We have been busy in our school kitchen as June is Pie Time here in the Southern Highlands. From home cooks to bloggers last weekend we had over 40 people pass through our school front door, and together we’re creating delicious pies and sweet tarts. The aroma was amazing and inviting – oh how the smell of baking comforts on a cold winter’s day.

Pie Fest awaits, this weekend 23rd and 24th June at Bong Bong Racecourse – where everything will be about celebrating the Pie.

The Cook’s Cooking School is presenting pie classes throughout the day and we will be assisting young cooks with pie making.

Come along and enjoy what will be a fabulous fun and delicious day.

The recipes include –

Sour Cream Shortcrust Pastry
Credit – Maggie Beer

Makes 560g pastry

  • 125g sour cream, (full fat)
  • 250g plain flour
  • 200g unsalted butter, chilled, cur into 1cm cubes

To make the pastry;

  • Place the flour on workbench and add the butter, then mix with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the sour cream into the middle of the mix and continue to combine and mix ingredients until the dough starts to incorporate into a ball.
  • Alternatively place the flour into the bowl of a food processor with chopping blade, add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough starts to come together into a ball.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Rustic Apple and Lemon Pie

1 quantity sour cream pastry

Apple Filling

  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 600g Granny Smith apples
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, rind finely grated and juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1tablespoon cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons milk to glaze

Wrap the dough in plastic film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

While dough is resting make the pie filling.

  • Peel, quarter and core the apples, then thinly slice.
  • Place the butter into a medium sized saucepan add the apple, sugar, lemon rind and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and vanilla.
  • Gently stir and turn over the apples to combine.
  • Cook uncovered over medium heat for about 6 minutes until the apple just begins to soften.
  • Gently turn the apples 2-3 times to cook evenly.
  • Blend the cornflour and water and add to the hot apples.
  • Cook for 1 minute. Remove mixture to a large bowl to begin the cooling of the mixture.
  • Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Turn occasionally (if the apples are too hot it will melt the pastry this is why generally the filling for pies is cold)
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • To make 4 smaller pies divide the dough into 4 x 140g pieces of dough. Roll out between kitchen baking paper until ½ cm in thickness and about 20cm in circumference.
  • Transfer rolled dough onto a large paper lined baking tray/slide.

You should fit two pastry pie rounds per tray.

  • Sprinkle the middle of each pastry round with a circle of 1 tablespoon almond meal and flatten out (diameter about 12cm)
  • Divide the pie mix into four and spoon on top of the almond. It is important to leave an empty outer ring of pastry that you then lift and fold up to make a border around the pie.
  • Lightly brush the pie top with milk just before baking.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes until golden.
  • The cooked hot pastry will be delicate so slide the pie on the paper off the tray and onto a cooling rack.
  • Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Rustic free form caramelized vegetable and fetta pie

½ quantity of sour cream pastry

Filling

  • 150g sweet potato, peeled
  • 200g eggplant
  • 150g carrot, peeled
  • 1 red onion, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon flaked salt
  • 125ml vegetable stock
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1tablespoon cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons milk to glaze
  • 30g fetta cheese to serve
  • Pesto to serve

While dough is resting make the roast vegetable filling.

  • Preheat oven to 220°C
  • Cut the sweet potato and eggplant into 2cm rounds and then cut each round in half and then half again. This will make four pieces from each slice.
  • Cut carrot into 2cm rounds and then each round in half.
  • Cut onion into quarters then cut each quarter in half.
  • Place all the vegetables onto a baking tray lined with kitchen baking paper.
  • Drizzle with oil and toss to combine.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake vegetables for 30 minutes tossing occasionally to lightly brown.
  • Remove vegetables to a medium saucepan and add the vegetable stock.
  • Cook uncovered over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the liquid has almost evaporated.
  • Season to taste with pepper.
  • Blend the cornflour and water and add to the hot vegetables. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in parsley then remove filling to a large flat container to cool faster – cool about 20 minutes.
  • Reduce oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
  • Roll pastry out between kitchen baking paper until ½ cm in thickness and about 27cm in circumference. Transfer dough onto a large paper lined baking tray/slide.
  • Sprinkle the middle of the pastry with almond meal and flatten out.
  • Spoon the vegetables on top of the almond. It is important to leave an empty outer ring of pastry that you then lift & fold up to make a border around the pie.
  • Lightly brush the pastry top with milk. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes until golden.
  • The cooked hot pastry will be delicate so slide the pie on the paper off the tray and onto a cooling rack.
  • Top with feta & drizzle with pesto.

Moroccan lamb pie

  • 1 x sour cream pastry (for a base and top of pie)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1teaspoon ground harissa
  • 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • 125ml chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • Salt to taste
  • 1tablespoon cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons almond meal
  • 1 egg lightly beaten to glaze

Instructions:

  • Divide the prepared sour cream pastry into 2 portions, one slightly larger about (375g) than the other – base (185g). Chill pastry for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over low-medium heat.
  • Add onion, carrot and garlic. Cook stirring, for 7 minutes or until onion has softened. Add mince and spices. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince, cook for 7 minutes or until browned. Add tomatoes, stock and lemon rind. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes or until liquid has almost evaporated. Season to taste with salt.
  • Combine cornflour and water. Add to frying pan. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Cook uncovered stirring, for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in fresh coriander and parsley.
    Remove filling to a large flat container to cool faster – cool about 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C. Place a metal baking slide onto the middle shelf in the oven that you will be later placing the prepared pie onto.
  • To prepare the dough – roll the larger piece of pastry out between 2 pieces of kitchen baking paper to a thickness of ½ cm. Then line a 4cm-deep, 18cm (base) round metal dish with the pastry. Chill for 15 minutes. Roll the remaining piece of pastry out between two pieces of kitchen baking paper. Chill on paper for 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the base of the pie with the almond meal spread out evenly over the pastry. Spoon the cooled mince filling into the pastry case. Brush pastry edge with beaten egg. Top with remaining rolled piece of pastry. Trim edges and seal with a fork or fingertip. Trim excess pastry. Cut a small cross in the centre of pie top. Brush top lightly with milk. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Stand for 5 minutes.