Recreating Hannah Glasse's Cheshire Pork Pie
I recently tried a recipe from one of my favourite historical cookbook authors, Hannah Glasse's book The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy for Cheshire Pork Pie.
Here is a modern version:
For the standing crust, I melted 1/3 cup lard with 1/2 cup water. I then mixed it with about 2 cups of flour. You will need to mix and knead the dough until you have a smooth consistency (you may need to add more flour as you go). Next you will want to use a mould to shape the dough bottom and sides (I use a round cake pan to do this part). Don't forget to save some dough for the lid and decorations.
Boneless pork loin, sliced fairly thin
4-5 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
Salt, nutmeg, pepper and sugar to taste
2 tbsp butter
1/2 pint white wine, optional
Season all or your pork slices with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Layer your pie with pork slices, apple slices and a small sprinkling of sugar. Once your pie is full, add a few dabs of butter on top. The recipe calls for a half pint of wine on top, but I didn't have any on hand, so I didn't bother (and it turned out well anyway). Put the top of your crust on your pie and seal the edges. Cut a couple of slits in the top crust to let out the steam and decorate if you like. Bake at 350 F until done. Mine took 2.5 hours and I checked it occasionally with a meat thermometer to make sure it was fully cooked.
It turned out very well, the pork was moist and the combination of the apples with it was excellent. I lived in Manchester years ago and visited Cheshire several times, so it was interesting to make a dish named after that area. I think I will make this again in a smaller version to bring to reenacting events as it was great hot or cold and kept well for a couple of days.