My grandmother is probably the best cook I've ever met. Of an era where a joint of meat lasted through a week's worth of meals, her frugality and ability to turn anything into the heartiest of meals has left me with the fondest memories of pies. I actually think of a particular chicken, mushroom and leek one that she made once that I ate a slice of, cold but still mouthwateringly goof, upon returning home from a trip out all day. It was a slice of heaven.
It's meant I'm reluctant to bake my own pies. I find pastry quite daunting and the memory of the pie always overshadows whatever filling I've created. I know practice makes perfect but the trouble is I want perfect. Yesterday.
So it happened that this week I had some store bought short crust pastry reaching its use by date in the fridge. I'd had plans to make cheese straws with the Tot but we'd been out and about and it just never happened. So I reached for a pie recipe and decided that it was the day to start my own journey into homemade pies.
I started with this recipe as it seemed pretty simple. Simple is key in my humble opinion whenever a pie is concerned. Save the fancy stuff for flans. I used the food blender, my most trusted ally these days to quickly zuzz the onions and garlic but added a little carrot and broccoli too in the hope of getting some veg into the Tot. A girl can dream. Sweetcorn went into the pie filling too as an enticement to give it a go.
Once I made the pie and the only acceptable carb side dish in the house, I sat back and looked at leftover pastry. There was only one thing for it. Begin the proper tradition of making jam tarts together with leftovers. I rolled, she cut out and we licked the spoons of homemade lemon curd. Did I photograph said tarts? No. We ate them. Oops.