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Chicken, smoked ham and apricot pie


Serves: 8-10
timePrep time: 45 mins
timeTotal time:
Chicken, smoked ham and apricot pie
Recipe photograph by Toby Scott

Chicken, smoked ham and apricot pie

Great if you’re feeding a crowd, this impressive pie is far easier to make than it looks, as hot water crust pastry is very forgiving to work with

Serves: 8-10
timePrep time: 45 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
544Kcal
Fat
23gr
Saturates
9gr
Carbs
45gr
Sugars
8gr
Fibre
3gr
Protein
38gr
Salt
2.9gr

Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin learned the tricks of the trade from cookery legend Delia Smith. A trusted recipe writer for the magazine for over 25 years, she is now our Cookery Workflow Editor, overseeing testing and editing to ensure that every recipe tastes great, is straightforward to follow and works without fail. In her home kitchen, Tamsin creates fuss-free flavour-packed food for friends and family, with baking being her ultimate form of comfort cooking
See more of Tamsin Burnett-Hall’s recipes
Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin Burnett-Hall

Tamsin learned the tricks of the trade from cookery legend Delia Smith. A trusted recipe writer for the magazine for over 25 years, she is now our Cookery Workflow Editor, overseeing testing and editing to ensure that every recipe tastes great, is straightforward to follow and works without fail. In her home kitchen, Tamsin creates fuss-free flavour-packed food for friends and family, with baking being her ultimate form of comfort cooking
See more of Tamsin Burnett-Hall’s recipes

Ingredients

For the hot water crust
  • 125g lard
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 200g strong white flour
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 egg, separated, to glaze
For the filling
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1⁄4 nutmeg, grated
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 640g skinless boneless chicken thigh fillets
  • 400g smoked gammon steaks
  • 100g dried apricots, halved
For the jelly
  • 300ml fresh chicken stock
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • a few parsley sprigs
  • 8 whole peppercorns
  • 4 sheets of leaf gelatine

Step by step

Get ahead
Keeps for up to 5 days in the fridge
  1. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin (about 9.5cm x 19.5cm x 7cm high) lengthways with a strip of folded and greased foil, leaving it hanging over the short ends.
  2. Put the lard, salt, thyme sprigs and 150ml water in a small pan and bring to the boil, stirring as the lard starts to melt. Combine the flours in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the hot lard mixture, discarding the thyme. Mix well using a round-bladed knife, then bring together by hand. When cool enough to handle easily, knead briefly on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
  3. Mix the chopped herbs, salt, nutmeg and lemon zest together in a mixing bowl, adding a good grinding of black pepper. Set aside.
  4. Reserve a third of the pastry for the lid, wrap and leave at room temperature. Roll out the rest to about 30cm x 40cm and use to line the tin, squidging it firmly into the corners, and to an even thickness all around. There should be a little pastry standing up above the edges of the tin. Pop in the freezer to firm up for 20-30 minutes while you prepare the filling, and preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
  5. Trim the chicken thighs and gammon of excess fat, then cut the chicken into 2cm dice, and the gammon into 1cm dice. Mix with the lemon and herb mixture.
  6. Pack half of the meat mix into the pastry case, then add the apricots in a layer. Top with the rest of the filling and press down firmly. Roll out the reserved pastry to slightly larger than the top of the loaf tin. Lightly beat the egg white and brush around the top edge of the pastry. Press on the lid, and crimp, trimming off excess pastry. Make three holes in the lid, then brush beaten egg yolk all over the pastry to glaze, adding decorations made from the trimmings.
  7. Sit the loaf tin in a roasting tin and bake for 11⁄4 - 11⁄2 hours, or until the juices start to bubble up through the holes in the pastry. Insert a skewer into the meat filing for 5-10 seconds – it should feel hot when removed. Tip the cooking juices out from the tin (this is to make room for the jelly), and discard. Leave the pie to cool to room temperature.
  8. Put the stock, lemon juice, honey, thyme, parsley and peppercorns in a small pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to soften. If the stock is cold, reheat it gently. Strain into a jug and add the squeezed-out gelatine to melt in the warm stock.
  9. Making sure the holes in the pie are clear, use a funnel to slowly add the stock to the pie, letting it settle between additions. Filling the pie via the three holes helps ensure an even distribution of jelly. You may not need all the stock, but do make sure that no more can be added. Chill for at least 2 hours to allow the jelly to set.

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