There’s nothing like eating a great British tea outdoors, from a crisply cut sandwich to the perfect pork pie – and who can resist crunching into meringues and devouring iced fingers? In many ways it’s a meal fit for a queen, so what better way to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee than with this sumptuous spread, inspired by our friends at the Great British Bake Off?
“We’re working hard on the new series of Bake Off,” says Paul Hollywood, “so I’ll be celebrating while filming with Mel, Sue and Mary. We’re in Somerset this year – it’s gorgeous here!”
Pork pies with quails’ eggs
For the hot water crust pastry:
200g/7oz plain flour
40g/11/2oz strong white bread flour
50g/13/4oz unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
100ml/31/2fl oz boiling water
1 egg, beaten, to glaze
For the filling:
1 onion, very finely chopped
300g/101/2oz boneless pork loin
100g/31/2oz unsmoked streaky bacon
small bunch of parsley
6 quails' eggs
salt and black pepper
1 chicken stock cube
100ml/31/2fl oz boiling water
1 sheet leaf gelatine
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Sift the flours into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour with the tips of your fingers until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Make a well in the centre.
2. Put the lard in a pan and heat until it melts; remove from the heat. Add the salt to the boiling water and stir to dissolve, then add to the lard and stir to combine. Pour the hot lard mixture into the well in the flour. Using a wooden spoon gradually mix the flour into the liquid. Keep mixing until a dough has formed.
3.When the dough is cool enough to handle, tip it onto a lightly floured surface and work together quickly into a ball. If the dough is still a bit lumpy, leave it to cool slightly and then work it for 1 to 2 minutes longer.
4. The dough should be glossy and still warm to touch. Roll it out to 3mm/1/8in thickness. Using a 20cm/8in cutter, cut out 6 rounds for the pie cases. Cut out 6 rounds with a 15cm/6in cutter for the lids.
5. Line the holes in a six-hole muffin tray with the 20cm rounds, pressing them gently over the base and up the sides without stretching the dough. There will be an overhang. Chill the lined muffin tray and pie lids while you make the filling.
6. To make the filling, finely chop the onion, pork, bacon and parsley. Mix together and add some salt and pepper. Soft-boil (for 2 minutes) and peel the quails’ eggs. Spoon about half of the mixture into the pie cases, dividing it evenly. Place an egg in the middle of each and top with the rest of the meat mixture.
7. Brush the edge of each pastry case with beaten egg. Place the lids on top and press the edges together to seal. Trim the edges, if necessary. The easiest way to decorate the edge of the pies is with the back of a fork. You can also crimp the edges with your fingers.
8. Using a piping nozzle, make a hole in the lid of each pie, then brush with beaten egg. Bake for 40 minutes. When the pies are cooked, remove them from their tin and allow to cool. Dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water. Soak the gelatine sheet in a little water, gently squeeze out the excess water then whisk into the hot stock. Pour a little of the stock mixture into the hole of each pie. Leave to cool overnight or in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.