my favorite two hours of television this winter start at 8 pm on sunday nights. downton, of course, and preceding it, the great british bake off. british cooking shows are miles better than american ones. they are quite serious about their products, but don’t take themselves seriously at all. also, i learn a lot.
several weeks ago in the pie episode, they made hot-water crust pastry. as we’ve discussed here before, regular pie crust is quite finicky and delicate. but hot-water crust pastry, they informed me, is tough and resilient and hard to screw up. it’s also perfect for classic british meat pies like we saw all over london.
of course i had to try this right away.
helpfully, the bbc provides recipes from the show. i used chetna’s indian-inspired (and vegetarian!) version.
first you make the filling with potatoes and lentils and lots of spices
and then you make the crust. it really was easy – rub butter into flour and then add boiling water with salt and crisco melted into it.
it comes together as a dough that you roll out and use to line a spring-form pan (what americans most commonly think of as a cheesecake pan).
pack your filling in, add a top, brush with egg wash
and bake for an hour.
it will get golden brown and smell delicious!
once you un-tin it, you realize how impressive it looks.
just like harrods!! and very tasty, too.
i served it with a dollop cilantro-herb yogurt.
even the meat-eater liked it, but wondered if one could make a pie that was half-meat (on one side) and half veg (on the other)? my next challenge!