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No one knows exactly when this pie was invented, but it has been made for at least 400 years. This is a regional specialty from Shropshire in the UK. Fidget pie, probably the county’s best-known dish, was in danger of becoming a distant memory until recently. Only the elderly still had recipes or remembered fidget pie’s function as a portable meal in the hand for workers at harvest time.

There are a few variations but the basic ingredients remain consistent: gammon or ham, apples, cider cooked in a pastry, with potato and onions too. I have changed it up a little, as it is near impossible to find gammon in France, and I used minced or ground pork instead and it was delicious.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Pastry
500g / 2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
140g / 5oz lard or butter
215ml / 7oz water
Knob of butter for the tin
1 egg, beaten
Filling
500g / 1lb minced pork
125ml / 1/2 cup medium cider (cidre brut)
1 teaspoon salt
8 sage leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
115g / 4oz unsmoked bacon or lardons, finely chopped
225g / 8oz grated onion
225g / 8oz peeled and grated apple, (I used pink lady)
1 large potato, grated

Preparation:

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/400F
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray
Butter the sides of a 22cm / 9″ springform cake tin
Place the springform pan, without its base, on the baking sheet

To make the pastry, put the flour into a large bowl
Add with 1 tsp salt
Heat the lard or butter and the water in a medium saucepan until the butter or lard melts and the water is just simmering
Pour the hot liquid into the flour and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula
When the mixture has comes together, tip it onto a floured surface and knead lightly to make a dough
Cover and set aside

To make the filling, mix the pork, cider, salt, sage, nutmeg and sugar together in a large bowl
Add the bacon, onion, apple and potato to the mixture and mix well – the best way to do this is with your hands
Be sure to squeeze all excess liquid out of your grated apple, onion and potato or else your mixture will be too wet

On a lightly floured surface roll out two-thirds of the pastry to a large circle and use it to line the cake tin, allowing the pastry to overlap the rim slightly
Trim off any excess
Roll remaining pastry to form a lid large enough to cover the pie
Set aside

Put filling in the pie case and push down well
Brush the pastry case’s edges with a little water and cover with the lid
Crimp the edges together and brush the top with the beaten egg
Bake for 60 minutes then turn off the heat and allow the pie to cool in the oven for 30 minutes
Remove from oven and cool for about 60 minutes before serving
Delicious cold as well
Enjoy!