Ham and leek pie recipe

Rachel Walker

When you're stuck at home feeding the five thousand, this comforting pie should keep you going for a while

A ham is a beautiful thing. Not only is it delicious but it is immensely versatile. Cook a whole ham and you’ll feast on delicious sandwiches for days and still have some for a leftover pie. I use “pie” tentatively as—officially—a pie should have a pastry top and bottom, but as late spring turns into summer and lighter lunches are called for, a pastry lid is decadence enough!


Ingredients (serves 4) 

• 2tbsp olive oil
• 2-3 leeks (500 grams), sliced
• 50 grams plain flour
• 500ml ham stock
• 400g cooked ham, roughly diced
• 2tbsp crème fraiche
• 1tbsp mustard
•½ tsp peppercorns, crushed
• 100g butter, chilled
• 200g plain flour
• 1 egg yolk

You’ll need: an enamel pie dish, 12x8 inches

To serve: fresh greens, new potatoes


Method

1. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the leeks until soft but not coloured. Stir in the plain flour, so that the leeks are coated in what seems like a paste and then lower the heat before introducing a ladle of the ham stock.

2. Stir until it has been absorbed and then keep going—ladle by ladle—until you’ve added it all and created a thick, creamy sauce. Stir in the ham, crème fraiche, mustard and peppercorns. Tip the mixture into a pie dish and position a pie funnel in the centre.

3. To make the short crust pastry, cut the butter into small cubes and use your fingers to rub it into the flour, until it resembles a fine, crumble topping. Add 2tbsp of chilled water to the mixture and start to bring it together into a ball—add 1tbsp at a time of chilled water, if needed. Work quickly and confidently, trying not to squeeze or overwork the pastry.

4. If time allows, pat it into a flat circle and chill for half an hour before rolling it flat and draping the pastry over the pie—crimping round the edges and cutting a hole in the centre to allow the pie funnel to poke through.

5. Use a pastry brush to paint the pie lid with a layer of egg yolk. Place the pie on a tray and cook it at 180°C for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and has a delicious, biscuit aroma. Serve with fresh greens and new potatoes.

Read more: How to make jelly

Read more: 10 Campfire cooking ideas


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