Week 8 of the Great British Bake Off was Tudor week. I’m fascinated by old recipes and I was very excited about it. The signature was a pie, the technical was jumbles, very interesting looking biscuits and the showstopper was a marzipan centerpiece. It wasn’t hard to pick the Tudor pie, as it was made with hot-water pastry and it was the first time I’ve tried to make it. I have to say the hot-water pastry is fab, I will make it again and again, I like that is not as fatty as regular pastry and it’s a real pleasure to work with; the texture is lovely.
I wanted to make it in fleur de lis shape, but I didn’t have the materials to make the moulds. What I had was too soft for a mould, but I could make a stencil to cut a fleur de lis and use it as decor on top of my Tudor pie.
As a vegetarian, Tudor pie might sound hard to make, but I think I did a traditional pie, that might have been on the tables of poorer people. I wasn’t sure if it was something they would eat during lent. After looking online a saw that they didn’t eat butter.
As I didn’t have a recipe, I’ve did a little bit of research and decided which vegetables and spices I’m going to use. I went for onions, spinach and mushrooms in the pie and heritage carrots as a side. As for spices, I picked nutmeg, mace, parsley and thyme.
I served the pie with carrots side dish and cider, of course. We had a genuine Tudor meal.
Ingredients for the pie:
– 330g plain white flour
– 115g butter
– 150ml water
– 500g fresh spinach
– 350g mushrooms
– 1kg onion
– 2 spoons of oil
– garlic powder
– 1 egg
Ingredients for the carrot side dish:
– 200g heritage carrots
– 1 heaped tsp of honey
Start by making the fillings. They need time to cool.
Pour boiling water over the spinach so it gets soft. Strain the spinach in a colander. Remove the excess water or it will leak through the pie. When the spinach is ready, season it with salt and garlic powder. Leave it on a side. Peel, wash and cut the onions. Put the onions in a pre-heated pan with the oil, put the lid on and leave on the hob until they are soft. Stir from time to time so they don’t catch the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and nutmeg. Finally, wash, cut and stir-fry the mushrooms. Add dried parsley, fresh thyme and salt to season. Leave the mushrooms to cool.
Add as much seasoning as you like, the flavours are strong and you don’t want to overdo it.
Make the pastry by boiling the water with the butter. When all the butter is dissolved, tip it over the flour and stir it in with a spoon. Leave the pastry for a few minutes to cool down, so it’s easier to work with it. Knead for 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven at 180C or 160C fan.
Cut the fleur de lis and leave it on a side. roll the pastry and put it in an oiled baking tin. Put the onions in the bottom layer, the mushrooms in a second layer and the spinach on top. Make a pastry lid and put it on top of the pie. Make sure it is sealed. I made a little mistake here, the lid wasn’t sealed properly. I will know next time. Add the decoration on top of the lid and brush egg yolk.
Bake for around 1 hour.
While the pie is baking in the oven, you can make the carrot side dish. I’ve used heritage carrots because I love the way they look and I was lucky to find them at our local shop, even though usually they don’t stock them.
Wash the carrots and boil them for 15-20 minutes. Take them off the heat and drain them. In a frying pan, add a couple of spoons of oil, the mace and salt and stir. When the oil is hot, tip the carrots and stir. Cook the carrots for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the honey, dried parsley and stir again, cook for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and the carrots are ready to be served.
I hope you liked my Tudor pie.
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