Italian Pie

Posted in - Mrs C.S. Peel's Recipes & Recipes on January 8th 2014 1 Comments

Really, who needs more pie in January when we are supposed to be making up for all those mince pies?  The problem I have is that there may just be a feature on me and Granny Dot coming up this year in one of our mainstream national newspapers and although it may become obvious, I don’t dare say which in case it does not happen!  So I must continue to create and within the books of Granny Dot I have not come across ceviche of salmon and a salad with a light dressing, but salad whose dressing contains cream, and fish which is inevitably accompanied by a butter based sauce!  So sorry waistline, here we are, another calorific addition.  If you have children, this is actually really good at this time of year because after a cold mucking out session of a friend’s horses in the rain after school mine are happily digging in as I write this.


In the words of Granny Dot:

‘Ingredients – 1/2 lb of any kind of cooked meat; 4 ozs. of macaroni; 1 teaspoonful of chopped parsley; 1/2 pint of white sauce (see page 64); salt; pepper; short-crust pastry. (see page 150).
Method. – Free the meat from skin and gristle, and cut it into dice.  Boil the macaroni and mix it with the white sauce, meat, parsley, and seasoning.  Grease and line a plain round cake tin with short-crust pastry, fill with the meat and macaroni mixture, cover with a round of pastry, seal the edges well.  Bake in a moderate oven for 1 hour.  Macaroni and cheese sauce baked thus in pastry is delicious.
To dish.- Turn out carefully on to a very hot dish.
Reasons for failure. – If cooked too fast the pastry will become too brown. If the oven is not hot enough when the pastry goes in it will become hard and not rise well.’
(The Daily Mail Cookery Book, 1922, Mrs C.S. Peel)

Serves 6-8

1/2 lb/226g of diced ham
4 ozs./113g macaroni
1/2 pint/284mls of white sauce
2 ozs./56g strong cheddar, grated
two handfuls of frozen peas

‘Ingredients –  1/2 lb flour; 3 oz. of fat (dripping, lard or clarified fat); 1/2 teaspoonful of baking powder; cold water to mix; pinch of salt.
Method.- Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder into a basin, rub in the fat and mix all to a stiff dough with the water. Flour a board and rolling pin.  Roll out the pastry to the required thickness and use for meat pies, tarts, etc.
A richer pastry is made by using 1/lb of margaine or butter to 1/2 lb. flour, and mixing with sour milk, or milk and water.
Reasons for failure.- If mixed too wet the pastry will not roll properly; and becomes sodden and heavy….’

1/2 lb/226g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 oz./84g fat (I used dripping but half dripping or lard and half butter is best)
pinch of salt

1. Mix the dry ingredients together with your fingers, lightly lifting the mixture as you crumble it so that it is airy.
2. Mix as small an amount of cold water as possible into the mixture until the pastry comes together (too much water = tough chewy pastry)
3.  Wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge while you make the filling.

‘White Sauce
Ingredients. – 1 oz. of margarine; 1 oz. of flour; 1/2 pint of milk and water; salt.
Method. – Melt the margarine in a pan, add the flour, blend well and cook 2 or 3 minutes, without browning, stirring all the time. remove the pan from the fire and gradually stir in the milk and water; return tot he fire and stir until the mixture boils; simmer 5 minutes, then season. …’

1 oz./28g butter
1 oz./28g flour
1/2 pint whole milk
2 oz./56g grated cheddar cheese

1.  Melt the butter and add the flour, stirring all the time.
2.  Gradually add the milk off the heat and when half has been added and is smooth (use a whisk then more of a sure thing it is smooth).  Return to the heat and add the remaining milk gradually. Turn the heat up and stir until it thickens a little then add the cheese. Set aside.

Putting the pie together…

1.  Roll out the pastry and line a pie dish measuring about 20cm x 18cm (set aside enough for the lid)
2. Line the tin and fill it with all of the dry ingredients.
3.  Pour the cheese sauce on top.
4.  Carefully place the pastry lid on top and make a hole using a very sharp knife in the centre for the air to escape.  Use a fork to seal the edges.
5.  Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg.
6. Cook at 200 degrees Celcius for about twenty minutes or until pale brown on top.
7.  Serve at whichever temperature you prefer – it is very good whatever the weather.


As of now (1) people have had something to say...

  • Louise McKean - Reply

    January 9, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Wow! This sounds really good for our climate in North America right now….-18F in Murray Bay last week and not much warmer here in NH tonight. Love these recipes.

    Sent from my iPad


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