When I was living in France, I was intrigued by the French charcutiers who followed tradition by making some products only at the appropriate time of year. I made Gala pies on a weekly basis much to the amusement of the French and yet they made their equivalent the Pate de Paque only at Easter time. There are many versions of this French pie, the one I have adapted here is from the Limousin & Charente region of rural France.
They use Brioche pastry and a favourite of the French but one I could never accustom myself to using or eating, it is far to sweet for my liking, I’m more of a savoury person. For my pie I have used a hot water pastry, however if you wish to do as the French do, then use this brioche recipe below, I would double/treble the quantities for a pie of this size.
175g x Plain Flour
200g x Butter
3 x Tablespoons Sugar
2 x Teaspoons Milk
2 x Egg Yolks
1 x Sachet Dried Yeast
½ x Teaspoon Salt
Firstly sieve the flour and add the salt and sugar. Warm up the milk and yeast together and pour over your mix adding the eggs and knead the mixture to obtain a smooth and elastic dough. Cover it with a tea towel and let it rise for at least eight hours before using
The pie I have made here took 1.5kg of minced pork seasoned with salt and pepper, along with generous amounts of chopped parsley and herbs. This filling keeps with tradition with the herbs being prominent.
Once you have filled your pie casing, place 6 boiled eggs halved length ways and flat side down onto your filling and cover with a pastry lid, crimp and egg wash before baking for 75-90 minutes.
Allow to cool before slicing, ensure each slice gets an egg, here I have used medium sized eggs offering 12 portions per pie.
Now you have some time before Easter this year to practise this recipe!!