Who ate all the pies? Us, that’s who. Dig into this delicious quintet of comfort dinners.

Winter nights are not for the ‘clean eaters’ among us. As soon as spring rolls in, we can juice our breakfasts and regard fruit as a satisfying pudding along with the best (cleanest?) of them. But during these long, cold evenings – and with a pandemic raging on in the background while we huddle in our locked down homes – it is no crime, nor any surprise, that we want fires and red wine and comfort food. And what, pray, is more comforting than pie? Thought you’d had your year’s quota in December (owing to the mince variety, naturally)? Think again. These total knock-outs are hearty and wholesome and the count amongst the handful of home comforts we’re really into right now. Here are five of our very favourites.

Images: The Pie Room/Calum Franklin/ Delicious Magazine; Anna Jones

Hot And Sour Curried Cod Pie


Delicious Magazine


Excerpted from Calum Franklin’s The Pie Room, this fresh take on a fish pie is guaranteed to warm the cockles. The combination of curry flavours with comforting fish and flaky pastry is one that we find ourselves powerless to resist through the cold nights ahead. As the recipe suggests, you can either use cod or any other firm-fleshed white fish, such as hake or coley. And if you cannot get tamarind, swap it for the juice of half a lime. Sublime.


Leftover Roast Chicken Pie


Olive Magazine


If roast chicken is your Sunday staple, then why not eke out the wholesome goodness of the inevitable leftovers to create this wonderful pie? The recipe advises ready-rolled puff pastry – a recommendation you’ll never find us arguing with – while the rest is, essentially, a simple matter of assembly of the leftover meat with the addition of mushrooms, leeks and crème fraiche, all of which make for beautifully silken filling. Bake until it’s golden on top and dig right in.

Double Green Filo Pie


Anna Jones


Who said pie couldn’t be good for you? Loosely based on the always-delicious spanakopita, Anna Jones’ rendition packs in the veg, covering several of your five a day, and uses ready-made filo pastry. Plus, there’s the lovely tang of feta cheese to cut through all that green goodness and – if you needed any more convincing – it’s really quick and easy to make. Call it a pie, call it a tart: whichever way, this is an absolute winner of a dish.


Mushroom And Tunworth Cheese Pies


Jamie Oliver


This gorgeous pie is earthy thanks to the mushrooms; nutty courtesy of the Tunworth Cheese; and has bags of tangy flavour on account of the English mustard and Worcestershire sauce. It takes an hour and a half to rustle up and it is worth every minute: comfort food just doesn’t come tastier than this.

Old Rag Pie


Nigella


We’d make this delicious pie purely on the basis of its brilliant name alone, especially since it fairly accurately describes our lockdown wardrobe. As Nigella tells us, ‘This is a salty-sweet version (think Greek cheesecake) of the Greek Patsavouropita, created by bakeries as a way of using up old scraps of filo pastry: the ‘old rags’ indicated by the title. They’d just go along their counters, collect up all the bits and turn them into this pie. For this reason, you don’t need to worry about keeping your filo covered as you go, as is normally advised. It doesn’t matter if it dries out a little as you make it, indeed this can even be desirable.’ Feta, filo pastry, parmesan, sesame seeds and honey: five ingredients for an absolutely winning concoction.

By Nancy Alsop
February 2021

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Nancy Alsop

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Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.

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