Smaller versions of these rich raised pies are ubiquitous to traditional Scottish pubs and chippies. They also are common in the north of England, or at least used to be widespread around Manchester years ago. These pies are bigger out of practicality: These are the smallest spring form pans that the Editor has found in which to bake them. With the spring form, you need not worry, at least not as much, about the crest falling apart when you extricate the pies from the pan. Like other raised pies, these nestle in hot water pastry. Unlike most raised pies, these are served hot, which further reduces your margin for error crustwise. They are perfect with baked beans and cider after a wintry day.
You will need:
- Four 4½ -inch diameter spring form pans about 1½-inch high (or something similar)
For the filling:
- 1½ lb ground lamb
- About 1/3 cup minced shallots
- About 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- About 1 teaspoon salt
- A generous amount of pepper
- At least 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- About ½ - 1 teaspoon mushroom ketchup (optional or increase the Worcestershire)
For the pastry:
- 1lb flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon confectioners sugar
- 6 oz lard
- ½ cup water
Preheat the oven to 400°
- Mix together the ingredients for the filling and let it stand white you prepare the pastry.
- Mix together the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
- Bring the lard and water to a boil, melt the lard and pour the hot liquid into the flour.
- Quickly stir the dough until you have a uniform consistency.
- Working quickly once the dough has cooled enough not to burn your hands, roll the dough into a ball, quarter it, roll each quarter into a ball and quarter them.
- Line each spring mold with one of the large portions, pushing the dough down onto the bottom of the pan and then drawing it up the side to rise something like half an inch above the rim of the pan.
- Spoon a quarter of the filling into each pan, leaving about half an inch of room between the top of the filling and the top of the dough.
- Pat out each of the small portions of dough to make lids that cover the filling and fit just inside the pan.
- Fold the upper edge of the dough lining the pans inside the rim of each pan and over the pastry lids. Press the lining down lightly to seal it and cut a ¾ inch diameter hole in the center of each lid.
- Bake the pies until the pastry is golden, usually four about an hour.
- Serve the pies hot from the oven, carefully popping the spring of each pan to release the pies.
- With these hot pies the seam of pastry at the rim of the pan will open unless you fold the walls inside and over the lid as indicated in steps 9 and 10.
- It is nice if not essential to serve the pies with gravy if you have it. In a pinch you could deglaze the skillet in which you cooked the filling by the addition of a splash of whiskey and sprinkle of flour followed by some lamb or beef stock. Then toss a pinch of dried thyme into the pan, bring it to a boil and simmer the gravy while the pies bake.
- If you are really tapped out, resort to Bisto laced with a little whiskey or port.
- One half of one of these pies is enough for a lighter serving, especially if you have the gravy, plenty of baked beans and a hearty vegetable.
- Onions are more traditional then shallots and the addition of mushrooms is not traditional at all. If you omit the mushrooms, add a little more stock or water to keep the filling moist.