Before I do anymore damage to my friends reputations, I shall continue telling you about our pre-christmas. Lauren and I took charge of the shopping and most of the cooking. It took sometime for the meat eaters to decide what they wanted for their main. Some said turkey, others gammon, there was even talk of goose. Bleurgh. They finally decided in guinea fowl, so off to Lockey Farm Shop we went to source this fowl. I didn’t even know there were such farm shops in such close proximity to Woodley. It was so exciting! There were chickens wondering around and sheep hanging about. The shop was amazing. They had everything from fresh produce to cheese and meat. Lauren picked up a couple of birds and I got some stilton for the veggie main; mushroom wellington. The rest of the shopping was done at Sainsburys. No need to talk about that.
Egg separator (not essential)
2 x Saucepans
Baking beans (any dried beans e.g. kidney)
140g cold butter (diced)
250g plain flour (plus a little extra for dusting)
100g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
250g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
3 tbsp cornflour
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 oranges
100g golden caster sugar
85g butter (diced)
3 egg Yolks
1 whole egg
- Put the butter and flour in a food processor and whizz until mixture resembles fine crumbs. (Can be done by hand; rub butter and flour together)
- Combine egg yolks and 2 tsp cold water.
- Whilst food processor is still running, pour in the liquid, bringing pastry together. If pastry dough does not come together, add a little water – 1 tsp at a time. (No more than 2!)
- Tip pastry onto a lightly floured surface, bring together to form a flat disc.
- Roll out pastry to line a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin.* Leave pastry over hanging the tin.
- Prick bottom of pie crust with a fork and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
- Whilst the crust chills, heat the oven to 200c/180c fan/gas 6.
- Line pie crust with baking parchment and fill with baking beans and blind bake for 15 mins
- Remove parchment and baking beans. Return pie crust to oven and bake for a further 10 mins until pastry looks golden brown.
- Trim edges of pastry with a shape knife.
- If continuing to make rest of pie, lower oven temp to 180c/160c fan/gas 4.
- Cook the cranberries in a shallow pan over medium heat, with 2 tbsp water, for 15 mins until pulpy and mushy.
- Push fruit through a sieve over a bowl. You will be left with a thick, smooth, cranberry purée. Get rid of the seeds and skins.
- In a clean pan, whisk together orange & lemon juice and cornflour.
- Add the sugar and cranberry purée. Heat until the mixture begins to bubble and has thickened.
- Remove from heat and add butter. Beat until butter has melted.
- Add egg yolks and whole egg to pan. Beat well.
- Return pan to medium heat. Keep stirring vigorously for 5mins until mixture thickens. You want it thick enough to drop off the spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Put the egg whites in a large clean bowl and whisk to form stiff peaks. (Make sure the bowl is v.clean. Egg whites don’t like dirty bowls. If you have one, use an electric whisk, makes life much easier!)
- Add half the sugar a spoonful at a time. Whisk between each spoonful, until stiff again.
- Whisk in the remaining sugar and cornflour, until shiny and thick.
- Pour filling into pie crust.
- Add meringue, a spoonful at a time round the edge (just touching the pastry), then pile the rest up in the centre. Spread so filling is covered.
- Bake for 18-20mins until meringue is crisp and slightly coloured.
- Leave pie to cool for 30 mins before removing from tin.
- Leave for another 30 mins before slicing.