Hot water pastry:
200g plain flour.
50g strong white bread flour.
Flat teaspoon ground mace (optional).
Flat teaspoon salt.
About 300g sausage meat.
Ground black pepper.
Fresh thyme leaves.
1 lemon, zest only.
1 egg, beaten.
Preheat oven to 200C, Gas 6.
Place the water and lard in a pan and heat gently until the lard has just melted.
Meanwhile, mix the flours, salt and mace (if using) in a bowl.
Rub in the butter.
Pour in the water and lard and stir with a wooden spoon.
Use your hands to make a dough ball and allow it to cool (press out and put on a cold plate in the fridge).
Mix black pepper, the herbs and lemon zest into the sausage meat.
Line the pie tins with the pastry (either roll out or mould with your hands).
Fill with sausage meat and press out a lid and mould over the pies.
Make a hole in each pie top to let steam escape, brush with the beaten egg.
Place on a tray in the oven for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 140C, Gas 2 for 20 minutes. If you have a probe thermometer, check that the filling has reached 70C. Cover with a loose double layer of foil to stop the pastry over-cooking if necessary.
I will use a bun tin with loose bottoms or small foil containers with high sides.
It is difficult to be accurate about the amount of filling you will need as it depends on the size of your pie tins, how thin you get the pastry etc. The above quantities made three generous individual pork pies.
Trex or butter might replace the lard although I haven’t tried it.
If I was experimenting with a wheat-free flour, I’d try adding about a teaspoon of xanthium gum to the flour – but no guarantees!
Vegetable fillings are equally possible but will need part-cooking beforehand so that the mix has cooled. I’ve used: sauted onion, mushroom, courgette, potato, fresh thyme, seasoning.
If you want to chill the pies, you might consider adding some “jelly”: a stock pot/cube, a little water and some gelatine to make the jelly that is poured into the steam hole. Good to do this while the pie is still warm and itwill spread through the pie.