Normally when I make pies I make them in ramekins with pastry tops like pictured, or woven tops like here. And the pastry is usually a store bought pre-rolled variety.
But this week I borrowed a Sunbeam Pie Magic 2-up pie maker (also available in 4-up), and followed the instructions of the kind lender by making the pastry from blokes who bake. Over the course of the week I altered the pastry recipe since I ran out of lemons for version 2, and forgot the egg yolk AND still had no lemons for version 3. But this pastry was resilient and did not seem to be affected by the omission of half of the ingredients. I could not perceive any difference in taste by omitting the lemon, and co-incidence or not the pastry was less gluggy the second and third times I made it. So below is the well tested and modifiable recipe.
Also over the course of the week I learned a bit about pie filling. While my first filling (mince with sundried tomato) was tasty, it didn’t have enough gravy. So to version 2 I added a cup of beefstock, with a tablespoon of cornflour to thicken up into a good gravy mix. That produced a really good mince pie. For version 3 I wanted to gourmet it up so I made my usual beef bourguignon and used that as the pie filling. Delish. Though not necessarily better than just eating bourguignon on its own.
So the final verdict? Mr Magic scored pretty high, though I can’t say I have tried making pies in an oven with a regular pie tin. The machine works exactly like a toasted sandwich maker but it has a deeper dish. I also assume the temperature and /or timer is set differently to enable a longer cooking time for the pies. Given you need to make a pie filling and probably a pastry, the convenience factor of the quick cook machine is reduced somewhat. I won’t be rushing out to buy one when I return this one, but I will attempt some oven cooking of homemade pies (with a full crust). And I think this would be a great appliance if you have school aged kids or even teenagers. My kids are still a bit young to eat these yet so who ate all the pies?
SHORT CRUST PASTRY and HOME MADE PIES (pastry makes enough for 6x Sunbeam Pie Magic pies)
2 cups plain flour
1 egg yolk (ok to omit)
juice of 2 lemons (ok to omit)
120 grams butter (no discernable difference reducing to 100grams)
cold water to mix
Mix all ingredients to form a dough. Knead a few times and form into a flat round. Pop in a tupperware or wrap in cling film then refrigerate for 30 mins. Roll out on a floured board and if using the Magic pie maker; cut out the base and top shapes with the supplied cutter. Put base into pie maker, add a nice gravy and meat filling or even a sweet fruit filling, add the pastry lid and press down the pie maker until the indicator shows ready and the pies look firm and golden.