Pie week pie week pie week! I was looking forward to this theme as I really do love a good pie! I made two pies for last season’s GBBO Challenge – a quiche Lorraine and a picnic pie. They both turned out pretty well and I was looking forward to having another excuse to EAT A LOAD OF PIE!!! This week’s challenges were:
Signature Bake – Sweet Tart
Technical Challenge – Mini pear pies
Showstopper Challenge – Themed three tiered pies
I decided to go a little bit rogue this week and stray slightly from the key themes and made lots of little pies which would be easier to eat over a few days than one large pie (hey, I could stack them on top of the other for a towering Showstopper to rival Luis’?!) I decided to go with one of
Pie Paul Hollywood’s recipes – chicken and chorizo empanadas!
I’ve never made mini pies before so was hoping I could pull off the delicacy needed (I can be a bit heavy handed in the kitchen, as Mamma Sue will tell you after making our Baked Alaska together last week!) I really liked how simple the pastry recipe seemed, and the fact that you didn’t need to rub the fat and flour together which I hate doing (it just takes so longggggg!!!) I also loved the flavour combinations of onion, chorizo and chicken which just sounded amazing, and it also includes cumin seeds which I’d never cooked with before.
I was so pleased with how they turned out! The pastry was definitely a bit thick so I should have rolled it a little further but it had a nice flaky texture to it. There were also no soggy bottoms hurrah! The flavours of the filling was absolutely delicious and you could really taste each element separately which I liked. The cumin seeds added a nice hotness and depth of flavour so I will definitely be using these again in other recipes. Paul’s recipe also includes raisins in the filling but fruit in savoury food is one of my ultimate pet peeves so I left them out, but my boyfriend thought they would have worked well too.
For the dough:
** 150g unsalted butter
** 300g plain flour
** large pinch of salt
** 1 medium egg lightly beaten
** 3 – 5 tablespoons of water
For the filling:
** 4 chicken thighs on the bones and with the skin on
** 1 tablespoon of olive oil
** 1 medium onion, finely chopped
** 1 garlic clove, crushed
** 100g chorizo
** 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
** salt and pepper to season
** 1 medium egg lightly beaten
1) Heat your oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
2) Place your chicken thighs in a small roasting dish and season well with salt and pepper (I added some olive oil too. Sorry Paul!). Roast for 45 minutes and then set aside to cool.
3) While your chicken is cooking / cooling, get making the pastry. Start by melting the butter and then leaving it too cool slightly.
4) Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and then add the melted butter and beaten egg. Mix this altogether and gradually add the teaspoons of water until it is all incorporated into a soft dough.
5) Tip your dough out into your clean work surface and knead for about 3 minutes until the dough becomes smooth. Then return the dough to the bowl, cover it up and set aside while you make the filling.
6) Heat your oil in a frying pan and then add your chopped onion and leave it to cook for about 10 minutes or until it becomes soft.
7) Add your chopped chorizo, garlic and cumin seeds and stir the mix well until the chorizo is cooked through, then remove from the heat.
TOP TIP: If you want to add raisins to your empanadas (**shudder!**) add 50g at this stage.
8) Take your cooled chicken thighs, remove the skin and pull all the meat from the bone. Roughly chop the meat, add it to the chorizo filling and mix it all together, then leave to cool completely.
TOP TIP:I transferred my mixture to a bowl to cool quicker rather than leaving in the hot frying pan.
9) Lightly flour your work surface and then roll out the dough to a 3mm thickness. Use a 12cm cutter or bowl to cut out circles of dough and then place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.
10) Dampen the edges of each circle and then spoon some of the filling into the middle of each.
11) Fold the pastry in half to create a semi-circle shape. Press the pastry edges together to seal them and then use a fork to crimp the edges.
12) Brush the tops of the empanadas with beaten egg and then put in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown.
I really enjoyed trying another new pie recipe this week and learning an alternative pastry making method. The empanadas were really tasty and so easy to transport, they will definitely be rivalling my famous homemade sausage rolls as an alternative treat to take on picnics and road trips.
What are your favourite pie fillings?
You can check out my other posts in the 2014 GBBO Challenge series below:
** 2014 GBBO Challenge – Week 3 – Bread (Ciabatta)
** 2014 GBBO Challenge – Week 2 – Biscuits (Florentines)
** 2014 GBBO Challenge – Week 1 – Cake (Swiss Roll)
** 2014 GBBO Challenge – The Great British Bake Off is Back