Grandad's Pie

A belated birthday sausage meat and onion pie for my Grandfather...

     This is my first attempt at a lattice crust, something that seemed quite daunting to start. I had visions of Paul Hollywood on last summer's Great British Bake Off demonstrating an 8 strand plaited loaf and panicked. I wouldn't say it's the tidiest of lattices, but, it worked! And practice makes perfect, right?

     The pie is filled with lots of sausage meat, onions, thyme and Dijon mustard. The thyme works so well with sausage and onions giving a hint of freshness. The Dijon gives the warmth that my mustard-fiend Grandfather loves.

I had enough pastry and sausage meat to make this pie and made 6 sausage rolls with the leftovers.

     2 packs of pre-rolled puff pastry
     3 onions, thinly sliced
     Few sprigs of fresh thyme
     1kg sausage meat
     2 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard

Preheat oven to 190 degrees.

Grease a 20cm pie dish and dust with plain flour (I didn't know if the flour was the right thing to do but this time I had Mary Berry's voice in my head telling me I didn't want a soggy bottom).

Fill the pie dish with the first sheet of puff pastry pressing gently into the edges. Trim excess from the top.

With the second sheet, cut equal width strips for the lattice.

Melt a knob of butter in a pan on medium heat and add the onions and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the onion and sausage meat together. Add the Dijon.

Spoon the sausage meat into the pie dish ensuring not to overfill.

Layer the pastry strips over the dish to form a lattice (Simply Recipes has a good tutorial).

With some of the excess pastry I used a star cutter to add a little decoration to the pie crust.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Chocolate & Ginger Cookies

The fiery warmth of ginger and bittersweet dark chocolate is the most perfect cookie flavour. These are cookies with attitude!

I saw this recipe on Milli's Kitchen yesterday and have been thinking about it ever since. I ran to get supplies straight from work and started baking immediately. As I have a little (large) soft spot for ginger I upped the spice to give a little kick.

Makes 14 cookies.

160g dark chocolate
80g milk chocolate
60g unsalted butter
2 large eggs
20g ginger purée
120g golden caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g self raising flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Melt the chocolate and butter in a plastic bowl in the microwave or over a ban Marie until fully melted and smooth. (Approximately 1 minute in the microwave).

Beat together eggs, ginger and sugar until pale and light.

Add the chocolate and sugar mix together, mix well.

Stir in self raising flour, salt and cocoa powder. Stir until well combined.

Dollop mix onto a baking sheet leaving space for the cookies to spread.

Sprinkle with ground ginger and chocolate chips.

Bake for 12-14 minutes depending on thickness of cookie.

Cool on a wire rack.