Who can resist a steaming-hot home-baked pie? Whether it’s savoury or sweet, humble or gourmet, individual or family-sized, a tasty pie is an enduring Kiwi favourite. Particularly good in winter, there is nothing more satisfying than eating a piping-hot, freshly baked pie, tart, quiche or even sausage roll which has just come out of the kitchen oven, brimming with various fillings enclosed in a buttery pastry. - Dean Brettschneider
I have to say, I agree with the above sentiments. Doesn’t that little bit of gravy oozing out of that perfect golden pastry on the book cover make your mouth water? Every time I look at it I wish I could smell or taste that pie. PIE is the newly released book by Dean Brettschneider, who you probably know as one of the judges on New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker.
PIE is a beautiful book; hardcover and full of nice thick pages. The photography by Aaron McLean is stunning. I mean, pies are mostly brown in colour, yet every picture in the book looks different and appealing to the eye.
The book is not all meat pie recipes either. It begins with a history lesson on the origins of pie and pie making in New Zealand. Then comes the recipes. There’s your classic Mince and Cheese and Bacon and Egg pies, then there are some more unusual offerings like a Coriander Chicken and Yoghurt Curry Pie or Shepherd’s Pies but cooked in jars. PIE also contains a section called ‘not-quite-a-pie’ which covers recipes such as Sausage rolls and Cornish Pasties. And, as I said, not all the recipes are for meat dishes either. There is a huge selection of sweet treats to make ranging from whoopie pies to tarts and shortcake.
Towards the back of the book is a ‘basic recipes’ section which includes recipes for a variety of different pastries. Did you know you there was such a thing as Gingerbread Puff Pastry? Well now you do and you can make it too.
Head on over to the Penguin website for a squiz at a few more recipes from the book (I’m thinking I need to try making the Bacon, Carried Egg and Ricotta Pie - it sounds delish!). We’ve published one for a Roast Pear and Blueberry Pie below – it sounds like the perfect recipe to make on a cold Winter’s night. Penguin are also running a competition on their Facebook page – bake something from the book, post up a photo and you can win an awesome prize. Check out the entries and vote, or why not enter yourself?
Roast Pear and Blueberry Pie
Makes a medium sized pie, serving 4 – 6 people
1 quantity of Sour Cream and Lemon Pastry (Recipe on page 195 of the book)
6 ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm cubes
30g unsalted butter, melted
50g brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water,for egg wash
1 tablespoon raw sugar, for sprinkling
Make a quantity of Sour Cream and Lemon Pastry ahead and rest it as required. Divide pastry into two portions (two-thirds for base and one-third for top). On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger portion to approximately 3mm thick to line a 22cm × 15cm pie dish (5cm deep). Lightly oil pie dish and line with pastry, allowing a little overhang.
Roll remaining pastry for the top of the pie so it’s just larger than the pie dish. Cut small holes in the top of the top pastry, 5mm apart. Place on a baking paper-lined oven tray. Refrigerate pastry base and top until chilled (30 minutes).
Put cubed pear in a bowl and add butter, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice, tossing well to combine. Transfer to a baking dish that holds them snugly.
Bake in a preheated 180°C oven for 20–30 minutes or until pears are softened but still holding their shape. Remove from oven and transfer to a bowl, adding the blueberries while the pears are still warm. Mix well. Allow to cool slightly (20 minutes), then drain through a sieve to remove excess liquid.
Take pastry from refrigerator and spoon fruit mixture into the lined pie dish. Brush the rim of the pastry case with egg wash, then drape remaining pastry over the pie dish. Trim, then press pastry edges firmly together to seal. Crimp the rim using your forefinger and thumb.
Brush the pastry with egg wash, then sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake in a preheated 180°C oven for 35–40 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden-brown in colour.
Reproduced with permission from Pie by DeanBrettschneider. Published by Penguin Group NZ. RRP $54.99. Copyright© Dean Brettschneider, 2012. Copyright photography © Aaron McLean,2012