Turmeric Pies

These little yellow pies with a soft cream cheese and chilli filling make a pretty and unusual first course Served warm with a cold fresh tasting soured cream sauce they melt in the mouth and are delicious.


For the Pastry

  • 12 oz plain flour (350 g)
  • 6 oz butter or block margarine (175 g)
  • 3 oz lard (75 g)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • pinch of salt
  • a little very cold water

For the Filling

  • 8 oz full fat cream cheese (225 g)
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1–2 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • salt, black pepper

For the Sour-Cream Sauce

  • ¼ pint soured cream (150 ml)
  • ¼ pint plain yoghurt (150 ml)


Sift the flour, salt and turmeric into a mixing bowl. Cut in the fat and crumble the mixture with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. With a round-bladed knife mix in a very little cold water until the mixture just sticks together. Gather into a ball and put in the fridge for at least an hour.

Put the filling ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly together with a fork. To make the pies, roll out the pastry fairly thickly, about ¼ in (½ cm). Use a 3 in (7.5 cm) round fluted cutter and cut out 12 rounds, then a in ( cm) round cutter and cut out another 12 rounds. Re-roll the pastry as necessary. Line some greased patty tins with the large rounds. Spoon some cheese filling into each round. Moisten the underside of the smaller rounds and put on top, pressing down lightly at the edges. Cut a small slit in each. Brush with milk and bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes at Gas 7 (425°F/220°C). Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes or so and then gently – as the pastry is deliciously crumbly – ease them out with a round-bladed knife. Serve warm, garnished with some watercress and parsley. Combine the soured cream and yoghurt in a bowl, sprinkle with a tiny pinch of chilli powder and pass the sauce round to spoon over the pies.