Pies

There’s no room for an oven, but it makes us more creative. Grilled ginger flapjack gets a good sticky crust if it’s got enough treacle in it.

We do have a Dutch oven Tom rummaged for in Potters, rusted for £1. We scoured, oiled and baked it and now it’s proud and black. Rebecca wondered if we’d take it camping – it’s a cast iron bulky cooking pot too mad for my rucksack but, she said cowboys used them for cooking up beans in the desert, in fire pits. We use ours for roast potatoes on the woodstove and Rob’s man jam chicken surprise.

I simmered up some mincemeat in a whisky zest steam. We hadn’t made oven-less pastry before.

Pies are the wrong shape but pasties work. I made three batches for the trial – one each for the Dutch oven, grill, and frying pan. The results were clear. Fried mince pasties had a festival Jamaican patina, cooked quick like the grilled, and kept their shape well. Dutch oven pastry was butter mouth melt crumbly but took so long to bake I had to fire up the stove to face sweating hot. All were delicious.

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