The Simple Things


These mini pork and apple pies are portable pockets for flavour, just right for a bank holiday picnic


Serves 6

220g pork loin, diced 110g pork belly, diced 3 rashers back bacon, diced 30g chicken livers 1 small onion, minced 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves 1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed Pinch of ground mace or nutmeg 1 red apple, peeled, cored and diced for the pie crust 310g plain flour, plus extra to dust 1½ tsp salt 50g vegetable shortening (such as Trex) for the glaze 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk you will need 1 jam jar (approx 7cm diameter) Kitchen twine 6 strips of wax paper, about 30x8cm each

1 Preheat oven to 190C/Fan 170C/375F. Put the pork loin, pork belly, bacon and chicken livers in a food processor and blitz to mince. Transfer to a bowl. Mix in onion, sage, garlic and mace, and season to taste.

2 To make the pie crust, sift flour and salt in a bowl. Put the shortening and 120ml water into a saucepan and heat gently until the fat melts and the water comes to a boil. Pour the liquid into the flour and, using a wooden spoon, gently bring together into a soft dough. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, knead lightly until smooth.

3 Divide dough into eight pieces and roll six of them into 12cm disks. Invert them, one at a time over an upturned jam jar. Wrap a strip of wax paper around the outside, and tie round the middle with twine (as above).

4 Turn the whole thing over so the dough sits flat. Carefully work the jar up out of the pie crust (you may need to slip a palette knife down between dough and jar). Divide pork filling into six portions and put one portion in each pie. Put the diced apple on top.

5 Roll out the last two pieces of dough and, with a cookie cutter, cut three disks from each piece the same size as the tops of the pies. Put a disk on each pie, press edges to seal, then turn edges in and over to form a rim.

6 Brush the pies with egg-milk glaze. Pierce each top with a fork to let the steam escape. On a large baking sheet, bake for 45–50 mins, or until golden. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack to cool, and serve cold. Recipe by Louise Pickford from Traditiona­l Pub Grub (Ryland Peters & Small).

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