Plate Pie

A plate pie is, as its name suggests, a pie baked in a deep plate instead of a pie dish. You will need an ovenproof plate, and any meat or fruit filling may be used. We have filled our Plate Pie with an unusual mixture of lamb and currants.

If oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 lb. boned leg of lamb, cut into fine dice

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 oz. currants

4 fl. oz. dry sherry

1 large egg, lightly beaten

½ teaspoon ground mace

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

8 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

4 oz. butter

3 to

4 tablespoons iced water

1 egg, lightly beaten

In a large flameproof casserole, melt ½ ounces of the butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the lamb dice to the casserole and fry, turning frequently, for 5 minutes or until the meat is lightly and evenly browned.

Add the salt, pepper and currants, and pour over the sherry. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to the boil.

Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover the casserole and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover the casserole and continue cooking for a further 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the butter and cut it into small pieces with a table knife. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Add

2 tablespoons of the iced water and, with the knife, mix it into the flour mixture. With your hands, mix and knead the dough until it is smooth. Add more water if the dough is too dry. Form the dough into a ball and wrap it in grease-proof or waxed paper. Place the ball in the refrigerator and chill for

20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400 °F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C). With the remaining teaspoon of butter, grease a 9-inch oven- proof pie plate.

Remove the casserole from the heat. Pour off and discard any liquid left in the casserole. Mix in the egg and set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrig-erator. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll out one piece of dough into a circle slightly larger than the plate. Carefully lift the dough on the rolling-pin and place it on the plate. Press it down with your fingertips to line the plate, trimming off any excess dough. Reserve the trimmings. Moisten the edge of the dough with water. Spoon the meat filling into the centre of the plate, leaving the Crisp, melt-in-the-mouth pastry envelops an unusual filling of lamb, sherry and currants in our version of traditional

Plate Pie. rim clear. Sprinkle the mace and parsley over the filling.

Roll the remaining dough out into another circle, large enough to fit the plate. Lift the dough circle on to the plate.

Trim off any excess dough and crimp the edges together to seal them. Roll out the trimmings and use to decorate the pie.

Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with the beaten egg.

Place the plate on a baking sheet and put the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and serve the pie at once.

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Plum and Apple Marmalade, Plum Cake and Plum and Cherry Soup are only three of, literally, scores of delicious recipes for plums.

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