Scotland is the only country where its first minister on the orders of her dad would stand up in parliament to give support to a campaign to keep a pie on a bakeries menu. In reality Scotland has a love affair with the macaroni pie. Some chip shops will even batter and deep fry these beauties.
My mission was to find a way to make these at home and make them more presentable as an afternoon tea accompaniment. There are two keys to this and the first is a really good macaroni – for this you need a good cheese. Secondly, traditionally these pies are made in thin dry shells of pastries that can take days to be ready. This is not the most practical so instead I would opt for a rich hot water crust.
Makes: 12 pies Time: 1hour and 15 minutes
Hot Water Crust
40g of butter
40g of lard
220g of plain flour
100ml of water
half a teaspoon of salt
200g of elbow macaroni
300ml of whole milk
150g of strong cheddar
half a teaspoon of mustard
half a teaspoon of a yeast extract e.g. marmite
pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon of butter and plain flour
- Make the Macaroni by cooking the macaroni to pack instructions. Make a roux with a tablespoon of flour and the butter in a milk pan till they combine and create a glossy ball.
- Add the milk to the milk pan and whisk gently. Shred 100g of the cheddar and add to the milk with mustard, yeast extract and nutmeg. Whisk until combined.
- Drain macaroni once cooked and add the cheese sauce to the macaroni and mix well. Leave to cool whilst you make the pastry.
- Melt the lard and butter in a pan with 100ml of water till just simmering.
- Then add the salt and egg to the flour and mix. Add the fat and water liquid and quickly combine with the flour mixture.
- Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes until not too hot to handle. Roll out as thinly as you can and cut into rounds and place into the moulds of a cupcake tin. Here you can do patch work pastry using the scrapes to ensure the mould is completely covered. Place in a freezer for 15 minutes.
- Once the time in the freezer is complete fill the moulds with the macaroni and shred the remaining cheese on top.
- Bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20-25 till the tops are slightly brown.