Gala picnic pie
We grew up eating luminous pink gala pie with green egg. We loved it at the time, but this is the gourmet version from two Northerners made good, with dinky little quail’s eggs down the middle. Great served with salad, pickles and a bit of mustard.
- 12 quail’s eggs
- 4 pork sausages (about 250g/9oz)
- 200g (7oz) minced pork
- 2 rashers of streaky bacon, cut into 1cm (½in) pieces
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground mace
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1tbsp plain flour
For the pastry
- 225g (8oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 25g (1oz) cold butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
- 75g (2¾oz) cold lard, cut into cubes
- 1tsp sea salt
- 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the quail’s eggs and boil them for 2½ minutes. Drain them and rinse under running water until they’re cold, then set them aside.
Squeeze the sausages out of their skins into a large bowl. Add the minced pork, bacon, ginger and mace, then season with pepper. Get your hands in there and mix everything together. Divide the mixture into 2 portions.
Peel the eggs, put them in a bowl and toss them in the flour until they’re lightly coated. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Line a large metal baking tray with baking parchment.
For the pastry, put the flour and pepper in a food processor with the butter and 25g (1oz) of the lard. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Put the remaining lard in a small pan and add 4tbsp cold water and a pinch of salt.
Bring to a simmer, then add to the flour mixture with the motor running and blend until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly to make a smooth, pliable dough. Dust the baking tray with flour.
Shape the dough into a rectangle and place it on the tray. Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is about 6mm (¼in) thick and makes a rectangle of 30cm x 28cm (12in x 11in). You’ll need to turn the pastry a few times while rolling.
Place half the pork mixture lengthways down the middle of the pastry, leaving a 1.5cm (¾in) border at each end. The mixture should be about 25cm (10in) long and 10cm (4in) wide. Top with the floured eggs, standing them on their ends and placing one next to the other all the way down the length of the pork. Cover with the remaining pork mixture, making sure all the eggs are enclosed, and press down lightly.
Brush one of the long pastry edges lightly with beaten egg and bring both sides to the middle to encase the filling. Press the edges firmly together to seal, then trim the top with a sharp set of kitchen scissors, leaving 1cm (½in) or so for the crest.
Crimp the top edge into a wiggly line on top of the pie. Brush the pie with beaten egg and bake for 15 minutes, then remove it from the oven and brush with egg again. Put the pie back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until it’s golden-brown and the pastry and filling are completely cooked. Leave to cool before slicing and serving.