A very belated blog regarding last week’s episode of The Great British Bake Off, which was all about the PIE. Watching it made me want to escape to the country, find a tiny little pub run by an old couple called Jill and Fred, and eat a steak and ale PIE (I love pie if you have not already guessed that).
So this week saw the contestants tackle savoury pies in their signature bake, pork pies in the technical bake, and a sweet meringue pie in the showcase. Pastry was the nemesis for all the chefs, as it can prove a challenge to ensure that it was thoroughly cooked and not soggy from the filling.
The signature bake saw some delicious recipes such as Stilton, Potato and Caramelised Onion Pie by Holly, and Salmon and Asparagus Pie by Jo. Janet and Mary-Ann triumphed on the pork pie challenge, whilst the showcase included yummy sweet meringue puddings such as Peaches and Raspberries by Yasmin. All of these had me mouth-watering uncontrollably!
With the remaining all-female contestants, it is far too close to call, as they all have strengths in so many areas. It will be interesting to see who shines in the last few weeks and takes the crown as the ‘Queen of the Bake Off’! Find this week’s recipes on the BBC Food site.
So to add to my own love of pies, I’ve included a recipe below that I’ve created by crossing a recipe from Delicious magazine and my mum’s fish pie recipe: Cider Salmon and Leek Pie. This is a favourite of mine, however I prefer it with a potato mash topping (but it can be substituted with flaky or short crust pastry if preferred). The below is a good amount for 2 – 3 people.
2 – 3 sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped)
2 salmon fillets
1 leek (washed and chopped)
50g plain flour
300ml double cream or semi-skimmed milk (healthier option)
200ml cider (Magners works best)
Handful of frozen pies
For the mash, boil the sweet potatoes until they are cooked. Drain the water, and then mash them with a knob of butter, a dash of milk and season (then set aside).
Brush some oil olive over the salmon fillets, season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until cooked. Lightly fry the leeks in a pan, add the peas for a few minutes and place in the bottom of the pie dish. Once the salmon is cooked, cut into small chunks and place on top of the leeks and peas.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat, and then stir in the flour for a few minutes until it forms a thick paste. Gradually stir in the cream/milk (or a 50/50 version) until you have a smooth thick sauce. Slowly add the cider, stirring constantly, and then once combined, remove from the heat.
* Cheat’s version: There is a cheat’s way to make a quick white sauce (whether for this or lasagna). Sauce flour is available at most supermarkets and is a quick and slightly healthier way to make a white sauce (my mum swears by it and it is very hard to taste the difference). Add 2 heaped tablespoons to 300ml of semi-skimmed milk, stir over a low heat until it turns into a smooth thick sauce, and then stir in the cider as above. But ssshhhh, do not tell anyone that I told you…….
So, once the sauce is done, pour over the salmon, leeks and peas. Carefully place the mash evenly over the filling, covering every inch of the filling. Bake at 180C for around 20 minutes, and serve with a selection of green vegetables.
The cider sauce is great with all fish and seafood (including smoked fish), and is best enjoyed with a large glass of white wine!
To visit some of the fantastic blogs by the GBBO contestants, visit my blogroll.