A hot water crust pastry filled with lentils and potatoes seasoned to perfection with spices from India.
First time for everything - with the lockdown in continuation across the UK, I continue to challenge myself each week with new recipes and learn new skills.
Hot water crust pastry is traditionally used for raised pies. I don't have any recipe books with any guidance on how to make the pastry so I asked my friend, Google, for some help. Apparently a hot water crust pastry is quite unusual. It's similar to choux, however, it doesn’t rise when baked, and can be said to be twice cooked. Also, you should make the pastry and shape it in the baking tin a day before to allow the pastry time to firm up before filling and baking. I did not do this and mine turned out fantastic, I mean it's not like I don't have the time to wait at the moment.
I must admit though, there was a time when I struggled a little bit when making this pie. I'll list them below (after the recipe) so you if you try making this recipe you don't make the same mistakes as I did. Anywho, let's get straight to the recipe, I can't take any credit for this, so if you want the original recipe, it's here. I just made a few adjustments as I used what I had on hand.
No soggy bottom!
Serves: 10 | Prep time: 45 minutes | Baking time: 1hr 30 minutes
700g of potatoes - roughly 4 medium-sized
2 tbsp of yellow split peas (you can use any kind of lentils too)
2 tbsp of sunflower oil
1 tsp of cumin seeds
2 tbsp of mustard seeds
10-12 fresh curry leaves (or 15 dried leaves or 1 tsp of curry leaf powder)
4 small red chillies, chopped (or 2-3 medium chillies)
1 tsp of ground turmeric
2.5cm/1 inch piece of fresh root ginger, grated
1 large onion, finely chopped (or two small onions)
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp of coriander powder (or a bunch of fresh coriander, chopped)
Salt, to taste
Hot water crust pastry
450g plain flour
100g strong white flour
75g cold unsalted butter
1/2 tsp of salt
100g sold vegetable fat (such as Trex or Crisp 'n Dry)
1 egg, beaten, to glaze
Prep your baking tin, you will need a 20 cm tall cake tin. For the filling, peel the potatoes and boil for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain then chop into bite-size pieces.
Soak the lentils in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain.
Heat the oil in a frying pan then add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When they splutter add the curry leaves, lentils, red chillies, turmeric and onion and mix well - fry for 5 minutes. Add the salt, ginger, potatoes, tomatoes and coriander powder and mix well until the potatoes are fully covered in all the seasoning. Transfer into a large bowl, and allow the filling to cool at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6.
To make the pastry, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, rub it into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. In a pan, heat 200ml water and fat until just boiling. Pour the liquid onto the flour mixture and mix using a wooden spoon.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to a smooth dough. Roll out a large circle of dough to line your tin. Make sure you have some hanging off the sides.
Spoon the filling into the pastry-lined tin. Press it down and level the surface.
Using the remaining pastry, roll out the pie lid on a lightly floured work surface.
Brush the top edges of the pastry in the tin with beaten egg yolk and place the pastry lid on top. Crimp the edges to seal and trim off any excess pastry. Make a couple of slits in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape and brush the pastry lid with egg wash. Use any leftover pastry to make decorations for the top of the pie.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove from the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
A rookie mistake when making any kind of pastry - not covering the dough I wasn't using. So I totally forgot to do this simple task, and so the pastry hardened slightly on the outside. I fixed this by just kneading it for 1 minute and then it was fine, however, I had to wait maybe 10 minutes after for the pastry to rest before using it for the top of the pie.
When adding the lid of the pie, before crimping the base and lid together, I didn't fold the edges. This is why you can see in some of my photos where they meet.
I didn't make slits on the lid to let the steam out when baking in the oven. Don't forget this important step. If the steam isn't realised from the pie, this can cause a gap between your filling and lid and could also cause your pie to have a soggy bottom.
The crust was browning too quickly so I covered the top with a foil lid.
Raised potato curry pie