I love pies, as the pastry is essentially a jacket for whatever filling or leftovers you have to put in them. They are so versatile and can be sweet or savoury. They can be individual or family sized. And you can make the filling one day and then place it in the pastry the next day if you are short on time.
Pies are a favourite in our house, yet we don’t seem to have them as often as we should seeing how easy they are. Usually, when I make pies, I will make a double batch of at least 6-8 so I can freeze half and have a second meal at a later date. Having said that, this time I made one batch, which gave me four pies.
For Mother’s Day last year, I was given a pie maker, which is essentially just a toasted sandwich maker with pie shaped holes in it – one of the best additions to my kitchen ever! And the best part about it is to reheat the pies, you simply microwave for a few minutes to ensure the filling is warm, then pop the pie back in the pie maker to crisp up the pastry, cos let’s be honest, a pie isn’t the same without crispy pastry.
I like to use the reduced fat puff pastry, but you can use the full fat variety if you wish. I personally don’t think there is too much difference in the taste between the two. If you are opting for a lower fat approach to this meal, rather than making individual pies, make a family pie, this will result in a great filling to pastry ratio, or even better, a family pie with pastry only on top. Serve with a nice garden salad and you have a tasty balanced meal.
Makes 4 individual or 1 family pie:
- 400g chicken thighs, chopped
- 3 leeks, white part only, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin, cut into 1-2cm cubes
- 1 cup broccoli, cut into small florets
- 1 1/2 tbs plain flour
- 3/4 cup reduced fat milk
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 4 sheets of reduced fat puff pastry
- If not using a pie maker: Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a 24-26cm pie dish with baking paper.
- Heat large frypan over medium heat. Add oil, and when hot add the leeks and fry, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes or until translucent.
- Add pumpkin and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
- Add chicken and broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally until the meat is browned.
- Add flour and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Add the milk and the mustard and stir to combine. If the mixture is a bit dry add some more milk or water.
- Turn off the heat, add some salt and pepper to taste and mix.
- If making individual pies, cut the appropriate sized top and bottom, place the bottom in a prepared pie tin or pie maker, add 1/4 of the filling and add the top piece of pastry (If not using a pie maker: prick fork holes in the top to allow air to escape). Repeat with remaining pies.
- If making a family pie, place bottom piece of pastry into dish, add the filling and place the top piece on top. Prick some fork holes in the top to allow air to escape.
- Cook family pie for 30 minutes or until pastry has browned. Smaller pies will only need ~20 minutes.
- If cooking in a pie maker, cook until pastry is browned and crispy.
- Serve with a side salad.