This is an update of a much-loved recipe…
…inspired by a visit to the Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire.
Life, as expected, has been very busy since I returned to London over a week ago. I don’t think there is anyone in my circle of friends who has the luxury of having a day off to do nothing. We always manage to find something to do. In our case: visits to the Tate Modern and British Museum, school meetings, church, work (Mr Gochugaru and Junior 1), housework (me), schoolwork (Juniors 2 and 3), a friend’s 50th birthday lunch, leisurely meals with the children and we even caught two documentaries on the North Korean state at the documentary cinema in Curzon Bloomsbury.
We are trying to make the most of the weekends to enjoy what little is left of decent weather. Every shop along Regent Street says ‘New Collection – AW 16’ which means that clothes, shoes and bags are all now by default black, charcoal or grey. I never wear black clothes so winter is an especially difficult season for my wardrobe.
Things look up in the kitchen because there is such a profusion of colours in Autumn.
Coming up to Winter, I am so looking forward to preparing for Christmas. I have not managed to make any fruit cakes for a number of years but am determined to make some this year based on the spices and sugars of Mauritius which we visited in May.
In the meantime, it is apple season. Walking around the walled garden of Wimpole Estate we came across some windfall apples and bushy sage borders. With the charitable excuse of not letting the fruit rot on the ground, and to encourage new herb growth, we picked up the apples and pinched around eight large sage leaves. These were chopped into the sausage meat filling for the pie. The buttery smell emanating from the oven as the pie bakes is one of pure comfort, and a reminder that cold and wet days (like today) are tolerable with a bit of distraction.
For the Pie:
2 pieces of ready rolled puff pastry, either round or rectangular in shape, around 220 g each piece
1 small apple, any sort
8 large sage leaves
600 g plain sausage meat
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
How to make:
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/ 400ºF /gas 6.
Peel, core and chop the apple into small pieces.
Chop the sage leaves and add to the sausage meat along with the apple.
Unroll one piece of the pastry and place on a lined baking sheet.
Spread over the sausage meat filling, stopping 1 cm from the edge of the pastry.
Brush some of the beaten egg around the rim of the pastry.
Place the second piece of pastry over, and press the rim down with the tines of a fork.
Brush the surface of the pie with the egg.
Using a pair of kitchen scissors, make a few snips in the pie.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Cool the pie for around half an hour before cutting and serving with a salad.
Wimpole Hall has a tranquil Book Room designed by the the Neo-Classical English architect Sir John Soane. Generally when visiting National trust houses, I am particularly interested in the dining room, library and kitchen.
Sir John Soane’s Museum
13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields