the prettiest pie ever but it held together!

The pie just out of the oven

Getting the Pie out of the tin

I ate this pie both hot as part of a dinner and cold as lunch and enjoyed it both ways but I think cold was better.   The pie held up really, it travelled fine as slices and even survived freezing (it was a really big pie and a lot to get through!).   It was quite sweet, but this was probably my fault for using perry instead of cider and leaving out the onions.  I don’t feel that leaving the skin of the bramleys caused any problem though and if I made it another time I would probably not peel them again since there’s a lot of goodness in the skins.  This was a lovely picnic or travelling pie!

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2 Responses to “Fidget Pie”

  1. Wendy Says:

    What a great pie!!! I think the sweetness would be a great thing, actually.

  2. xraigslist.co.uk — Strange ingredients can make sensational cakes Says:

    […] Fidget Pie « Rhi's Foodie World […]

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