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Top pie making tips for National Pie Week from Higgidy founder
NOW that your pancakes have digested, it’s time for National Pie Week.
We’ve got some top pie-making tips by founder and chief pie maker of Higgidy, Camilla Stephens, to celebrate.
And she knows a thing or two – the company made over seven million pies and quiches last year.
Camilla has just written her first cookbook, The Higgidy Cookbook.
1. You can’t rush good cooking, so take time and care with your recipe and enjoy the process – your pie will taste better for it! In particular, never hurry a meat filling – long, slow cooking will produce a rich dark stew with glossy gravy.
2. Don’t be afraid to be creative – if you have a favourite ingredient, or an idea for an unusual combination, then give it a go
3. Good ingredients make a good pie – we choose ingredients based on their quality and heritage. When making a meat pie, don’t mix cuts of meat as they will all cook at a different pace and end up chewy or stringy
4. Don’t worry if your pie doesn’t look perfect, a higgledy piggledy pie is all part of the charm!
5. There isn’t always time to make everything from scratch– ingredients like good quality ready roll pastry, or chicken stock cubes will taste great and save you time
6. Try experimenting with different cheeses in your pies– strong ones like Parmesan and Extra Mature Cheddar work really well. You can even add some English mustard powder for extra oomph
7. I like adding poppy seeds, sesame seeds or caraway seeds to my shortcrust pastry.
8. If you do want to make your own pastry, start with everything cold then use light fingers and a light touch to avoid overworking it, and use butter not margarine.
9. Always let your pastry ‘relax’ or rest in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
10. If you preheat the tin it is going to sit on it will help to get the heat through the bottom of the pie and avoid a soggy bottom. Try to get your oven good and hot – pastry doesn’t like moderate or cool ovens.
11. I like to use a combination of shortcrust and puff pastry in my pies. Shortcrust gives the crust a lovely crunch, and a buttery puff pastry lid makes it look really special.
12. The most important thing is not to be afraid and just have fun with it!
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