This pie came about last Halloween when I needed a gruesome pie to accompany my Mrs Lovatt costume. Before I go on I would like to point out that although I can produce quite gross (albeit fake) pies, my kitchen is nothing like Mrs Lovett’s. My goodness Environmental Health would have a field day!
To make my pie I decided to use a material I hadn’t used since I was a child – salt dough. It’s a great material to work with and is almost like working with pastry. What also makes it great is that it can be quickly made up with basic ingredients. While the end result isn’t edible, cookery skills are used to make it. If you wanted to make an edible version you could use shortbread and fill the pie with an edible filling. Because the dough is only glazed with egg, over time it can become susceptible to moisture; however the pie I made last year is still in perfect condition.
To help support the pie while it baked I used a small foil pie dish that I removed after 3 hours of baking. The idea for the fingers was inspired by a Halloween shortbread recipe I had seen where the shortbread was rolled into fingers and flaked almonds were used as fingernails.
makes 1 pie – Please note, this pie is not edible.
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup of water
1 egg, beaten
1) Mix together flour, salt and water until you have a smooth dough. Cover in clingfilm and leave for 30 min.
2) Roll out the dough until no more than 5mm thick. Line a small pie dish as if you were making an edible pie. Trim off the excess pastry and roll this back into a ball.
3) Use a small amount of dough to make 2 finger sized sausages. Using a eating knife carefully make 3 impressions in each finger to show the knuckles. At one end of the sausage make a small impression then using a small amount of water push a flaked almond in the dough. This is the fingernail.
4) In the pie place a few balls of dough. These are only for making sure the lid of the pie doesn’t collapse.
5) Roll out the pastry again to around 5mm thickness and cut to the size of a lid. Make a few slits in the lid where the fingers can pop out. Place the lid on the top of the pie and arrange fingers and any other decoration you wish. Use a small amount of water to stick dough to dough. Pinch around the edges of a pie to make it look authentic.
6) Brush the pie, but not the fingers, with beaten egg. Bake at 100oc for 4-5 hours or until the pie sounds hollow on the bottom.