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You can pretty much use any slow cooked recipe to this stew or casserole high pie recipe. Even sweet ingredients such as fruit and custards can be used. Most people will make a savoury version, but don’t limit yourself to that.
Whatever you choose to put into your high pie, make sure it is completely cold before adding to the pastry.
You can also blind bake the pastry before adding the filling if you prefer, although that is not really necessary.
Using a smaller spring form tin will mean you can make less quantity of the filling. The tin I used was a 22cm spring-form tin, I used between 3-4 quantities of the stew to fill it.
- Preheat your oven to 220°C set on Fan Forced.
- Make your stew or casserole the day before or several hours before so that it is completely cold before beginning the prep for the pie
- Separate your frozen pastry sheets and cut 2 of them in half so you end up with 4 oblong pieces.
- Separate the spring form pan and lay the base over one of the full sheets of pastry.
- Using a paring knife, cut around the edge just outside the rim of the base, about half a centimetre. The cut doesn’t need to be perfect.
- Peel the plastic backing from the circle of pastry you’ve just cut out and place it over the pan base and press it into the edges.
- Replace the spring form sides and snap into place. Some of the pastry will stick out, but don’t worry about that.
- Now take one of the half sheets, and using your paring knife, make a series of 2 cm cuts from one of the long edges, about 1½ cm apart all the way along the edge.
- Remove the plastic backing here as well and ease the sheet, cut side down, around part of the edge of the spring form pan, so that the cuts fan onto the base of the pan and even out, allowing the uncut top part to mould into the shape of the inside of the pan.
- Now repeat this process with 2 of the other pastry sheet halves, overlapping them to completely cover the sides of the pan. The top should also be overlapping the top edge of the tin.
- Add your cold stew or casserole, filling it to the top of the tin, and evening it out with the back of the spoon.
- Take your final sheet of pastry and after removing the plastic sheet, lay it over the top of the tin so it covers the entire tin, the using your fingers press the top pastry sheet to the overlapped pastry from the sides so they are firmly together.
- Fold the pastry over the edge of the tin and under the rim so it seals perfectly with the pastry underneath, then taking a sharp knife cut away all the excess pastry.
- You can either leave your pie as is and just pierce slits in the top with the tip of a knife or a fork, or, you can use the final half of the pastry sheet left over to cut decorative shapes of pastry with a pastry cutter. This is a nice way to decorate the pie for a special occasion such as Christmas, or Easter etc. Make sure though you create air holes in the top before placing in the oven, to allow the steam to escape during cooking.
- Finally, glaze the top of the pie with milk or an egg wash, then place into the reheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and golden brown.
These pies are best left to cool completely then cut and reheated to serve so they hold their shape on the plate. If they are cut while hot, the filling will ooze out over the plate. And although they will still taste great, they won’t look anywhere as beautiful plated up.
You can make this pie from any slow cooked recipe that has substance when it is cooked, that is thickens up. If it is a runny recipe it won’t work. Consider braised dishes, one pot wonders, etc. It also works well with fruit and custard, providing the custard is not yet cooked.
You will need less pastry if you use a smaller spring-form tin and less quantities of your casserole or stew.