Baking in Even Hotter Weather

Picnic Pie - finished product

This is definitely not weather for baking – hot and sticky with little breeze to cool it all down. The cat is flopping around the house trying to get cool – even his usual technique of hiding under the current bushes in the shady fruit cage aren’t working today. Thankfully I baked this last night.

I don’t usually get Olive magazine but a long train journey meant I needed something to read and the sticky BBQ ribs on the cover looked appealing. And inside was their monthly challenge recipe – a picnic pie. Lots of porky goodness squashed round hard boiled eggs and contained in shortcrust pastry. I’d never tried making anything like this so gave it a go.
Picnic Pie - filling unmixed

The meat filling is a mix of pork sausages, pork mince and thick cut back bacon. The recipe suggested herbed sausages but I used just normal good quality ones instead. Given the range of flavoured sausages it might be interesting to use something like pork and apple next time and add a bit of diced apple to the mix.

The worst bit was trying to slice the tops off the eggs to get them to the right length and with plenty of yolk (which to me is the whole point of this pie – just a white centre isn’t anyway near as attractive!)

Picnic Pie - uncooked

Once the eggs and pork had been packed into the shortcrust pastry, I then added a puff pastry lid. I carefully scored and crimped the pastries together, finishing with an egg wash. It takes an hour to bake and you have to chill it overnight so it was an ideal Friday evening bake which would then be ready for lunch on Saturday.
 Picnic Pie - cooked

 I gave it an extra 10 mins on a slightly higher temperature as it looked a lot paler than the photo, but it still came out much more golden than the Olive version. It was left overnight in its tin and then the following morning I removed it – or rather attempted to! Despite having greaseproof paper underneath it, no amount of tugging was going to get this out of the tin.


So I had to use a knife to try and gentry prise it out and this was the result. Clearly you need to line the entire tin with greaseproof and not just the bottom and long sides.Picnic Pie - edge It was worth it though. It’s one of those bakes that looks more impressive than the amount of effort needed. It was certainly eaten quickly enough. I’d hoped it would see us through a couple of days of our holiday, it all got gobbled up on the Saturday. I’d definitely make this one again, but with more greaseproof paper!

If you want to try this yourself its in August’s Olive magazine. They tend to put all their recipes on the BBC Good Food site so I suspect that you’ll find it here in a couple of months time.

Picnic Pie - slice


12 thoughts on “Baking in Even Hotter Weather

  1. How hot is “hot”? I’m in Rome, and it’s bad enough baking at home (and will be worse in August, when it’s often 40-ish C), but I feel especially sorry to professionals when I walk past the back of bakeries. Yikes.

    • We’re close to 30 at the moment which for Yorkshire is very unusual. The worse bit is it’s a “sticky” heat that makes you want a cool shower when you’ve been out in it for any length. It will be gone by August though. I dread to think how real bakers cope – I think I’d need a cold cider every 10 mins which probably wouldn’t help with the baking!

      • I heard that as well – as we only get temperatures this hot for a few weeks a year I’m not sure it will ever happen. Evidently the last time July was this warm was 2006 so it’s not likely to be this hot again until 2020! I suspect that next year we’ll be complaining it’s unseasonably cold….

  2. Hey that’s amazing – I’ve never even attempted one of those, really easier than it looks? That would be very popular here, maybe I should try. I must admit as Mrs Sloth sits in her kitchen contemplating the scarcity of bread in the freeezer after the last week – the thought of turning the oven on is making me cringe a little. What do you recommend Debbie for a quick weekend bake?

    • Give these a try – they look more difficult to make than they are which is always good! Hmmm – what to bake? That’s a tricky one. I did some rolls yesterday as we needed bread for lunches and I’m tempted to do a garlic bread today (we have some smoked garlic in the fridge that I think might be good roasted and stuffed into an olive dough) but both mean putting the oven on. Flat breads maybe? You could even do those on the BBQ with cold wine in hand.

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