Old English Posh Picnic Raised Chicken and Ham Pie

"I will not pretend that this pie is easy or quick to make, however, if you want to impress your friends or family with a sensational "posh" English raised pie then this is the recipe for you! Tender chunks of chicken with pork sausage meat and ham are encased in crisp hot water crust pastry, liberally seasoned with spices and herbs; this pie makes a simply stunning centrepiece for any Glyndebourne style picnic event or for a special celebratory cold buffet, such as weddings, christenings or anniversaries. The pastry used in this pie recipe is hot water crust pastry, which is a direct descendant of "coffer" paste that was used to encase and protect meat whilst it cooked centuries ago – the pies then being called “coffyns”! The pastry is shaped by hand whilst it is still warm, and is excellent for using with intricate pie moulds - the technique is known as "hand raised" and pies made this way are called "raised pies". The pastry is easy to make, but MUST be kept warm whilst you are using it - I keep mine warm over a pan of simmering water. This pastry is excellent for all types of traditional raised pies, such as Game pies, Pork pies and Veal and Ham pies. (Preparation time includes the one day needed for the pie to cool down and then for jellied stock to be added, and then allowing for the jellied stock to set.)"
 
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photo by sparkle8426 photo by sparkle8426
photo by sparkle8426
photo by sparkle8426 photo by sparkle8426
photo by sparkle8426 photo by sparkle8426
photo by sparkle8426 photo by sparkle8426
photo by sparkle8426 photo by sparkle8426
Ready In:
26hrs 30mins
Ingredients:
21
Yields:
1 Hand Raised Chicken and Ham Pie
Serves:
8-10
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ingredients

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directions

  • HOT WATER CRUST PASTRY.
  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, making a well in the centre.
  • Place the water, butter and lard into a saucepan, when the butter and lard has melted bring it all to the boil. Take off the heat.
  • Pour the mixture into the centre of the flour. Working very quickly, mix with a wooden spoon. Then knead with hands to produce a smooth and elastic dough. Allow to rest in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • (This pastry must be used whilst still warm, otherwise it will become brittle and hard to mould. I keep mine in a small pan over gently simmering water.).
  • Proceed with your recipe, as below.
  • PIE FILLING.
  • Place all the pie-filling ingredients in to a large mixing bowl, including the herbs, spices and seasonings. Mix thoroughly with your hands - it's messy, but it's the best way to get everything well amalgamated!
  • JELLIED STOCK.
  • Heat the chicken or vegetable stock. Mix the gelatine with a little cold water until it is spongy and smooth, gradually add the hot stock to the gelatine and mix thoroughly. Set aside until it is needed.
  • MAKING THE PIE.
  • Grease an 8" round loose-bottom pie/cake tin or a special decorative pie mould - grease it liberally with melted butter or lard.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 3.
  • Take two-thirds of the warm pastry, form into a large, flat disc and put in the bottom of the tin or pie mould. Gently press and mould until the pastry covers the base and sides of the tin, keeping it as even as possible.
  • Fill the pastry pie case with the pie filling mixture - packing it down well.
  • Moisten the top edges of the pastry with the beaten egg. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut a circle or oblong to fit the top of the tin. Place over the filling and seal the edges, without pressing the pastry down too heavily. Trim the edges. Make a hole in the top centre of the pie and use any pastry trimmings to make pastry leaves and decorative trimmings. Press these onto the top of the pie and glaze the whole thing with beaten egg.
  • Now lay a sheet of foil over the top and bake for 2 hours, then remove from the oven. Leave the pie for 30-45 minutes to firm up, then turn up the oven temperature to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5. Carefully remove the pie from the tin and brush the pastry all over with the remaining beaten egg. If the sides show any sign of bulging, encircle the pie with a band of silicone paper (parchment) and tie with string.
  • Return the pie to the oven and as the pastry continues baking it will firm up (if you used the paper, you will gradually be able to peel it away, but add a little more egg to the unglazed parts) and all the pastry will brown – it will take approximately 30 minutes. As the top will brown before the sides, it will need to be protected with foil while the sides finish browning.
  • When the pie is a glowing golden colour, remove from the oven, leave to cool, then cover and chill.
  • Meanwhile have the jellied stock warmed slightly (by sitting it in a bowl of hot water), then cool it to the syrupy stage and pour it into the pie very gradually through a funnel, in to the centre steam hole (as much as it will take). Chill again to give the jelly a chance to set and then – believe it or not – it's ready to serve!
  • Serve with assorted fresh salads, pickles, mustard, chutney and relishes. Will pie keep for up to 5 days in a cool place or the fridge.
  • This freezes very well, defrost overnight, sitting the pie on a wire rack to avoid the pastry becoming soggy.
  • Wrap the pie for a picnic in greaseproof paper and cut the pie into slices when you arrive at your destination.

Questions & Replies

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  1. BRGH J.
    Can I make this pie with venison instead of chicken? If so, I would add all the other pie fillings meats (and venison) and ingredients together and NOT cook them? And lastly, will the cooking time change if I used venison?
     
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Reviews

  1. Jonathan Cole
    To make the pie, I needed a new pie tin. I bought an 8-inch springform pan at a local restaurant supply store. The vesica piscis-shaped (double pointed oval) tins like the one pictured in the recipe link proved too expensive for a first trial bake. I enjoyed this baking adventure and my guests enjoyed the outcome at dinner, but I learned a few lessons from the recipe worth sharing. The author cautioned readers about keeping the pastry dough warm. I followed her advice by creating a double boiler with small pans set on the smallest eye of my gas stove at the lowest heat setting. But the side of my pastry in contact with the top pan dried out from the heat. This created cracks in my pastry sheets during the bake. With proper timing, warming the dough in a pan isn't necessary. The ground pork and bacon also presented a problem during the bake. The high fat content of these ingredients released a lot of moisture which built up behind and leaked from cracks in walls of the pastry. Leaner game meat would not have released this much moisture. If I use these same ingredients again, I might render and drain their fat before incorporating them into the pie filling. The final lesson learned centered around the gelatin which did not make it into the pie. The pie requires 26+ hours to prepare with most of that time reserved for cooling. I tried pouring my gelatin into the pie, but the fluid passed through the warm filling and out the cracks in the side of my pastry. Had I started my bake the night before and allowed sufficient time to chill, the gelatin would have congealed when poured into the pie. I could have avoided this issue with a closer reading of the recipe.
     
    • Review photo by Jonathan Cole
  2. sparkle8426
    I could only find a 7” x 3” spring form pan. For my first bake, it came out pretty good. The filling I made curry chicken with fresh kielbasa. Tomorrow I will venture out and do a venison pie!
     
  3. Anonymous
    Excellent all around. This amount of dough is perfect for 9” spring form - just enough to line, cover and decorate. Not greasy at all. I used tallow (rendered cow fat) in place of lard, as I ran out of lard and it was too late to run to the store. I prepared the filling before making the dough, which worked well - I didn’t have to fiddle with keeping the dough warm. I added dry cranberries to the filling and skipped the lemon zest. Turkey was used instead of chicken in keeping with a thanksgiving theme. Work quickly, press neatly, and pay attention to detail. Thanks for the great post! It made an excellent Thanksgiving dinner for us.
     
    • Review photo by Anonymous
  4. danglydog
    I have made many pork pies etc, but this recipe was amazing. The paste was superb. I put hard boiled eggs in the centre. It was beautiful and delicious and incredibly impressive. Thank you
     
  5. Julesmarket
    This was a 'long winded' recipe and I was particularly worried about the pastry which seemed too sticky to roll out but the whole thing was amazing!! It was moist and flavourfuland I could have pretended that I had bought it at a smart delicatessen!!! Definitely worth the effort!
     
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Tweaks

  1. Anonymous
    For Thanksgiving dinner filling I mixed 1 lbs of sage pork sausage, 8 oz bacon, about 1.5 lbs of smoked turkey meat - thigh and breast. Added a handful of dried cranberries, skipped the lemon zest. Also just for color added green peas - but that didn’t add much of a value. We skipped the gelatin portion of the recipe because we ate the pie at Thanksgiving feast fresh out of the oven. It held great on its own. Fresh cranberry ginger relish was offered as a condiment to those interested.
     

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