5 Pies to Warm your Heart this Autumn
Autumn is all about eating heart-warming comfort food as well as making the most of in-season ingredients. When it comes to hearty midweek meals to come home to, family get-togethers over the weekend or satisfying suppers to warm you up as the nights draw in, the lure of a steaming hot homemade pie is hard to beat. Here are some of our favourites to try as the sun sets in summer – check out or separate autumn desserts blog tomorrow too.
Butternut Squash, Feta and Spinach Pies
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 55 mins
These individual vegetarian pies are real comfort food.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- 40g pine nuts
- 500g butternut squash
- 200g feta cheese
- 150g spinach leaves
- 100ml vegetable stock, made from a cube
- 500g puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
To make the filling, heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion, garlic and mushrooms until softened. Add the pine nuts to the pan, cook for a further 2 minutes then remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to a boil and cook the diced butternut squash for 15 minutes until just tender. Drain and toss into the onion mixture along with the crumbled feta, spinach and stock. Pop the lid on the pan and cook for 2 minutes so the spinach wilts.
Divide the mixture equally between 4 individual pie dishes.
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about ½cm thick.
Cut thin strips of pastry wide enough to go all the way around the lips of the pie dishes, brush the rims with the beaten egg and press the pastry strips down well.
Lift lids onto each pie from the rolled-out pastry, press the edges well to seal, pinch the edges and use any trimmings to decorate your pies. Brush with beaten egg to glaze and bake for 35 minutes until the pastry is golden.
Melty Cheese and Potato Pie
Prep time: 40 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Drawing from the apres-ski classic tartiflette, this indulgent pie transforms into a cheesy fondue with creamy sliced potatoes and crisp puff pastry.
Source: BBC Good Food
- 750g floury potatoes, sliced
- 100ml creme fraiche
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Plain flour, for dusting
- 2 x 375g block of all-butter puff pastry
- 250g round camembert, or vegetarian alternative
- 1 egg, beaten
For the salad
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 100ml olive oil
- 500g chicory, leaves separated
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the potatoes into a pan of cold water, bring them up to a boil and cook for 2 mins. Drain well, tip back into the saucepan and mix with the crème fraîche. Season, sprinkle over the nutmeg and set aside.
Dust your work surface with flour, roll the first block of pastry to a circle about 28cm wide and place on a baking tray. Arrange a third of the potatoes in the middle of the pastry, then sit the cheese on top. Pile the rest of the potato around the cheese, leaving a 1cm border at the edge of the pastry.
Roll the remaining pastry out to a circle about 30cm wide, dusting with more flour if needed. Brush the edges of the pastry on the tray with egg, then drape over the larger circle and seal the sides well, crimping as you go round. A tight seal is important to stop the cheese from escaping.
Brush all over with egg and lightly score a spiral into the pastry with the back of a knife. Bake the pie for 30 mins until golden brown and puffed up. As soon as the pie comes out of the oven, glaze with a little more egg and leave to cool for 5 mins.
Meanwhile, whisk the shallot, mustard, vinegar and oil together. Place the chicory in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Serve the pie cut into oozy wedges, with the salad on the side.
Beef Bourguignon Cottage Pie
Prep time: 45-55 mins
Cook time: 2 hrs 45 mins
A hearty meal for all the family. You can prepare it up to a month in advance.
Source: BBC Good Food
- 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
- 200g bacon lardons
- 900g braising steak, cut into 3 cm chunks
- 225g button mushrooms
- 225g small onions or small shallots, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
- 600ml red wine
- 400ml beef stock
- 1-2 tbsp cornflour, loosened with 1-2 tbsp red wine or water
For the mashed potatoes
- 1kg medium, floury potatoes, quartered
- 50g unsalted butter
- 100ml milk
(Up to a month ahead) heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the bacon lardons over high heat for several mins until well coloured. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the pan, drain on kitchen paper and set aside. Season the beef, then fry in the fat left in the pan. Once coloured, add all the remaining ingredients for the beef, except the cornflour and bacon, and bring to a simmer. Partly cover the pan with a lid and continue to cook for a further 2-2½ hrs or until the beef is tender.
Once cooked, tip everything into a colander set over another pan so you can catch the sauce. Tip the contents of the colander into a large pie dish, about 28cm x 23cm x 5cm. Re-boil the sauce and check for seasoning. Thicken with the loosened cornflour, adding a little at a time and stirring until you have the desired coating consistency. Spoon enough sauce over the beef to barely cover and loosen it, then stir. The remaining sauce can be frozen, ready to re-heat and offer separately on the day.
While the beef is cooling, make the mash. Boil the potatoes until tender, 15-20 mins, depending on size. Drain off the water and replace the lid. Shake the pan to break up the boiled potatoes. Add butter and milk a little at a time while mashing. Season.
Spoon and spread the mashed potatoes on top of the cooled beef. Once covered, the mash can be marked with a spoon, palette knife or fork for a more interesting finish. When cold, the cottage pie is ready to cover and freeze.
The day before serving, transfer the pie to the fridge to defrost overnight. (Or reheat from frozen on the day, see below.)
On the day, reheat the pie. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. If thawed, bake for 50 mins-1 hr, or until heated through, then increase heat to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for the final 10 mins for a golden brown topping. If cooking from frozen, cover with foil, then bake for 1¼ hrs; remove foil and bake uncovered for 1¼ hrs more, then increase the heat as above for the last 10 mins.
Spiced Salmon Coulibiac
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
This make-ahead main of pastry-wrapped fish and rice is an extra-special way to serve seafood for a dinner party, spiced with cardamom, cloves and chilli.
Source: BBC Good Food
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2-star anise
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 3 cloves
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger, cut into large chunks
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 140g basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 30 mins, then drained
- 1 bay leaf
- Small pack coriander, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, seeds kept in, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp mango chutney
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 x 320g packs ready-rolled puff pastry
- 2 x 500g whole salmon fillets, skin removed and pin-boned
- 2 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, star anise, fenugreek, cloves, ginger and 1 tsp garam masala. Cook over medium heat until the onion is a deep golden brown. Add the rice with 250ml water and the bay leaf, and season with salt. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 15 mins or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is light and fluffy. Remove from the heat, tip into a bowl and leave to cool. Once cooled, remove the cardamom, cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, ginger and bay leaf. Add the coriander, chilli, mango chutney and lemon juice. Check the seasoning, cover and chill until needed.
Take the pastry out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 10 mins. Unroll the pastry sheets, roll them out to make a little wider and put each on a non-stick baking sheet. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to re-chill for 30 mins. Season the salmon on both sides with a little salt and pepper and the rest of the garam masala, then place one piece of salmon on one piece of pastry and cover with half of the rice mixture. Top with the other piece of salmon, then brush around the pastry edges with beaten egg. Cover with the second piece of pastry, pushing down well, then roll the edges over, crimp with a fork to seal and decorate as you like. Can be made ahead and chilled for 1 day. Brush all over with beaten egg and chill for 30 mins.
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Bake in the oven for 10 mins, then turn the oven down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and continue to bake for about 30 mins until the pastry is golden brown. Set aside in a warm place to rest for 10 mins. Serve with the rest of the rice mix (heated or cold) and the Raita (see goes well with).
Chicken and Mushroom Pie
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Chicken and Mushroom Pie is an all-time classic pie, this one takes the pot pie approach using shop-bought puff pastry for a quick and simple midweek dinner. This recipe makes two individual pies each pie dish holds 250ml of water as a guide.
- 250g skinless chicken thighs
- 50g shallots
- 1 garlic clove
- 50g spinach
- 1 tsp cooking oil
- 125g mushrooms
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 175ml double cream
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 egg
Finely dice the shallot and garlic, then slice the mushrooms.
Cut the chicken thighs into 1-1.5cm chunks.
Heat the cooking oil in a heavy-based pan over medium heat and fry off the shallot for 2-3 minutes.
Now add the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds.
Turn up the heat a little and fry off the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes.
Add in the chicken and repeat the frying process for 3-4 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
Throw in the spinach and thyme then add a lid until wilted which should take no more than a couple of minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and grainy mustard then transfer to your pie dishes.
Run a little beaten egg around the edge of your pie dish and then place over a piece of puff pastry larger than your dish.
Trim with a sharp knife and use a pastry brush to brush the top with some beaten egg and place in the oven at 200°C for 20-25 minutes.