How to make it

  • Begin by making the pastry by sifting the flour and pinch of salt into a large bowl, holding the sieve as high as possible. Now add the lard and butter, cut into smallish lumps, then take a knife and begin to cut the fat into the flour. Go on doing this until it looks fairly evenly blended, then begin to rub the fat into the flour, using your fingertips only, and being as light as possible. As you do this, lift it up high and let it fall back into the bowl, just long enough to make the mixture crumbly with a few odd lumps here and there. Now sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water in, then, with a knife, start bringing the dough together. Then discard the knife and, finally, bring it together with your fingertips. When enough liquid is added, the pastry should leave the bowl fairly clean. If this hasn’t happened, then add a spot more water. Now place the pastry in a polythene bag and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest. Next, hard boil 2 of the eggs by placing them in a small saucepan and adding enough water to cover them by about ½ inch (1 cm). Bring the water up to simmering point and put a timer on for 7 minutes. Then, when the time is up, cool the eggs rapidly under cold, running water for about a minute, and leave them in cold water till they’re cool. Meanwhile, grill (or fry) the bacon gently until the fat begins to run and pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C). Roll out half of the pastry, on a lightly floured surface, cut out 12 rounds using the 3½ inch (9 cm) cutter and line the patty tin. Now peel and chop the eggs quite small and chop the bacon fairly small, too, Then divide the egg and bacon among the pies and season with freshly milled pepper and a very little salt. Beat the remaining egg together with the milk and carefully pour the mixture into the pies, allowing it to settle as you go. Dampen the edges and roll out the rest of the pastry to cut out the smaller rounds for the lids. Make a small hole in the centre of each pie, brush the tops with milk, then bake for 10 minutes. After that, reduce the heat to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C) and cook for a further 25 minutes.

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