Saturday, 19 January 2013

Practice really does make perfect.

Those of you who have read my blog regularly for a while will know the ongoing battle I have had with my pastry skills. No one ever showed me how to do it and as a novice pastry maker my first tries were very poor and often I would have (in the past) resorted to shop bought. But I persevered and improved, listened to advice, read cookery books carefully, storing away little tricks and tidbits of information and got better.

Well it just goes to show that if you keep trying with cooking and experimenting you really do improve.


This morning I made this chicken and ham pie and I am very, very happy with the results, the pastry looks good and golden, tastes great and there are no soggy bottoms! Mary Berry would be proud.

I didn't follow a recipe, just made it up as I went along. I roasted a chicken a few days ago so I had plenty of chicken picked off in the fridge, I had slices of ham from my Christmas gammon in the freezer so I thawed out a couple of slices too, made the pastry and shoved it in the fridge, fried an onion, added the cooked chicken, sliced up gammon and some mixed veg from a bag in the freezer. Made a white sauce to bind it all, some sage that I had hanging about and seasoned, that was the filling done, after that I just rolled out the pastry base to fill the pie dish, added the filling and put on a lid, cutting out a couple of leaves with a knife from the excess pastry. 30 minutes in the oven and it is one delicious pie.


This will probably do me 3 or 4 more meals.

I am so glad that I kept on trying because I really feel that I know what I am doing now and will never have to resort to bought pastry again. It is so easy to give up after a few failures.


30 comments:

  1. Looks great Dan, a really professional job - Mary WOULD be proud!! :-)

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    1. Thank you, I did enjoy it and it was all very satisfying in both the making and the eating.

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  2. That looks really delish! Can I come round and have some? I love chicken and ham pie :-)

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  3. Glad you stuck with it Dan, can't beat home made pastry. You can alter the taste to suit between savoury and sweet. You can add cocoa to it plus some sugar to make chocolate pastry (can't remember how much cocoa though - experiment). Lemon, orange or other fruit zest also adds a nice zing to it. Herbs added make nice savoury pastry.

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  4. It looks delicious. I love home made pies they taste so much better than anything you buy in the shops and you know exactly what's in them. My tip to avoid soggy bottoms is not to bother putting a bottom on the pie. I usually just put the filling into a pie dish and then put a nice thick pastry lid on top :-) voila ... no soggy bottoms.

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  5. Looks wonderful and warming just what is needed in this cold weather.

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  6. well I think you did an amazing job! That is one beautiful pie!!!

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  7. Hmm, maybe I'll give it another go. I use shop bought usually. My Nan had The Knack, sadly she only passed on the genes that mean I can pay music by ear and not the awesome pastry ones.

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  8. Well done! It looks great. I've never been one to make pastry based meals but over the last month I've gone Pastry mad! My first attempt was a bit rubbish but like you it's improved with practise. Enjoy!

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  9. Looks fab Dan and I bet it tastes wonderful. I usually cheat and buy shop bought frozen pastry these days. And thank goodness you didnt have a soggy bottom! Nothing worse!!!!!!

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  10. Looks very tasty Dan and the pastry is a credit to you Well done x

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  11. Well done! Do you have cold hands? I gave up long ago, I was told my hands were too warm - in fact this was at High School when I was fifteen, I did try again and again, but gave up.

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  12. Looks yummy, and I love the way it all holds together when you cut a slice.

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  13. You pie's given me hope that I can figure out this pastry making lark, after many a dodgy batch.

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  14. Your pie looks delicious Dan. I make my pastry by using self raising flour and butter, it always comes out hard if I use plain flour.

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  15. I'm not very good with pastry maybe I should persevere like you - it really does look pretty perfect to me.

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  16. Well done! that looks delicious and so frugal too !

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  17. This looks delicious! I'll have to try making such a pie myself.

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  18. Well done you - it has taken me an absolute age to suss out pastry so I know the blood sweat and tears involved :)
    (well not tears - who's going to cry over bl**dy pastry - lol!!)

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  19. Well done! Keep experimenting with food. It`sfun and you learn on the job. That`s how delicious recipes get invented. Go for it!!!

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  20. That just looks fabulous! Well done you.

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  21. Very well done indeed. Now you can make variations on this. Try chicken streudel by wrapping the filling sausage style. Try a galette which is a pie without the dish. Pasties. Curry puffs. A little sprinkle of couscous in the filling will destroy any runny bits. Why not record your pastry techniques in a series of videos?

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  22. That looks delicious, well done on the great pastry!
    Judy xx

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  23. Congrats ! It looks really delicious and you can pat yourself on the back and be proud of yourself.

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  24. That looks amazing. Glad you kept at it til you got it right!

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