Most of the products at the Bakery we tailor to customers’ tastes, as at the end of the day we want everyone to enjoy our food. Every now and then we make something that we know is not going to be a bestseller, but we make it anyway because we want to try different things to challenge ourselves, always with the hope that we will stumble onto something unique and truly tasty. This pie is one of those efforts.
This rabbit pie was made especially for the Easter holiday. Bugs Bunny would have been happy to die for this pie and in his pastry grave he would have no greater friend than in-season quinces.
To make the pickled quince, put the sugar, white wine vinegar, juniper berries, cloves and peppercorns into a heavy stainless steel saucepan over medium heat. Add the quince quarters, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours, or until tender but firm. Remove the quince quarters from the pan and set aside to cool. The cooking syrup can be poured over any left-over quince and stored in a sterilised airtight jar. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months and can be used to accompany cheese or as a garnish for pâté or salad.
Put the rabbit bones in a large saucepan with the bay leaf, celery and carrot. Cover with
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the juniper berries, thyme, celery and rabbit meat and cook for 5 minutes, or until the rabbit has lost its pink colour. Pour in enough stock to cover the rabbit and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1½ hours until the meat is nearly tender.
Add the barley to the pan and continue cooking over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the meat and barley are tender. Strain off the liquid into another saucepan, reserving the rabbit mixture in a large container. Measure the cooking liquid — an ideal amount is
Spoon the mixture into the pastry-lined pie tins, filling them to the brim. To attach the puff pastry lids, brush the rim of the pastry base and lid with
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