What’s for dinner?

You know that song “What’s for dinner?” by King Khan & BBQ Show? Or “Stormy Weather” by Reigning Men? Well somehow, lines in these songs have become a running joke in our household:

Mashed potato, chicken pie / What’s for dinner? became simply a refrain of Mashed potato, lots of pie / Where’s my dinner?

Don’t know why/ There’s no sun up in the sky has become Don’t know why / There’s never any pie

Great songs, so good. Still, the constant discussion of pies all culminated in the creation of not one but TWO enormous homemade pies on the weekend.

I wanted a savoury pie to start with as I’d never really made one before. The tricky part was finding a filling recipe – vegetarian pies tend to fall into ‘bland’ categories. Tom suggested a curry filling and from there we sort of made up a Malaysian-style coconut curry filling with sweet potato, carrot, potato and xxx.I had some concerns that the filling might be too liquid-y, but it cooked down quite quickly and the addition of potato helped a lot. I also blind-baked the inner crust to help it maintain structure.

The second filling was to be a sweet one and only to be made if we could be bothered (pie is a lot of work!). I’d already made the dough, but that could wait a few days or go into the freezer and wait even longer if necessary. In the end, I decided to go for it and used four apples, a punnet of raspberries and a punnet of blueberries. I agonised in Rewe about whether to use cranberries (seasonal!) but having never cooked them before, I was a little scared and decided against it. Next time, I’ll get them anyway. I didn’t blind-bake the second crust which maybe I should have. I also – for the first time – did not cook the filling first. I let the apple and berries sit for a few minutes in lemon juice, a little homemade vanilla extract and a teaspoon of sugar and then dumped the whole thing into the crust, threw the top on and popped it in the oven.

Well. It was delicious, but in the course of making and eating them, I did learn a few valuable lessons:

  • First, blind-baking helps.
  • Second, drain the fruit first.
  • Third, turn the fruit juice into a sauce for drizzling over the top
  • Fourth, you can’t buy cream in Germany on a Sunday night but you can buy ice cream.

I didn’t take photos of the pies, but if I make them again I might put up a more detailed recipe. The dough is from smitten kitchen and is super easy – i used the K-beaters of the Kenwood to do a double batch and I’ve never made a better pie crust.

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