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Gill Bland

British Pie Week

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 2nd March 2015




It’s British Pie Week this week. The fantastic thing about pies is their versatility. They can be as complicated or simple as you wish. They can come in many permutations:

  • top and bottom - arguably the best, but hardest to pull off as they may be liable to “soggy bottom” syndrome
  • bottom, but no top - arguably a quiche or flan, but I’m willing to be flexible
  • top and no bottom - my favourite as it has all the joy of a pie with less effort and more stomach space for the filling

They can be savoury or sweet and the casing can be any number of types of pastry, crumble or mash. Pies engender such fuzzy, warm feelings that there’s even the fantastically named Pierateers who are a group of people devoted to reviewing various pre-made pies out there in supermarkets and restaurants.

I have to admit that I don’t often make pies, but every time I do I remember just how easy it is and wish I did it more often. Basically you empty out the contents of your fridge, cook it all in a saucepan with some sort of gravy or juice, throw it in a dish and top it with whatever carbohydrate you have to hand. Any leftover filling can be frozen for future itterations or made into a topping for jacket potatoes.

I decided to bring you a turkey pie because it’s at the slightly healthier end of the spectrum and it’s long enough after Christmas that I’m starting to hanker after turkey again. If the idea of a “healthy” pie fills your arteries with fear, you could easily add a dash of cream to the sauce to make it more luxurious.




Turkey, Leek and Mushroom Pie

Serves 4-6, depending on how much you serve with it.

For the filling:

3 leeks, topped and tailed and finely sliced
200g of mushrooms, quartered
3 turkey breasts (375g), cut into chunks
Oil for frying
Herbs of your choice - I used rosemary, oregano, sage and marjoram
3 tbsp sherry (optional)
40g butter
300ml vegetable stock
125ml milk
25g plain flour

Heat the oil in a frying pan.
Put the leeks, mushrooms, turkey and spices in and fry until just starting to brown.
Add the sherry, turn the heat down and simmer away for about 10 mins until cooked.
While this is happening, put the butter, stock, milk and flour in a pan.
Whisk vigorously, using a balloon whisk whilst heating until boiling. It should start to thicken.
Turn the heat down and simmer for about 6 mins, until it’s thick.
Pour into the turkey mixture and leave to cool. You can now freeze it or keep in the fridge until you make your pie, using one of the following topping options.

You could also cook some quinoa and stir it into the mix if you want to bulk it out and add more protein.


For the lid choose one of the following options:

Rough Puff Pastry

Squash the butter into a log shape, wrap in foil and put in the freezer for 30 mins.225g plain flour
175g butter
Cold water

When the time is up, grate the butter into the flour.
Use a metal spoon to mix the butter into the flour until it’s all coated.
Add a little water at a time and use the spoon to bring it together. You can use your hands for the final bit.
Put in a plastic bag and chill for 45 mins.
Put the filling in a dish or bowl, put a little milk around the edge and lay the pastry on top. Cut the excess off and crimp with a fork. Brush with milk and put in a preheated oven at 200c for 20 mins or until the pastry is browned and the filling is heated through.


Oaty Crumble Topping

150g flour (I used rye flour because I like the flavour but it does look a bit grey and unappetising!)
85g  butter
75g  oats
Optional grated parmesan

As above for cooking.

Crunchy Filo Pastry Topping

BBC Good Food suggests 70g filo pastry (approx. three sheets)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil or 1 tbsp butter, melted.

Cut the sheets of pastry into squares.
Brush each one with the oil or butter and lay one on top of the other.
Scrunch them up a little bit.

As above for cooking.

As always, see more of my baking, cooking, and now some running too, at




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