He remembered his Mum making this pie, which he absolutely loved, and so when I was looking for ideas for the menu planning, he suggested it.
Now, he only had a very loose idea of what was in it and the way it was prepared. It sounded like a quiche, but with bacon, cheddar cheese and apple - but that didn't co-incide with his memory of it. So, following a telephone conversation with his Mum where she put him straight, we had a go at re-creating the elusive Kentish Pie.
What it is, is a pie made in a deep pie dish. You begin with a layer of shortcrust pastry (which I blind baked, just to make sure), then layers of cooked bacon, cheddar cheese and apple, repeated twice. Then, you make up a concoction of seven eggs (which is how much it took to fill my pie dish, which was an oval, around 8ins long) and three tablespoons of double cream, plus a good scrunge or two of black pepper. Pour that in and give it all a little shake to settle it. Pop on the top layer of shortcrust pastry and bake for 35-40 minutes in a moderate oven.
|See my piggy? I'm so proud of that piggy. LOL|
Hubby was very hopeful as it was baking, and even more hopeful when it was done.
We ate it with a small side salad (for which I had griddled some courgette strips) and, after his first taste of the pie, rolled his eyes heavenwards and declared "that's the stuff!".
The apple goes so well with the cheese, the cheese goes so well with the bacon, the bacon goes so well with the egg, the egg goes so well with the cheese, the apple goes so well with the bacon - the flavour combinations are just lovely.
|You can just about make out each ingredient, in its layers|
KENTISH PIE (feeds 6-8)
Shortcrust pastry, sufficient for both top and bottom of the pie.
8 large rashers (or 12 smaller rashers) of back bacon, grilled and chopped into pieces
200-250g cheddar cheese, cubed small (depending on how strong your cheddar is)
2 dessert apples, peeled and sliced to approx 3mm (I used a Braeburn and a Jonagold)
7 eggs, lightly whisked, plus 1 egg yolk for glazing
3 tbsp double cream
freshly ground pepper.
1. Pre-heat your oven to 180deg C/350deg F/Gas 4.
2. Lay your first piece of pastry into the bottom of the pie dish and ensure it reaches the top of the sides. Cut a piece of baking paper, scrunch it into a ball, then open it out and line the inside of the pastry. Tip some baking beans into the paper, to hold it down and prevent the pastry from bubbling as it cooks.
3. Bake the pastry for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and allow it to cool slightly.
4. Lay your first layer of bacon on top of the pastry, then follow with the cheese cubes and the apple slices. Repeat.
5. In a bowl, mix the cream with the eggs, season with the pepper and whisk lightly to combine. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and give it a little shake to distribute it evenly amongst the contents.
6. Take the egg yolk and with a pastry brush, break it up lightly. Then brush egg yolk around the edge of the pastry case.
7. Lay the top layer of pastry onto the pie and press down around the edges to seal it. Trim off the excess and press a fork or knife into the pastry all around the edge, to make a pretty pattern which also helps to seal it.
8. Cut two crosses into the top of the pie to allow steam to escape (otherwise it may blow the lid off) and adorn your pie with decorations cut from the excess pastry. I made a little apple, a pig (I was quite proud of my pig) and then got stuck as to how to express "cheese", so settled for a simple "C". Leaves would probably have done, though!
9. When you're done being creative, give the whole lot a good egg wash and place it into the oven to bake for some 35-40 minutes.
10. At the end of the time, the top layer of pastry will be slightly domed. Remove the pie from the oven and pierce the lid with a sharp knife. If you can't see any liquid egg, then your pie is done. If there is liquid egg visible, pop it back in for another 10 minutes until it's done.
11. Leave it to cool and eat at room temperature. After a half hour or so, it is perfectly possible to remove it from its pie dish, which helps it to cool more quickly.