A pie for sharing

As we are a pie-eating nation, I thought making a home-made pie to give and share over Easter would be such a well received gift.

Pies come in many forms, from fruit and vegetable fillings to all cuts of meat, some with puff pastry, some with shortcrust. You can make a pie for one or you can make a large pie to share. I remember enjoying a "family" pie as they were often called and it would mostly be filled with meat and if we were lucky we would enjoy a fruit filled pie. It is hard to be disappointed with anything encased in buttery pastry.

I have a collection of pie recipes for you to get adventurous with. They use a variety of fillings and pastries which you can certainly make, however if you are pushed for time thankfully you can buy fantastic pre-made pastry.

Happy cooking and happy Easter.

Salmon, potato and dill pithivier

I am always impressed when I see a pithivier, which is simply a round, enclosed pie. It looks so impressive with the glistening pastry-scored top. It is surprisingly easy to make and assemble and will always impress. I filled it with a salmon and potato filling which is reminiscent of a fish pie, but easier to transport and share.

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Skill: moderate

2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry

100g cooked, peeled potatoes

20g butter

20g flour

200ml fish stock (stock cube is fine)

300g fresh salmon, skin removed and cut into bite-sized pieces.

2 Tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream

1 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped

1 Tbsp chives, finely chopped

1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten


Using a round 20cm plate as a template, cut around one sheet of pastry. This is for your base.

With the second sheet of pastry, cut a circle 25cm in diameter (approx) this will be for the top of the pithivier. Place in the fridge until required.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the flour and stir well to remove any lumps. Cook for a couple of minutes without colouring.

Slowly add the fish stock, stirring constantly over a moderate heat.

Once all the stock has been incorporated and the sauce has thickened, season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture into a dish and cool completely.

Once the mixture has cooled completely, add the salmon, herbs and creme fraiche. Mix gently to combine, adjust seasoning if necessary.

Lightly grease a baking tray with oil.

Place the smaller pastry round on to your baking tray.

Spoon over the salmon filling, making sure you allow 3cm around the edge of the pie.

Brush the edge with a little egg wash, trying to avoid brushing the sides of the pastry (this can stop the pastry rising evenly).

Gently lay over the remaining pastry so the pastry falls over the filling and sides, press around the filing with your hands to remove excess air. Press down the edges to secure.

To finish (this is optional, but traditional) using a small knife, starting at the centre of the pie, carefully run the knife (do not cut through the pastry, you are only trying to score it) along the pastry to create a crescent shape from top to the base, repeat evenly all around the pie.

Brush with egg and place in the fridge for 30 minutes, brush once again with the egg and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven 200°C.

Bake on the lower half of the oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry has risen and become golden.

Cool a little before serving.

Photo: Simon Lambert
Photo: Simon Lambert

Wind-fall pie

Wind-fall pie is my version of a fruit filled pie, with fruit I collected around my property and on my foraging walks. It is made with fruits the wind has kindly blown down for me to gather. I used apples and plums but peaches, apricots and berries, etc, will work so well in this pie. Once you have made this recipe, keep it close by so you can use it time and time again with all sorts of different fillings.

A home-made fruit pie is really special, for many it will have such nostalgia connected to it. It will certainly be a cherished gift and one that will be enjoyed by many.

Serves 8-10

Preparation time: 60 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Skill: medium


375g flour

Pinch salt

1 Tbsp sugar

225g butter, diced

75-100ml ice cold water (approx)

50ml apple cider vinegar


500g apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

400g plums, stones removed, roughly chopped

Zest 1 orange

Zest 1 lemon

150g sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

Pinch ground cinnamon

30g cornflour

1 egg, lightly whisked

1 Tbsp sugar


Begin by making the pastry. Place the flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the diced cold butter and blend until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Mix the apple cider vinegar with the ice cold water. With the food processor running slowly add half the water. Stop and check the mixture, if too dry add a little more water until the dough starts to hold together. It is very important not to over mix the mixture. If the dough holds together well, tip the mixture on to your workbench and bring it together. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To make the fruit filling, place the prepared fruit, and zest in a medium saucepan, cover and heat over a moderate heat until the fruit softens and releases its juices (10 minutes).

Mix the remaining ingredients together and add to the fruit. Stir well to mix through, continue stirring until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Once the pastry has rested and the filling is cold you can now assemble the pie.

Cut the pastry in half and set aside one half for the top.

Roll out the pastry to comfortably fit a 20-22cm pie tin. Loosely let the dough fall into the tin (never stretch the dough). Press the pastry into the edges and up the sides of the dish, leaving any overhanging pastry at this stage. Place in the fridge until needed.

Roll the remaining pastry to comfortably fit the top of your pie, allowing a little for overhanging.

To assemble and cook the pie preheat the oven 190°C.

Spoon the cooled fruit filling into the pie base and spread evenly.

Brush the edge of the pastry with the egg, lay over the top and press the edges to secure, crimp the edges with your fingers or press with a fork. Trim off excess.

Brush the surface with egg wash and sprinkle over the sugar.

Using a sharp knife cut a few slits in the top to allow the steam to escape.

Bake on the lower rack of your oven (so the base cooks) for 20 minutes.

Reduce the oven to 170°C and move the pie up a rack in the oven and cook for a further 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Cool slightly before cutting.

Garden pie

A pie like this is all about ingredients you have on hand. I made this by using up leftover roasted vegetables. You could add cooked broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, pumpkin, etc. You can also add flavourings such as pesto to give the vegetables a bit of a boost. Topping on the pie can vary, as you could cover it with more pastry, mashed potato or, as I have with this recipe, toss together a collection of thinly sliced vegetables. A pie can be made with most ingredients and this one is a good example of that.

Serves 6

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Skill: easy

1-2 sheets ready rolled savoury shortcrust pastry

700-800g cooked vegetables, carrots, beetroot, pumpkin, potatoes, cauliflower etc

2 Tbsp pesto

30g parsley, roughly chopped

250g ricotta

20g feta cheese

1 egg

Salt and cracked pepper


100g potato, sliced very thin

100g carrots, sliced very thin

100g beetroot, sliced very thin

Olive oil


Preheat the oven 180°C.

Lightly oil a pie dish 27 x 25 cm (approx).

Line it with the pastry sheet, ensuring it covers the base and goes up the sides. If one sheet doesn’t quite fit, cut the other pastry sheet to fit and press to seal together.

Put all your cooked vegetables into a bowl, lightly crush with a masher or your hands.

Add the pesto and toss together, season and add to the pie.

Mix the ricotta, feta and egg together, season lightly and spread over the top of the vegetables.

To finish the pie, I used a peeler and used the thin peelings of the vegetables, tossed with a little oil and seasoned with salt and cracked pepper and scattered over the top of the pie.

Place the pie on the lower rack of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the vegetables on the top are tender.

Cool slightly before cutting.