Scarborough Fair was an annual raucous medieval festival of merriment organized to conduct a little bartering. This pleasant peasant party lasted from The Feast of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary (Aug 15) until the Feast of St.Michael (Sept 29). Raise thine flagons of good-cheer beer and snarffle down a herby minced meat hand-pie whilst thou sing a classic ballad in honour of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.
Scarborough hand pies
Makes 4 handpies, the recipe is easily doubled
Hot water crust
1 ½ cups flour
pinch of salt
1/3 cup water
1 stick of butter, cubed
150g (approx ½ cup) Spragg Meats Ground pork
150g (approx ½ cup) Spragg Meats breakfast Pork sausage
¼ cup of raisins or currants
2 sprigs each of parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme (leaves only)
1 beaten egg for brushing and sealing
Sift flour into a large bowl. Make a hole in the middle and toss in the egg, cover it with some flour.
In a small pot combine the water, salt and butter, bring to a boil until the butter is completely melted.
Pour the hot water into the dry ingredients and use a table knife to mix it all together until you form a dough ball.
Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and blap it all into the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
Meanwhile prepare your meatballs.
Combine the finely chopped herbs with the meat and divide the meat into 4 equal balls. Roll them tightly.
Cut off 1/3 of the dough ball and set aside for the lids. Roll out the remaining dough until it is ¼ inch thick. Cut out 4 5-inch circles using a bowl as a cutting guide.
Roll out the remaining 1/3 of the dough ball to ¼ inch thick. Cut out 4 3-inch lids using a smaller bowl as a cutting guide.
Brush beaten egg around the edge of the 5-inch disk of dough.
Place a meatball in the center of the disk of dough and pull up the sides to form an open pocket around the meatball. Now place a lid on top and crimp the edges to seal, pinching and crimping all around to form a seal. Now poke a small hole in the top to vent and brush the tops with the remaining egg wash. If you like you can cut out some little leaf shapes from the remaining dough to place on the top of the pie. So ornate!
Pop them back into the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375˚F.
Place the pies an inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 375˚ for 15 minutes, take out the pies and reduce the heat down to 325˚F for 15 minutes or until golden brown and beautiful.
Set them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before eating one with a nice flagon of ale.
For some pictures on shaping handpies, check out an older post for Plumpies
As seen in Swerve Magazine...