Egg and Mint Pasty

Preparation info

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Farmhouse Kitchen

The Farmhouse Kitchen

By Mary Norwak

Published 1991

  • About

Ingredients

  • 6oz plain flour
  • pinch of Salt
  • 3oz clarified dripping
  • Cold water
  • 1 tablespoon scratchings (see recipe)
  • 9 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

    Method

    Make a dripping crust pastry first. Mix flour and salt to a firm dough with cold water. Roll out thinly, and dot with one-third of the dripping cut into flakes. Fold over, turn, and roll out again. Repeat the process twice more. Let the pastry ‘rest’ in a cool place before use.

    Preheat the oven to 425°F, 220°C, gas mark 7. Grease a shallow seven-inch pie plate and line with two-thirds of the pastry. Scatter on the scratchings which are crisp scraps of pork fat left after rendering lard. (Scraps of crisp fat from a roast joint serve quite well.) Break eight eggs very carefully into the shell, taking care not to break the yolks. Sprinkle with the mint, salt and pepper. Separate the last egg, beat the yolk lightly in a bowl and glaze the edge of the pastry lining. Make sure the remaining one-third rolled-out pastry will cover the lining, and lay it gently on top of the eggs. Press down the edges of the pie to seal. Glaze the whole lid very gently with beaten egg yolk; the pie is very fragile. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is golden-brown and set; the eggs should then be half set but still moist. Serve hot with steamed spring greens or spinach and parsley sauce.

    This old farm dish is clearly of peasant origin, using as it does the dripping and crisp fat which, being precious meat products, the farmer’s wife dared not waste, and whose flavour she ‘stretched’ as far as possible. It was usually made in Spring when the first fresh wild herbs appeared and the farm hens started laying. So although its many eggs make it seem quite a luxurious dish, it was a cheap one.