Stuffed with duck, pork, apricots and garden herbs, this is so much more than just a hot water-crust pork pie! Created for celebrations (the original recipe has three pies, stacked to create a wedding pie) this is so gorgeous, it’s worth having a party for in its own right! Luscious, unbelievably tasty on the inside with fabulous crisp pastry on the outside, this pie has totally converted a woman who simply didn’t eat pies, to one whose flicking through the Higgidy cookbook looking for the next one to do! It’s gorgeous; if you’re feeding a crowd, make this the centrepiece!
Serves 12 – 16
What you need…
1 x 20cm spring form cake tin, 10cm deep
1 teaspoon salt
750g plain flour, plus a little for dusting
1 egg, plus a further 1 for glazing
for the filling
500g pork shoulder, cut into 1cm cubes
400g sausage meat
150g streaky bacon rashers, cut into 5mm strips
1 small bunch thyme, leaves stripped
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
1 egg, beaten
50g fresh breadcrumbs
2 duck breasts, skin removed and meat cut into 5mm strips
200g semi-dried apricots
Sea salt and black pepper
What to do…
To make the pastry, pour the water into a large saucepan, add the lard and salt and slowly bring to a gentle simmer over a moderate heat. Don’t allow it to boil.
Once the lard has melted, remove from the heat and tip in all the flour. Using an electric handheld whisk, beat the mixture to form a glossy paste. Add the egg and whisk until evenly incorporated. Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a couple of minutes until smooth.
Cut away one third of the dough and lightly roll it into a circle, slightly larger than the cake tin – this will be your lid – cover with cling film and pop into the fridge whilst you do the rest of the pie.
Shape the remaining dough into a rough circle and place in the middle of your tin. Gently work it over the base and up the sides of the tin with your fingers until just peeping over the top. Pop it in the fridge for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 190˚c / 375˚f / gas 5.
Put the pork, sausage meat, bacon, thyme, nutmeg, redcurrant jelly, beaten egg and 1 teaspoon salt into a food processor and whizz until evenly combined.
Sprinkle the breadcrumbs into the bottom of pastry case and then put half of the pork mixture on top. Next, add a layer of duck. Season and then add a layer of apricots. Finally, top with the remaining pork mixture.
Brush the top edges of the pie case with beaten egg and place the pastry lid on top. Crimp the edges to seal. Make a 1cm hole in the centre of the pie to allow the steam to escape and decorate your pie, if you fancy.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 160˚c / 310°f/ gas 3 and bake for a further 1½ hours or until the pastry has turned a deep golden brown. Take the pie out and allow it to cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the tin.
It’s so impressive to serve and that first slice draws ‘oooooohs and aaaaahs’ of delight. Then they taste it – yum!
This fabulous celebration of a pie can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days so it can be made in advance of any entertaining.
Camilla Stephens, Higgidy
I was daunted when I first looked at recipe but in fact, this kind of pastry is really easy to make and the filling is just a case of a bit of prep and then assembly. And it’s soooooo worth it!!!!