I’d been toying with the idea to make a hot water crust pie for a while, as I always love those Victorian looking, exquisite pies I always see on the Great British Bake Off and in historical recipe books. I also think it’s fascinating that hot water crust pastry goes against almost everything a baker is taught about pastry, namely that you should keep all of the ingredients as cold as possible to get a flaky result. I wouldn’t say hot water crust pastry is the flakiest of all the pastries but it is certainly not tough! What an eluding concept..
If you’re a vegetarian like me, I’m sure you’ll appreciate seeing one of these pies without it involving any game, or pork, or beef, or (God forbid) eels. Traditional hot water crust pastry also uses lard, which is pure pork fat. Well, that ain’t getting into my kitchen anytime soon (yuck!!), so I’ve come up with a delicious forest-inspired autumny filling, and instead of lard, I’m using the more appetizing sounding substitute of butter. I swear it tastes just fine, you can’t go wrong with butter.
You might have noticed an unusual ingredient in the recipe, namely lemon pepper. You don’t háve to use it, but it’s utterly delicious I can tell you. When I was living in Sweden, this interesting spice was found in every supermarket and even though it’s apparently very good with roast meat, it does very well with earthy veggies as well. It gives a little tang at the end which is very pleasant. You could also use regular pepper and a tiny bit of lemon zest.
Do you ever make (vegetarian) hot water crust pies? What do you put in them?
Recipe Mushroom Hot Water Crust Pie
Tools: 20cm pie tin lined with baking parchment, rolling pin, pastry brush, (optional) leaf cutters
Hot Water Crust Dough (Paul Hollywood recipe):
330 grams plain flour
70 grams strong white bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
150 grams unsalted butter, melted
170 ml boiling water
1 egg for brushing
50 grams unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
650 grams (mixed) mushrooms, sliced
200 ml whipping cream or double cream
1 vegetable stock cube
1 laurel leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
15 grams cornstarch, dissolved in a little bit of water
1 large potato, peeled and diced
125 grams frozen or fresh green peas
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
- First, prepare the filling. Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan. Sautee onions and garlic for a few minutes.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and saute until they have significantly shrunken in size. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the peas, and cook the mixture until it is nice and thick. Turn the heat off and stir the peas in.
- Now make the hot water crust pastry. Start by combining the dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour the melted butter and boiling water into the bowl and start mixing with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture is cool enough to work with your hands, knead into a dough (don’t overknead!).
- Roll a little more than half of the dough into a large circle to fit the bottom of the tin. Leave any overhanging pastry where it is (in fact, you need a bit extra!). Pour the filling into the pie casing. Next, roll most of the remaining dough into another disk a little larger than the top of the pie tin. Brush the edges of the overhanging pastry (which you left for this purpose) with a bit of egg, then place the disk on top and push the pastry together. If you want, you can crimp the pastry, use a fork to make indentations, or simply cut away the edges. Use the leftover pastry to make decorations on top. Brush top with egg.
- Bake pie for 45-50 minutes. Leave to cool completely before turning out or serve from the tin if preferred.