Hearty homemade pie meets traditional takeaway for a doubly comforting supper.
• Serves 6 • Prep 45 mins • Cook 1 hr 5 mins
3 eggs, at room temperature
50g butter, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus a drizzle
2 onions, chopped
50g plain flour
600ml milk small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
6 small cornichons (about 2 tbsp), rinsed and finely chopped
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and finely chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
800g floury potatoes, cut into chips
600g skinless and boneless haddock, cut into chunks
1 tbsp malt vinegar
200g frozen peas
1 Boil the eggs for 7 mins, then put in cold water and set aside to cool.
2 Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the oil and onions. Cook for 5 mins, or until soft. Stir in the flour for 1 min to make a paste, then add the milk bit by bit, stirring as you go, to make a smooth sauce the consistency of double cream. Add the parsley, cornichons, capers and lemon juice, and season to taste.
3 Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the chips in a pan of water. Bring to a simmer, cook for 2 mins, then drain – they should still hold their shape. Leave to steam-dry for 5 mins.
4 Spread half of the sauce over the base of a large shallow casserole dish. Peel and quarter the eggs, then scatter over the sauce with the fish. Top with the rest of the sauce. Toss the chips with the vinegar and a drizzle of oil and season. Scatter over the pie and bake for 40 mins until the chips are golden.
5 Meanwhile, cook the peas in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 mins, then drain and mash lightly with a knob of butter and the lemon zest. Serve alongside the pie.
PER SERVING 446 kcals, fat 17g, saturates 7g, carbs 40g, sugars 10g, fibre 6g, protein 30g, salt 0.6g
The ultimate comfort food recipe. Golden pastry and a creamy chicken, leek and bacon filling make this a real feast for friends and family.
• Serves 6 • Prep 45 mins • Cook 2 hrs 15 mins
250g plain flour
1 tsp salt
60g cold butter
60g cold lard
1 whole chicken, rubbed with butter or drizzled with olive oil
1 tbsp olive oil
6 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
3 leeks, sliced into rounds
45g plain flour
200ml chicken stock
100g petits pois
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
25g pack parsley, roughly chopped
1 egg, beaten, to glaze
1 Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 5. Roast the chicken for 1 hr 30 mins until the juices run clear.
2 To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl, then rub in the butter and lard. Add 2 tbsp cold water and continue to add some water, 1 tbsp at a time, until the mix binds together, being careful not to add too much. Cover and leave to rest.
3 In a large non-stick frying pan, heat the oil and fry the bacon. Reduce the heat, add the leeks and cook until soft. Mix the butter and flour into a paste and add to the pan, stirring. Slowly add the milk, stirring, to ensure the sauce doesn’t get lumpy. Add the stock and petit pois, cook for 2 mins, add the mustard and remove from the heat. Remove the bird from the oven, briefly rest and carve the meat, discarding the carcass. Add to the pan with the parsley.
4 Turn the oven up to 220C/200C fan/ gas 6. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry and line a 25cm pie dish. Spoon in the filling, then roll out the remaining pastry. Brush the edges of the pie with water, then lay the top over it. Crimp and seal the edges, using any off-cuts for decoration. Brush with the egg, then make a cut in the middle for steam to escape. Bake for 45 mins.
PER SERVING 751 kcals, fat 43g, saturates 19g, carbs 44g, sugars 5g, fibre 6g, protein 46g, salt 2.4g
Swap mashed potato for vibrant sweet potato and bulk out lean lamb or beef mince with red lentils for a slimmer take on this comforting classic.
• Serves 6 • Prep 25 mins • Cook 1 hr 20 mins
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, grated or finely chopped
2 tbsp thyme leaves
400g pack extra-lean minced lamb or beef
85g red lentils
350g swede, chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
750ml reduced-salt beef stock
200ml red wine
350g potatoes, chopped
650g sweet potatoes, chopped
150g 0% fat natural probiotic yogurt generous grating of nutmeg green vegetables, to serve
1 Heat the oil in a large pan, then fry the onions for 6 mins until starting to turn golden. Add the garlic, carrots and thyme and cook for 4 mins more. Stir in the mince, breaking it up with a spoon. When it has browned, add the lentils, swede and flour. Cook for 1-2 mins, then gradually add the stock and red wine. Cover and simmer for 35-40 mins.
2 Meanwhile, boil all of the potatoes for 15-20 mins until tender, then drain and mash with the yogurt, nutmeg and some black pepper.
3 Spoon the meat mixture into a 2-litre ovenproof dish, spread or pipe the potato mixture on top, then grill until the topping starts to brown. If making ahead, reheat in the oven at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for 45 mins. Serve with green veg on the side.
PER SERVING 434 kcals, fat 12g, saturates 4g, carbs 50g, sugars 17g, fibre 9g, protein 28g, salt 0.6g
• Serves 2 • Prep 5 mins • Cook 20 mins
1 tbsp vegetable or rapeseed oil
2 mixed peppers, sliced
1 red onion, halved and sliced
400g mixed beans, drained
2 tbsp fajita spice mix
400g can chopped tomatoes small bunch of coriander, chopped
4 corn tortillas
100g low-fat soured cream
30g grated cheddar
1 Heat the oil in a pan. Fry the peppers and onion until soft. Add the beans, spice mix, tomatoes. Season. Bubble for 5 mins to reduce a little. Stir in most of the coriander. Heat the grill and warm the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds.
2 Spread a quarter of the veg mix over the base of a round ovenproof dish or frying pan. Top with some of the soured cream, then repeat the layers three more times, finishing with a final layer of soured cream. Sprinkle over the cheese and grill for 5 mins, or until golden and bubbling. Scatter with the remaining coriander before serving.
PER SERVING 609 kcals, fat 22g, saturates 8g, carbs 76g, sugars 26g, fibre 14g, protein 19g, salt 3.1g
• Serves 4-6 • Prep 30 mins • Cook 4 hrs 20 mins cooked filling only
3 tbsp vegetable oil
800g lamb shoulder, fat removed, chopped
3 tbsp plain flour
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp ras el hanout
2 tsp each ground coriander and cumin good pinch of ground cloves good pinch of saffron (optional)
1 cinnamon stick
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp honey
4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
270g pack filo pastry (4-6 sheets)
50g butter, melted
50g flaked almonds
50g pomegranate seeds
1 Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Toss the lamb in the flour, then brown in the dish – do this in batches, setting the meat aside on a plate as you go.
2 Cook the onion and garlic in the remaining oil for 5 mins, then add the spices, tomatoes, lemon zest and juice, honey, molasses and half a can of water. Season, bring to a simmer and cover. Reduce the heat and cook for 2 hrs 30 mins-3 hrs, until tender. Leave to cool.
3 Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Transfer the meat to a 25cm-wide pie dish, or leave it in the casserole if it’s wide enough. Brush a sheet of the filo with the butter, scrunch up and put on top of the pie. Repeat with the remaining sheets until the top is covered. Drizzle over any remaining butter and scatter over the almonds, then bake for 45 mins or until golden. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds just before serving.
PER SERVING (6) 595 kcals, fat 30g, saturates 10g, carbs 45g, sugars 11g, fibre 4g, protein 34g, salt 0.8g
• Cuts into 15 squares • Prep 20 mins • Cook 50 mins
1.25kg shortcrust pastry plain flour, for dusting
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp sunflower oil
12 rashers thick-cut smoked back bacon, chopped
4 onions, chopped
1/2 tsp ground mace
2 x 290g jars whole roasted red peppers in brine large bunch of parsley, finely chopped
10 large eggs
1 To make the filling, heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the bacon, turn the heat to low and gently cook to melt out some of the fat, then turn up the heat to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onions and mace to the pan, and gently cook until softened. Set aside to cool.
2 Line the base of a 20 x 30cm tin with baking parchment, then add three long strips across with overhang to help you lift out the pie. Roll out 750g of the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it’s big enough to line the base and sides.
3 Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Spread the onions onto the base of the pie. Open out each pepper like a book, scrape out any seeds, then layer over the onions to cover. Scatter over the bacon and parsley. Crack over the eggs, and season.
4 Roll out the remaining pastry to cover, pinch and trim the edges to seal, and brush with beaten egg. Scatter with sesame seeds. Sit on top of the baking sheet and bake for 30-40 mins until golden and crisp. Leave to cool to room temp. Can be stored in the fridge for up to one day. Serve cut into squares.
PER SQUARE 510 kcals, fat 33g, saturates 10g, carbs 40g, sugars 3g, fibre 3g, protein 14g, salt 1.9g
Nothing beats a classic steak pie, complete with golden-brown flaky pastry and a rich filling.
• Serves 6 • Prep 15 mins • Cook 3 hrs
3 tbsp sunflower oil, plus a drizzle
1kg braising steak, chopped
2 onions, roughly chopped
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 beef stock cubes, mixed with 600ml boiling water
375g sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat half the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and brown the meat well in batches. Set aside. Add the onions with a drizzle of oil and cook over a low heat for 5 mins. Scatter over the flour, stirring until it starts to brown. Tip the meat and any juices back into the pan with the ketchup and stir.
2 Pour in the stock, season, and bring to a simmer. Cover and roast for 2 hrs, or until tender. The filling can be made up to three days ahead if chilled or three months ahead if frozen.
3 Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the filling into a 24-26cm pie dish and brush the rim with some of the yolk. Drape the pastry over the dish and press onto the rim. Make decorations from the trimmings if you like. Brush the pie with the yolk, cut a slit in the centre and bake for 40 mins. Leave to stand for a few mins before serving.
PER SERVING 611 kcals, fat 36g, saturates 14g, carbs 32g, sugars 4g, fibre 3g, protein 39g, salt 1.6g
• Serves 8 • Prep 15 mins plus chilling • No cook
225g digestive biscuits
120g butter, melted
397g tin caramel
300ml pot double cream
3 ripe bananas, finely sliced
banana chips (optional) chocolate shavings
1 Put the biscuits in a blender and blitz to fine crumbs. Add the butter and blitz again to combine. Divide evenly between 8 x 9cm loose-bottomed tart tins, or make one large pie using a 20cm fluted loose-bottomed tart tin. Press in firmly and chill for 30 mins.
2 Spread the caramel over the base to not quite the edges. Arrange some bananas on top. Whip the cream to soft peaks and dollop onto the tarts. Remove from the tins and poke one banana chip, if using, into the centre of each tart, then scatter over the chocolate shavings.
PER SERVING 612 kcals, fat 41g, saturates 25g, carbs 541g, sugars 39g, fibre 1g, protein 6g, salt 0.8g
• Serves 8-10 • Prep 20 mins plus chilling • Cook 1 hr 15 mins
500g pack sweet shortcrust pastry flour, for dusting
75g butter, softened
100g golden caster sugar
175g golden syrup
175g maple syrup
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
300g pecan halves double cream, whipped, to serve
1 Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 23cm tart tin, keeping the leftovers to fill any cracks after blind-baking. Prick the base with a fork and chill for 30 mins or until firm.
2 Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Line the case with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and bake for 15-20 mins until the sides are set. Remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for 5-10 mins until the base is set and the pastry is golden. Leave to cool.
3 Increase the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the syrups, then gradually whisk in the eggs,1/4 tsp salt and the vanilla. Stir in the nuts and pour into the case. Bake for 10 mins. Turn the heat to 160C/140C fan/ gas 3 and continue to bake for 30-35 mins, until the pie is golden and the filling has a little wobble. Leave to cool in the tin. Serve with the whipped cream.
PER SERVING 649 kcals, fat 43g, saturates 11g, carbs 57g, sugars 35g, fibre 3g, protein 8g, salt 0.9g
Cooking apples soften in the steam of the pie, meaning there’s no need to simmer them first.
• Makes 4 • Prep 30 mins plus chilling • Cook 25 mins pastry only
225g cold butter, chopped into small pieces
350g plain flour
50g icing sugar
1 large egg, separated
900g Bramley apples, peeled and thinly sliced
140g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp cornflour, plus extra for dusting
11/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Put the butter and flour in a processor with1/4 tsp salt and blitz to a crumb. Add the sugar and briefly whizz again. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tbsp cold water, add to the processor and blitz until it forms larger clumps. If it seems dry, add 1-2 tsp water.
2 Tip onto a work surface and briefly knead until smooth. Press to flatten, cover and chill for at least 30 mins, or up to two days.
3 Toss the apples with half of the sugar and set aside for 30 mins to draw out the juices.
4 Cut the chilled pastry into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Cover the smaller piece and set aside. Cut the larger piece into four, roll these out on a floured surface to the thickness of a 50p piece. Use to line four small pie tins, then scatter the almonds over the bases.
5 Drain any juice from the apples, then toss through the remaining sugar, the cornflour and cinnamon. Layer the apples and blackberries in the dish, piling them in the centre. Heat the oven to 190C/ 170C fan/gas 5 and place a baking sheet on the middle shelf.
6 Roll out the remaining smaller piece of pastry and use to cover the pies, or stamp out rounds with a biscuit cutter to arrange on top for a more decorative look. Once covered, whisk the egg white and brush over the pastry. Scatter with some sugar, then put the pies on the hot baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 25-30 mins until the pastry is golden and crisp and the juices are bubbling. Cool for 10 mins before serving with cream or ice cream, if you like.
PER SERVING (8) 543 kcals, fat 25g, saturates 15g, carbs 70g, sugars 36g, fibre 5g, protein 6g, salt 0.2g ■