Picnic Pie

Layers of sausage meat, cranberry and fresh herb stuffing, with a chicken breast centre, encased in shortcrust pastry. Perfect for any time of the year including summer or Christmas buffets. Made with everyday ingredients this generously-sized pie can be individually portioned and frozen.

RECIPE INFO

Serves 6

Preparation Time
min

Cook time
min

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Cook's NoteA good quality sausage meat rather than ready-made sausages can also be used. If not pre-seasoned add ½ teaspoon salt & pepper.
Entertainer's TipThe cooked pie can be frozen whole or pre-portioned and layered between baking paper before wrapping and freezing. Use within 3 months.
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INGREDIENTS

Pastry:

  • 600g plain flour, plus extra flour for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 150g chilled butter, diced
  • 150g white vegetable fat or lard
  • 1 teaspoon ready-made English mustard
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Cold water to mix, approximately 6-8 teaspoons
  • 1 egg, beaten, for brushing

Sausage, Cranberry and Herb Stuffing:

  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 85g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • Small handful each of fresh parsley, thyme and sage, leaves picked and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 55g semi-dried cranberries
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 500g Cumberland pork sausages
  • 1 egg, beaten

Chicken Layer:

  • 500g chicken breasts, uncooked
  • Salt & pepper to season

METHOD

Pastry:

Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl; add the diced butter and white fat. Using your fingertips rub the mixture together until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the mustard, egg yolks and enough water to bring the mixture together and work the pastry ingredients to a smooth dough. This pastry requires a little more working than normal shortcrust to ensure the pie holds its shape.

Wrap the pastry in cling film and rest in a cool place for 30 minutes.

Stuffing & chicken:

Mix the onion, breadcrumbs, herbs, nutmeg, pepper, cranberries and lemon zest together. Remove the sausage meat from the skins and add the meat to the mixture along with the beaten egg.

Combine all the stuffing ingredients together and set to one side.

Slice the chicken breasts into two horizontally, season with salt & pepper and set to one side.

To make the pie:

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/Gas Mark 5

Dust a work surface and a rolling pin with some of the extra flour. Divide the pastry into 2/3 and 1/3 portions. Roll out the smaller piece to a 30cm x 12cm rectangle and set to one side. Roll out the larger piece to a 40cm x 23cm rectangle and line the tin, allowing the pastry to sit a little proud of the inner rim.

Take half of the stuffing mix and make a layer in the pastry-lined tin. Make a second layer with the sliced, seasoned chicken breast meat packing it as tightly as possible. Add a final layer of the remaining stuffing. Press down firmly and smooth over the top.

Brush the edges of the pastry in the tin with a little of the beaten egg and then put on the pastry top. Press the pastry edges together to seal and trim away any uneven pastry. Use the thumb and forefinger of one hand and index finger from the other to crimp the pastry rim.

Brush the top of the pie with the remaining beaten egg and make four steam holes.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool the pie completely before turning out of the tin and slicing. Store in the refrigerator and eat within 2-3 days.

 

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