You can't always bake what you want
This week's challenge for the Wellington On A Plate Bake Club were savoury meat or vegetable pies. I love pies so much, that I would second a motion to re-name Friday into Pieday and make it the law to have a pie every week.
The biggest challenge the Cheap Tarts faced today was serving our pies in an office without an oven. Most of us decided to go small (opposed to family sized pies) and either gave the little lovelies a short blast in the microwave or used a sandwich press to re-heat the (mostly) meaty goodness.
As every week we will let you, our readers, choose which recipe you want. Vote here and we will share the winning recipe on Thursday.
Siobhan Downes: Nan's mince pies
Embarrassingly basic, but a favourite in my family - as kids, my cousins and I would request these baby pies every time we went to Nan's house for tea. Sometimes simple is best. The filling consists of mince, grated carrots, peas, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, beef stock and salt and pepper to taste. Loads of tomato sauce to accompany the pies is necessary - I'm obsessed with Tuimato sauce, which has beer in it (sorry for corrupting your pies Nan)!
Wellington ingredients: Zero... a fail!
Lucy Corry: Aunty Jenny's party pies
These little pies are child's play to make - my five-year-old can make them with a little supervision. The recipe comes from my clever sister-in-law Jenny Corry, who has years of experience in catering with style and flair. The secret is using the best puff pastry you can lay your hands on - my preference is for the gorgeous Paneton flaky puff pastry, but I've obviously told too many people about it as Moore Wilson's had sold out of it over the weekend. The filling is a mixture of salty ham, finely chopped gherkins, parmesan cheese and lots of cracked black pepper, bound together with cream cheese and egg yolk. They take 10 minutes to bake and go down a treat with a glass of bubbles. Then again, doesn't everything?
Wellington ingredients: Wairarapa free-range eggs, Zany Zeus cream cheese, Harrington's ham.
Jule Scherer: Pretzel Goulash Hand Pies
These pies take you on a journey to Europe with big, rustic old-world-flavours. The crunchy, salty Pretzel dough is filled with a paprika goulash that has simmered for 12 hours in a slow cooker with a half-pint of Parrotdog's BitterBitch (a beautifully hopped IPA). It comes with a bit of a kick from a dash of smoked chipotle pepper and to soften the blow the pies are filled with a couple of slices of well-aged cheddar. I grew up in Bavaria and there just isn't quite anything like the taste of a Pretzel, which we actually call Brezel. The Americans have butchered that word and now it always seems to everybody that it's me who can't pronounce my favourite food. Since moving to New Zealand I have started a love affair with meat pies so these ones are bringing together the best out of both worlds. And it's needless to say that they go fabulously with beer.
Wellington Ingredients: Parrotdog's BitterBitch and Kapiti Portwine Cheddar.
Lisa Rapley: Pork and pesto pies
This week I decided to experiment a little bit because, to be quite honest with you, I had never made a meat pie before. I was thinking how I could use mince for a pie when it came to me - use a well-trusted and favourite recipe for satay pork balls. It is a great mixture if you want to make meatballs or patties. With that in mind I decided to make a 'burger' but in pie form. So what would you add to a burger? Cheese, naturally, and some form of sauce... If you have ever had Geonese pesto before, you will know that it is the most amazing pesto out there. With a subtle satay flavour in the pork I added a sharp cheese and the pesto to compliment. Although not necessarily coming out like a burger, they tasted like a good quality pork sausage.
Wellington ingredients: Geonese pesto, Kapiti Pakari Aged Cheddar Cheese
Katie Kenny: Very American pumpkin pie
I just couldn't bring myself to adhere to this week's challenge. By using a vegetable as the main ingredient, I at least paid tribute to the rules. But I still favoured sweet over savoury. Family friends visiting from the United States left a can of Libby's pumpkin in my parents' pantry. Curious, I smuggled it to Wellington to save for a special occasion. Today was it. The pie was easy, so easy, to make. Not surprising, given the main ingredients -- pumpkin and evaporated milk -- came from a can. Very American, right?
I added a few extra spices, and the results, judging from flatmates' and colleagues' reactions, were positive. I've never had it before, so who am I to judge?!
Wellington ingredients: Zero. Apologies - but this was all American.