Scotch Pies

I love scotch pies.  If I could eat nothing but scotch pies, I would.  I’ve always wanted to try and make my own scotch pies but have been daunted at the thought.

After yet another episode of Great British Bake Off (the pies episode) I decided to try it.  I ended up using ‘a little bit of this and a little bit of that’ approach of various recipes to create my pies.

Now that i’ve had a go at it, things I would change:  I would add panko breadcrumbs to the meat to give it a better texture.  I would use lamb/pork or just pork for taste. I would roll out the dough to a much thinner consistency for the pie casings/lids

As Mary would say:

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They were delicious, but I just feel like these slight amendments may help the next time…

Ingredients for the filling:
1/2 lb minced lamb
1/2 lb minced beef
1 shallot, diced
2 tsp all spice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup of gravy

Ingredients for the hot water pastry:
4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup of lard
3/4 cup of water
Pinch of salt
Milk for glazing

Instructions:

  • Run minced lamb, beef, shallot and spices through grinder.  Put in fridge to keep cool while making the pastry.
  • Make gravy with your favourite mix.  Set aside to cool
  • Preheat oven to 275F.  Make the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a warm bowl (place bowl in oven as it preheats). Make a well in the centre of the flour.
  • Melt the lard in the water and, when it is JUST bubbling, remove from heat and add to the flour and mix thoroughly.
  • Take a small amount of dough and form into a ball (about the size of a baseball) and keep the rest warm while making each pie.
  • Roll out ball of dough so that it is thin (approx. 2 cm thick) and lay over your form to hold casing. Make sure there are no cracks in the pastry. As the pastry cools, remove the form and continue until you have 6 pies with enough leftover dough to make the lids.
  • Fill the cases with the meat and add a dollop of gravy  on top to keep the meat moist while it bakes.
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  • Roll the remaining pastry and use the form to cut the lids.
  • Wet the edges of the lids, place over the meat and press down lightly over the filling. Pinch the edges and trim. Cut a small hole or vent in the centre of the lid (to allow the steam to escape).
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  • Glaze with milk and bake for 50 minutes at 275F.

    Serve with gravy, or brown sauce, or whatever you want…    Store in air-tight container in fridge for up to 2 days, or freeze for future deliciousness.  When re-heating, remember to cook thoroughly.

Here are the recipes that I used for inspiration for my scotch pies:
BBC, Canadian LivingRampant Scotland,

 

Chocolate Eclairs

On your marks, get set…. BAKE! 

Recently, I’ve found my new favourite show and it’s called the Great British Bake Off.

Yes, I know it’s been around for years, but I’ve only just discovered it for the gem it is.

While watching the show I took mental notes of recipes I’d like to try.

Today, I decided to give the dreaded choux pastry a try.  I say dreaded because over and over again, I’ve seen bakers try this recipe and fail miserably.

As Paul would say: tumblr_nb0xibItKH1qf5tr5o1_500

Ingredients:

For the choux pastry
1/3 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of water
pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, sliced
2 eggs, beaten

For the filling
1 cup whipping cream
4 tsp icing sugar
1 vanilla bean, shaved

For the icing
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup 2% milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.

     

  2. Put 1/2 cup water into a medium-sized pan with the salt and butter and heat gently until the butter has completely melted – don’t let the water boil and begin to evaporate. Quickly bring the mixture to the boil and tip in all the flour in one go. Remove the pan from the heat and beat furiously with a wooden spoon – don’t worry, the mixture will look messy at first but will soon come together to make a smooth heavy dough.

  3. Put the pan back on a low heat and beat the dough for about a minute to slightly cook the dough – it should come away from the sides of the pan to make a smooth, glossy ball. Tip the dough into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool until tepid.

  4. Beat the eggs in a bowl until combined, then gradually beat them into the dough with an electric whisk or mixer, or a wooden spoon, beating well after each addition. (You may not need all the egg.) The dough should be very shiny and paste-like, and fall from a spoon when lightly shaken.

  5. Spoon the pastry into a piping bag fitted with plain nozzle and pipe onto your baking tray

  6. Sprinkle the tray, not the pastry, with a few drops of water, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then, without opening the door, reduce the oven temperature to 325F and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.

  7. Remove the tray from the oven and carefully make a small hole in the side of each éclair to allow steam to escape. Return to the oven and bake for a further five minutes, or until the pastry is completely crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
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  8. For the filling, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla bean in a bowl until just stiff. TIP! I freeze my bowl before using it to whip cream.

     

  9. Once the éclairs have cooled, cut down the length of one side of each éclair and pipe in the whipped cream.
  10. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water) and allow it to cool slightly. Dip the tops of the éclairs in the chocolate and let the chocolate set before serving
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And VOILA!  They may not be the prettiest thing I’ve made, but DAMN these are good.  I’m pretty sure even Mary Berry would be proud.

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Original recipe from BBC here