Asparagus & Ham Pie

Asparagus & Ham Pie
Asparagus & Ham Pie
Serves 4
British asparagus has just come into season and this is a brilliant recipe to make with your kids if you want to introduce them to the delights of this springtime treat. Of course you can get asparagus from Peru all year round, but it's only really worth eating the UK grown stuff during its short season. Ham, cheese and buttery pastry are all ingredients that will be popular with kids, and luckily they work really well with asparagus. And you can use this recipe to practice making a basic white sauce, a really useful technique for any young cook to master.
For the pastry
  1. 220g plain flour
  2. 110g cold butter
  3. Pinch salt
  4. 2 medium free-range eggs (beaten)
For the filling
  1. 25g butter
  2. 25g plain flour
  3. 250ml whole milk
  4. 50g grated Gruyere cheese (or cheddar if you prefer)
  5. 50g good-quality British ham
  6. 8 asparagus spears
  7. 50g frozen peas
  1. Weigh the flour and butter into a bowl and rub them together until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs
  2. Add the beaten eggs (leaving a little bit behind to brush the lid of the pie with later) and bring the mixture together into a ball, then wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and grease an 1.2 litre pie dish
  4. When the pastry has chilled cut a third of it off to use for the lid later, then roll out the larger piece to the thickness of a £1
  5. Line the dish with the pastry and trim off the edges, then cover the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill the dish with baking beans (or you can use dry lentils or rice)
  6. Bake the empty case for 20 mins, then remove the rice and paper and bake again for five more minutes
  7. To make the filling, weigh the butter and flour into a pan and cook gently for a couple of minutes
  8. Pour in the milk and whisk briskly to get rid of any lumps
  9. Carry on whisking over a low heat for a few minutes until thickened, then mix in the grated cheese and season with a little salt and pepper
  10. Chop the ham and asparagus into small chunks, then add to the sauce with the peas and mix well
  11. Pour the filling into the baked case, then roll out the rest of the pastry and lay it over the filling, using the leftover egg to glue it down
  12. Brush the lid with more egg and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown
Cook It With Kids

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