Great British Bake Off's scrumptious recipes for pies and pastries (2024)

Salt 'n' peppered sausage rolls

The perfect picnic or party food, sausage rolls are incredibly easy to make, especially when using bought puff pastry.


Makes: 16 sausage rolls

Kit you’ll need

  • Large baking sheet; baking paper

For the sausage rolls

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  • 1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 400g (14oz) good-quality pork sausages (about 6 sausages)
  • 3 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
  • ¼ tsp English mustard powder
  • 1 rounded tsp finely chopped sage leaves
  • 300g (10½oz) bought puff pastry block
  • Beaten egg, to glaze
  • Sea salt flakes, freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a small non-stick frying pan. Tip in the shallot and garlic clove and fry for about 3 minutes, until softened and only lightly coloured. Leave to cool.

2. Squeeze the sausagemeat out of the skins of the sausages into a bowl. Mix in the cooled shallot, the breadcrumbs, mustard powder and chopped sage leaves and season with pepper. You shouldn’t need to add salt as the sausagemeat is salty and you will be sprinkling some on the pastry later.

3. Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan/375f/gas 5. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Roll out the bought puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and trim to a 37 x 23cm (14½ x 9in) rectangle, then cut in half lengthways. Halve the sausage mixture and shape both halves into a 37cm (14½in) long roll by rolling and pressing it into shape. Flour your hands and the work surface well for this stage.

4. Lay one of the pastry strips on a lightly floured board. Place a roll of sausagemeat mixture down one long side. Brush the far long side of pastry with beaten egg. Roll the pastry over the sausagemeat to enclose it completely. Where the pastry joins, press well to seal and then knock back the edges by tapping into the pastry with the back of a small sharp knife to make small slash marks. Make sure the seal is tight otherwise the sausagemeat will pop out as the rolls bake. Roll it over so the join is underneath. With a sharp knife, cut the roll into eight equal pieces, reshaping if necessary. Repeat with the rest of your sausage mixture.


5. Place the rolls on the baking sheet, with the joins underneath. Make three or four slash marks on top of each roll with a sharp knife, brush them with beaten egg to glaze and sprinkle them with pepper and a few small sea salt flakes. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until golden, puffy and the meat is cooked through. Remove and cool slightly before serving fresh and warm — although they are also good cold.

Mini pork pies

These mini pork pies are fun to put together and are a good introduction to working with hot water crust pastry. Use the best ingredients so you can get the best flavour.

Makes: Six pies

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Kit you’ll need

  • 6 x 200ml (1/3pt) capacity small metal pudding moulds 8.5cm (3½in) diameter x 5cm (2in) tall
  • Baking sheet

For the pork filling

  • 475g (1lb 1oz) pork tenderloin
  • 125g ( 4½oz) unsmoked streaky bacon
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped sage
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt

For the hot water crust pastry

  • 375g (13oz) plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100g (3½oz) lard, cut into small pieces
  • 40g (1½oz) butter, cut into small pieces
  • Beaten egg, to glaze

1. For the filling, roughly chop the pork and put it into a food processor. Pulse briefly until it looks like coarse minced meat. (Be careful not to over-process or it will become too smooth — you want to have a bit of texture.) Or you can chop it very finely with a sharp knife.

Transfer the pork to a bowl. Finely chop the streaky bacon, leaving the fat on to keep the filling moist. Add to the bowl along with the onion, sage, parsley, nutmeg, pepper and a little salt. Cover and chill until ready to use. It is good to have the filling all ready to go, as you want to deal with the pastry quickly once it is ready to roll out.

2. Now make the pastry. Put the flour and salt into a large heatproof bowl. Tip the lard and butter into a small pan and pour in 150ml (¼pt) water. Put this over a medium heat so the fats can melt, then raise the heat. As soon as it all comes to a boil, pour it into the flour. (Don’t let it simmer away or you will lose some volume.) Stir well with a wooden spoon until it forms a soft dough. Leave it for a minute or two so the dough is a bit cooler to handle.


3. Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Wrap it in clingfilm and chill for 30-40 minutes. Try not to leave it much longer as this type of pastry can easily harden over time and become difficult to handle. It just wants to have cooled down a bit so it is easier to roll out.

4. Lightly butter six small pudding moulds. Preheat your oven to 200c/ 180c fan/400f/gas 6. Divide the meat filling into six equal amounts. Cut the dough in half and keep one half wrapped while you shape the other half into a disc and roll out on a well-floured surface, to about 3mm (1/8in) thick. Using an upturned bowl or saucer as a cutting guide, cut out three 14cm (5½in) circles for the base of each pie and three 8cm (3¼in) circles for the lids. Re-roll any pastry trimmings if needed so you can cut out all three lids.

5. Line three of the small pudding moulds with the larger circles, pressing the pastry up the sides with your fingers so that it evenly covers the inside of the moulds, smoothing out any thicker folds that have formed. It should reach just above the top of each pudding mould.

6. Spoon a portion of the filling into each pastry-lined mould and press it down so that it is well packed in. It should sit slightly below the top.

7. Brush the pastry edges with egg and cover with the pastry lids, pressing them down on to the filling. Press the edges well together to seal, then flute them to decorate.


8. Brush the pastry with egg to glaze and make a hole in the middle of each lid with a skewer, to create a vent. Repeat with the remaining half of the pastry and filling so you have six pies.

9. Sit the pies on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes until the pastry is a rich golden brown. Remove them from the oven and let them sit for about 30 minutes. While they’re still warm, and in case any juices have bubbled over and stuck to the insides of the tins, loosen all round the edges of the pastry to make sure they can be released easily later. Leave the pies in their moulds for a couple more hours until completely cold and the juices have all gone back into the meat before turning them out.

Spanakopita pie with scrunchy filo topping

Here filo pastry makes a flamboyant pie topping, as well as beautiful layers for the base of the pie, so it is a good way to perfect your technique for handling this delicate pastry.

Serves 6

Kit you’ll need

  • 20cm (8in) round loose bottomed cake tin, 4cm (1½in) deep
  • Baking sheet

For the Spanakopita Pie

  • 450g (1lb) fresh spinach
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 175g (6oz) ricotta
  • 150g (5½oz) feta
  • 3 rounded tbsp grated Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1⁄8 tsp ground nutmeg, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 6 large sheets shop-bought filo pastry, each about 45 x 35cm (17 x 14in)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • Greek yoghurt with chopped mint

1. Preheat oven to 190c/170c fan/375f/gas 5 and put a baking sheet in the oven to heat up.

2. Put spinach in a large heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over it and leave for 30 seconds only, pressing it down in the water with a wooden spoon so it wilts quickly. Drain spinach into a colander, place under running cold water to stop it cooking and cool it down quickly. Drain again and press firmly with the back of a wooden spoon against the sides of the colander to squeeze out as much of the water as you can. Squeeze with your hands to get rid of any lingering water and keep squeezing until no more is coming out. Pat the spinach dry on kitchen paper, then pile it on a board and slice through it to chop. Set aside.


3. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan, add the spring onions and chopped garlic and fry for about 2 minutes over a medium heat. Lower the heat and tip in the drained chopped spinach. Stir for 1 minute, no more, to finish cooking off the liquid. Remove and leave to cool.

4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a fork, beat in the ricotta, crumble in the feta, then mix in the Parmesan, chopped mint, dill and nutmeg. Season with pepper and a pinch of salt.

5. Melt the butter in a small pan, and stir in the remaining 3 tbsp of oil. Lay the 6 bought filo sheets on top of each other on a large board. Working with 1 filo sheet at a time, brush the top one with a little of the buttery oil. Brush some of the oil over the sides and base of the tin.

6. Now you need to line the 20cm (8in) round loose-bottomed tin with four of the sheets. Lay the first filo sheet in the tin oiled side up, fitting it into the corners and letting the excess drape over the edge. Brush another sheet with oil and lay that on top of the first one to make a cross. This is to make sure the tin is completely covered with pastry all round. If your filo sheets are a different size to the size given here, you may need to adjust how you layer them in, to ensure that the tin is well lined. Continue criss-crossing the filo sheets until the tin is completely lined with four layers of the pastry.


7. Stir the cooled spinach mixture into the cheese mixture but do not overmix. Spoon this filling into the tin and spread it out evenly.

8. Bring the overhanging pastry edges over the filling (trim a little off if there is too much) and brush them with the buttery oil.

9. The last two filo sheets will be the lid for the pie. Brush one with oil, scrunch it up into loose folds and lay it over the top so that it covers half of the filling and pastry edges. Do the same with the last sheet. The filling should be well covered. Sprinkle a little nutmeg over the filo folds.

10. Place the tin on the hot baking sheet and bake the pie for 30 minutes, or until the filo is golden and crisp. Let the pie sit in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and serve warm or at room temperature with minted Greek yoghurt.

Quiche Lorraine

Simplicity is the key to this classic quiche. The pastry case is baked blind – essential when a soft filling is to be poured into it if you want to avoid the dreaded soggy bottom.

Serves 6

Kit you’ll need

  • 23cm (9in) round, 2.5cm (1in) deep, loose-bottomed fluted flan tin
  • Baking sheet; baking paper

For the rich shortcrust pastry

  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • 95g (3¼oz) chilled butter, diced
  • 1 medium egg yolk

For the filling

  • 200g (7oz) unsmoked lardons
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 50g (1¾oz) Gruyère cheese
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 200ml (1⁄3 pt) crème fraîche
  • 150ml (¼ pt) single cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the flour and butter into a large bowl. Rub in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and about 1 tbsp of cold water, adding another 1-2 tsp of water if needed to bring it all together, and stir with a round-bladed knife to form a dough. Tip on to the work surface and gently form it into a smooth ball. Shape the dough into a thick disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 15–20 minutes until firm but not hard.


2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a £1 coin. Use it to line the 23cm (9in) tart tin, easing the pastry into the corners. Trim the edges (wrap and keep the excess for patching later). Press the pastry into the flutes of the tin so it is slightly raised above the rim of the tin, keeping the top edges neat. Prick the pastry base lightly with a fork and chill for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, trim off any excess fat from the lardons and chop any larger ones into small pieces. Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat, and fry the lardons for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the finely chopped shallot and fry for a further 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until both are tinged golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

4. Cut 30g (1oz) of the cheese into small cubes and coarsely grate the remaining 20g (¾oz). Beat the eggs well in a bowl, then stir in the creme fraiche and single cream, and season with pepper (you shouldn’t need any salt as the lardons and cheese are already salty). Pour this into a jug.

5. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/400f/ gas 6. Put a baking sheet in the oven to heat up. Line the pastry case with baking paper then fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Place the pastry-lined tin on the hot baking sheet. Blind-bake the pastry for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans. If necessary, patch up any pastry cracks that have appeared or the filling may leak through them later. Bake for a further 5 minutes, or until the base looks cooked. Remove and lower the oven temperature to 190c/170c fan/375f/gas 5.


6. Scatter the lardons, shallot and cubes of cheese over the bottom of the baked pastry case. Pour in the filling as high as you can, then sprinkle over the grated cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is softly set. Don’t let it get too brown on top or the filling will overcook. Remove and leave the quiche to settle for 5-10 minutes before you remove it from the tin. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Caramelised red onion and cheese tart

The freeform tart — that is, one made without a tin — is a great introduction to making and rolling out shortcrust pastry for a large tart. The onions slowly caramelise, creating a tantalising smell.

Serves 4

Kit you’ll need

  • Large baking sheet; baking paper

For the filling

  • 450g (1lb) red onions (about 2–3 large)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Small knob of butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 100g (3½oz) crème fraîche
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 5 thin slices Taleggio, Brie or Camembert, about 50g (1¾oz) total weight
  • 3 slices prosciutto
  • A handful of rocket leaves, for scattering
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 200g (7oz) plain flour
  • 115g (4oz) chilled butter, diced
  • Milk, for brushing

1. Halve the onions lengthways, then cut into thin, irregular slices. Heat the oil and butter in a large, deep frying pan. As the butter starts to sizzle, tip in the onions and stir to coat well. Fry over a medium heat for 20–25 minutes, stir only occasionally. When the onions are sticky and caramelised, remove from the heat and season.

2. Put the flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Rub in until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Gradually pour in just enough cold water (2–3 tbsp) so the dough comes together and stir with a round-bladed knife to form a dough. Gently work into a smooth ball with your hands, being careful not to overhandle it (or make it in a food processor). Shape the dough into a thick disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 15–20 minutes, until firm but not hard. Heat the oven to 200c/180c fan/400f/gas 6. Line alarge baking sheet with baking paper.


3. Roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 25cm (10in) circle, about the thickness of a £1 coin. Transfer to baking sheet by draping over a rolling pin. Brush all round the edge with water and fold over edge to create a rough rim. Your freeform circle should now be about 23cm (9in).

4. Spread cooled onions over the pastry up to the rim. Beat the egg in a bowl, stir in the crème fraîche, Dijon mustard and season with pepper and a little salt. Tear the Taleggio (or other cheese) slices in half and lay them over onions. Pour the egg and crème fraîche mixture over the top. Tear the prosciutto slices into pieces and scatter them over the tart. Brush the pastry rim with a little milk.

5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until pastry is cooked and pale golden and prosciutto crisp. Serve warm or at room temperature sprinkled with rocket leaves.

Steak, ale and lots of mushroom pie

The ultimate comfort food: long, slow simmering gives this pie richness, while the lid is made with suet and baked in a pie dish (not a pudding bowl), for flaky, crispy suet pastry.

Serves 4

Kit you’ll need

  • 25cm (10in) round x 5cm (2in) deep pie dish, about 1.2 litre (2 pt) capacity
  • Pie funnel
  • Baking sheet

For the steak and mushroom filling

  • Small handful dried porcini mushrooms, about 8g (¼oz)
  • 100ml (3½fl oz) boiling water
  • 1 large carrot, about 250g (9oz)
  • 3 large flat mushrooms, such as Portobello
  • 150g (5½oz) chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 550g (1lb 3oz) braising steak
  • 25g (1oz) plain flour
  • 200ml (1/3pt) brown ale
  • 300ml (½pt) beef stock (from a good cube is fine)
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp dark muscovado sugar
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper

For the mustard and thyme suet pastry

  • 200g (7oz) self-raising flour
  • 115g (4oz) shredded beef suet
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves and tiny sprigs, plus extra sprigs to garnish
  • Milk, for brushing

1. Start with your filling. Put the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl, pour over the boiling water to cover them and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Chop the carrot into 2cm (1in) chunky pieces and cut the flat mushrooms into 1cm slices. Halve or quarter the chestnut mushrooms, depending on their size.


2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Tip in the onion and thyme sprigs and fry for 5-7 minutes until the onions are golden brown, stirring occasionally. Cut the braising steak into 3-4cm (1¼-1½in) chunks and add to the pan. Season with pepper and fry for 3 minutes until it’s lost its pink colour. Stir in the flour and stir for a couple of minutes to cook it.

3. Pour in the ale and stock, stirring to thicken, then stir in 1 tsp of mustard and 1 tsp of sugar. Tip in carrot, sliced flat mushrooms and chestnut mushrooms. Drain the porcini mushrooms, saving the soaking liquid, and add to the pan with 3 tbsp of their liquid. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer very gently for 2 hours or until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Keep it on a very low simmer, with a few bubbles breaking the surface, so the meat cooks really slowly, to make it tender. Remove from the heat, season to taste with salt and pepper and put to one side to cool. (If you want thicker gravy, mix a little gravy with 1 tsp of flour to slacken it, pour it back into the pan and stir through to heat and thicken.) The filling can be made a day ahead and chilled overnight.

4. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/400f/gas 6. For the pastry, put 200g (7oz) flour, 115g (4oz) suet and ¼ tsp of salt in a bowl. Add the 1½ tsp of mustard and 2 tsp of thyme, then pour in about 8–9 tbsp of cold water and stir with a knife to form a dough that’s fairly soft and light. Tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly and briefly until smooth, then flatten the pastry to make a disc shape.


5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it’s slightly thicker than a £1 coin and about 3cm (1¼ in) wider all round than the outside rim of the dish. (Sit the empty dish on the pastry to check.) Cut off a narrow strip round the edge of the pastry (the same width as the rim), leaving you with a lid for the pie that is big enough to cover the pie dish and its rim.

6. Sit a pie funnel in the middle of the pie dish. Spoon in the filling, picking out and discarding the thyme sprigs. The meat filling should come up to the level of the pie dish. Pour in gravy (about 10–12 tbsp, enough to come about halfway up the dish) to moisten the meat and vegetables, but not so much that it bubbles out. Save the rest of the gravy.

7. Brush the rim of the dish with water and cover it with the pastry strip, cutting it in half if it’s easier, trimming it to fit neatly and pressing it down gently. Brush the pastry-lined rim with water. Lay the pastry lid over the filling, and press it down around the rim of the dish to seal. Trim with scissors, and flute the edges by pinching the pastry with your thumb and finger. Brush the lid with milk.

8. Place pie dish on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until pastry is flaky and golden. Warm the saved gravy and serve with the pie, garnished with thyme sprigs.


Pepper pizza pie

This open pie is made with an easy-to-mix scone-based dough instead of pastry and a no-cook tomato sauce.

Makes: 6 slices

Kit you’ll need

  • 30 x 20 x 3cm (12 x 8 x 1¼ in) rectangular loose-bottomed fluted quiche
  • Tin foil

For the filling

  • 3 large red peppers
  • 1 x 400g (14oz) tin plum tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
  • 1 rounded tbsp freshly chopped oregano, plus extra for scattering
  • 125g (4½oz) ball mozzarella, drained
  • 8 sun-dried tomato halves in oil, drained
  • Handful of large capers, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

For the Parmesan crust

  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 50g (1¾oz) cold butter, diced
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75g (2¾oz) Parmesan, grated
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • About 100ml (3½ fl oz) natural yoghurt

1. Preheat the oven to 220c/200c fan/425f/gas 7. Line a baking sheet with lightly oiled foil. Halve, core and de-seed the peppers and lay cut side down on the foil. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until the skins are charred and blistered. Transfer to a bowl and cover with clingfilm.

2. Make a no-cook tomato sauce. Set a sieve over a bowl and tip the tinned tomatoes into it so the juices drain through, shaking the sieve occasionally, then tip tomatoes into another bowl and cut into small pieces (scissors make this easier). Stir in garlic cloves, sun-dried tomato paste and oregano and season with salt and pepper.

3. For the Parmesan crust, put the flour in a large mixing bowl with the butter and a good pinch of salt. Rub in gently to make a coarse breadcrumb texture, lifting the mixture to aerate it, then mix in the Parmesan. In a separate bowl stir the beaten egg with the yoghurt. Create a well in the flour mixture, pour in the yoghurt mix and stir gently with a round-bladed knife until it’s a soft and slightly sticky dough, adding 1-2 tsp more yoghurt if needed. Don’t over-handle it.

4. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead enough to form a ball, then pat it into a rectangle. Roll out the dough, keeping it rectangular, so it’s big enough to line the base and sides of the tin. Line the tin with the dough, pressing it in and up the sides, trimming and patching as needed. Prick the base.


5. Peel the peppers and halve them again. Cut the mozzarella ball in half and slice it into semi-circles. Spread the sauce over the dough base. Arrange the peppers, tomatoes and mozzarella slices on top and scatter with capers. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the mozzarella is melting and the crust is golden and crisp. Serve warm, scattered with oregano and drizzled with olive oil.


From The Great British Bake Off: Bake It Better Pies And Tarts by Angela Nilsen, published by Hodder & Stoughton, £14.99. Offer price £11.24 (25% off) until September 14. Order at, p&p free on orders over £12. Text and recipes © Love Productions 2015. The Great British Bake Off ® is produced by Love Productions for the BBC.

Great British Bake Off's scrumptious recipes for pies and pastries (2024)
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