Tuesday 21 October 2014

Reci-pie Review: Indian Hot Water Crust Pie

It seems that Pierateer TJP had an unfortunate experience with a meat free 'pork pie' the other day. I have to say I quite agree with his review - if you want to eat a pork pie, eat one. If you don't, well, I might just have the perfect pie recipe for you.

The Recipe:

Weeks after the event I'm still ridiculously over excited about our brief appearance on 'Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice' (did we mention that?!) and even though the show is over for another year I've still got Bake Off on the brain. Chetna was one of my favourite bakers this year and I've been dying to try her Indian hot water crust pies, and this weekend I finally got round to it.

No weird fake 'pork' here - just potatoes, vegetables and lots of delicious spices! You can find the recipe here along with Chetna's chicken pie: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/indian_hot-water_crust_81459

Re-live the pielights of British Bake Off 2013's finale with their Picnic Pie Challenge! See all the pies and our Pierate analysis in our article "Great British Bake Off - The Final: Pie Review Tweets"

Or see how we got on baking a Paul and Mary reci-pie!

Winner Frances Quinn's Picnic Pie - Screenshot from BBC

The Seven Cs:

This pastry turns a lovely golden brown - just make sure your egg wash is even (unlike mine!)

There's not a lot of liquid in this pie, and the recipe gives you the quantity of potatoes by number rather than weight, so you're probably best keeping an eye on the filling as you make it and adjusting how much potato and tomato you put in. I used quite large potatoes and the filling was a tiny bit dry, so I probably should have added an extra tomato. That being said, the consistency wasn't unpleasant at all, and I always think that hot water crust pies need to have a fairly solid filling, so keep an eye on how much potato you use and I think this will come out perfectly.

This pie is lovely and big with plenty of filling, and no air gaps because you fit the lid tightly on top of the filling. A very high score.

Nothing chewy here, but there were some lovely textures. Fluffy potatoes, nice soft onions, a bit of bite from the lentils and some liquid from the tomatoes. Yum.

As with all pies, the cheapness of this recipe will vary according to the contents of your cupboard. If you have to buy all the spices it might set you back a bit, but I only had to buy the curry leaves and a few other ingredients, which meant it was very cheap indeed. Plus the pie is massive - we're going to get at least three dinners out of it and it doesn't need any accompaniments (except maybe some Indian pickles or chutneys).

I wasn't sure how well potatoes would work as the main component of a pie, but I needn't have worried. This is an unusual filling with lots of delicious flavours, and is just spicy enough to have a bit of a kick. This is definitely a good choice if you're baking something special for vegetarian friends, or if you fancy something a bit different from the usual pork or Scotch hot water crust pies. Top marks.

One of the things I love about hot water crust pies is how robust they are, and this pie is no different. It's solid, slices well, and it looks and smells amazing. I couldn't wait to dive into this one and I'm looking forward to my second helping!

The Ship's Cook

P.S. Since writing this review I've had a chance to eat some of the leftover pie. It's even better after it's had a day to sit and soak up all the lovely flavours!

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