Wrap up your Christmas leftovers in a pie

Wendy Morgan, who grew up in her family’s pie bakery, Hillyer’s Bakery in Lincoln, Christchurch, knows a thing or two about pies, including the fact they are a great way to use up leftover Christmas ham — or make it any other time of the year.

She says to use your favourite potatoes. "Agria work well, as do any new season varieties"

She also advises using your favourite mustard. "I like a hot one, but Dijon or wholegrain are just as good. A few pickles on the side go down well with this pie."

You can also replace the ham with cooked corned beef.

Ham pie

1 bay leaf

½ onion

300ml milk

25g butter

25g plain white flour


Freshly ground black pepper

Quantity flaky pastry 2 (see below)

1 tsp mustard

400g ham, thickly sliced

600g boiled potatoes, thickly sliced

Flaky salt

Dried oregano

100g gruyere or raclette cheese, grated

1 egg

Flaky pastry

225g butter, room temperature firm

300g high-grade white flour

Pinch salt

185ml cold water


Place the bay leaf and onion in a saucepan with the milk, bring just up to simmering, then remove from the heat. Set aside to infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the onion and bay leaf.

To make a bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Continue stirring for half a minute. Gradually add in the milk, stirring until smooth between each addition; use a small whisk if you have one. Once all of the milk is incorporated, season with salt and pepper. Keep on simmer, stirring, for a couple of minutes, then leave to cool.

Heat the oven to 205˚C fan bake. Cut the block of pastry into two; one half slightly bigger than the other.

Roll out the smaller pastry half on a lightly floured bench to a 24cm round, about 4mm thick. I use a dinner plate as a round measure. Place this pastry disc on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

To assemble the pie, first smear the mustard over the base, leaving 2.5cm of pastry around the edge. Then place on half the ham, followed by half the bechamel, then half the potato slices. At this point, season with some flaky salt, black pepper and dried oregano. Then sprinkle on half of the cheese. Repeat the sequence with the remaining ingredients. Remember to leave 2.5cm around the edge of the pastry.

For the top piece of pastry, roll it to a 28cm round, 3mm thick.

Brush the edges of the assembled pie with water and place the pastry lid on by rolling it backwards on to your rolling pin, then forwards on to the pie. Press down and crimp all around the edge. Egg-wash with a beaten egg. Using a sharp knife, cut a small hole in the top and make a few air holes around the side. Make some designs on top with the tip of the knife.

Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and the cheese is sizzling.

It’s hard to resist, but if you can let it settle for 10 minutes before cutting it will be a little less messy.

Flaky pastry

Rub 30g of butter into the flour and salt by hand, or use an electric mixer. Add the cold water and bring together to form a soft dough. Wrap the dough in cling film or baking paper and rest in the fridge for 10 minutes, then roll out to a 40cm x 20cm rectangle.

Break the remaining butter into small pieces and dot it over two thirds of the rectangle. Fold the plain third of the pastry over to the centre. Then fold the buttered third over to make a square. Give the pastry a quarter turn on the bench. Gently roll the pastry out.

Start by pushing down with the rolling pin. Roll out to 50cm x 16cm then repeat the same fold sequence as before. Wrap the pastry in cling film or baking paper and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes. Repeat the rolling out and folding sequence five more times, resting the pastry in the fridge each time.

The book

Who Made All the Pies: The ultimate collection of pastry treats for every Kiwi household, by Wendy Morgan (published by Bateman Books, RRP $37.99).