It’s funny, but certain foods that I wasn’t so bothered about pre-coeliac days, I now absolutely love. Pies being one of them.
I’ve made plenty of large savoury gluten free pies and quiches but thought it would be nice change to have a go at making some cute little ones. The perfect thing to grab from a buffet table or to savour with a nice ice-cold glass of fizz!
After telling my friend about the plan to get a recipe for mini pies on my blog, we had an enthusiastic and lengthy natter about pies and what they could be filled with. And, basically anything was our delightful conclusion. I’ve jotted some of the ideas that we came up with below.
But for now, here is a tasty recipe for mini chicken and ham pies, which are nice and deep (thanks to being assembled in a muffin tin), packed with tender chunks of meat and bound together with a delicious flavoursome white sauce. I thought this may be a handy recipe for you to have, should you have any turkey or ham leftover at Christmas.
Ingredients (makes 9)
For the gluten free pastry recipe click here
For the filling
150g (5oz) cooked chicken or turkey, cut into dice size cubes
110g (4oz) cooked ham, cut into dice size cubes
½ small onion, finely chopped
25g (1oz) unsalted butter
25g (1oz) plain gluten free flour
150ml (¼ pint) milk
½ gluten free chicken stock cube (I use Knorr – but not the low salt variety as not gluten free)
Beaten egg yolk to brush over the pie before baking. I used the whole egg
but the finish would have been much better if I’d just used the yolk.
To prepare the pie filling: Gently melt the butter in a pan over a low heat. Add the onions and sweat off (cook without colour) for about 5-10 minutes.
Add the gluten free flour to the melted butter and onions and give it a good mix to blend everything together. Allow the mixture to cook for a minute or so.
Bit by bit pour the milk into the pan. After ever addition give the mixture a good stir and only add more once the consistency (apart from the onion pieces) is smooth.
Once all the milk has been added, bring the sauce to a gentle boil to ensure the flour is cooked out. To check this, have a little taste, the sauce shouldn’t taste grainy. Crumble in the halved stock cube and stir well until it has completely dissolved.
Pour the sauce into a clean bowl, cover and leave to cool for a little before transferring into the fridge to thoroughly chill.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5/170C Fan.
Butter nine holes of a muffin tray.
Time to rustle up the gluten free pastry: Once made, roll out the pastry on surface dusted with gluten free flour. I find it easier to cut the pastry in half and work with a smaller amount at a time.
Using a 9cm pastry cutter (approximate measurement as a guide) cut out the bases for the pies. Using a palette or smoothed edged knife, lift each pastry circle and lay it over the muffin tin hole and then gently guide and ease the pastry in with your fingers. Patch up any holes that you spot.
Grab the chilled white sauce out of the fridge and mix in the diced chicken and ham. Have a quick taste and season with salt and pepper should you feel it needs it.
Fill each pastry base with a dessertspoonful of chicken and ham mixture.
Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out the pie tops with a 7cm cutter (again only approximate).
Gently place the pastry tops over the filing and press around the edges to seal the pie. You can leave the pie rustic or crimp the edges. If you do crimp the edges, slightly draw the pastry back over the pie, so that when you come to remove the pie you don’t lose any of the pie crust.
Using a fork or sharp knife make steam holes in the top of each pie.
Brush the top of each pie with the beaten egg yolk and then pop them into the oven.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes until the pie crust is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to stand for about 10 minutes before gently easing the pies from the muffin tin with a dessertspoon. Transfer onto a serving plate and enjoy!
Additional notes and tips
When making pies it’s best to use chilled filling as it prevents the pastry starting to cook before getting it into the oven…thus preventing a soggy bottom.
Allowing the white sauce to cool before adding the cooked meat prevents the meat from getting warm or being held at a dodgy temperature before it gets reheated. It is recommended that you only reheat cooked food once.
These gluten free mini pies are at their absolute best, on the day you bake them and are best enjoyed warm.
Should you choose to make the pies in advance, you can store them uncooked in the fridge for up to two days (providing the filling you have used is well dated and will be safe to eat a few days later). The uncooked pies can also be frozen. Just cover them well to protect from freezer burn or cross contamination from other items in the freezer. The pies can be cooked from frozen, but increase the cooking time and ensure the filling is piping hot.
These mini gluten free chicken and ham pies are more meaty than saucy. If you prefer it the other way around reduce the quantity of meat you use and make more sauce.
If you want to fill the pies with different fillings then sprinkle something, like cracked *pepper, sea salt, *herbs over the top of them to distinguish what’s inside each pie.
More tasty pie filling suggestions
Whether you set out to make a batch of mini pies from scratch or you decide to make them simply to put some tasty leftovers to good use, there are so many delicious things you can fill them with:
Savoury mince – for extra flavour, try sprinkling a little grated cheese over the pies before baking
Salmon with a watercress sauce
Hot pot , corned beef hash, stew or casserole
Chilli or curry
Cheese and onion – fry a little chopped onion, add it to some mashed potato, grate in some mature cheddar cheese and season to taste. You can also add a little *Dijon mustard to the mixture too, which will bring out the sharpness of the cheese beautifully.
And for a real wild card how about some *baked beans??
Or how about filling the pies with sausage meat and maybe a little dot of *chilli jam before baking. Just allow a little longer for the pies to cook if using raw meat and of course check thoroughly cooked.
And if you have a sweet tooth you can always pack the pies with fruit of your choice and enjoy as a lovely pud!
Thanks as always for checking out the recipes and posts I share. Please feel to drop me an email if you have a request for a recipe or a question, you’d like to ask me. I love hearing from you.
*Check this product out to ensure no gluten containing ingredients or ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable’ warnings on the pack. If in doubt leave it out.