I just don't get the jelly in pork pies.
The pork sausagemeat: obviously, yes, delicious. The pastry: thick, crunchy, preferably in generous amounts.The hard boiled egg: technically we're talking a Gala pie now but still very much acceptable and welcomed. The jelly? No. Not a fan. A strange added layer squeezed between the pork and pastry which I find slimy and tasteless and annoyingly time consuming to remove. Hence why I got rather excited when I saw Lorraine Pascale’s Pork Pies with Cider recipe – due to its total lack of jelly.I’m sure that to a lot of people a jelly free pork pie seems like sacrilege (and a jelly-free pork pie with a quails egg in the middle even more so) but stick with it. These are delicious. I made these with my friend E. (my fellow foodie friend and a savoury cooking genius) on a bake day. We had an immense day and have another day planned – involving duck dumplings! We didn’t have any cider for the pork pies so we used apple juice which worked very well as you could taste the sweetness this brought and made the meat mixture extra juicy. These were mini pies, so they were a bit time consuming to make, but really enjoyable and strangely relaxing! It was our first time making hot water pastry and although we found the bright white lard a bit strange, the pastry was very easy to work with. I’d also never used or even tried a quails egg before – they are so adorable!The end results were delicious. Whilst the recipe states it makes 8 pies, we ended up with 12 – a happy bonus. They would be perfect for a picnic or a delicious summer lunch with salad. The pies got our imaginations going and we are looking forward to making more variations on pork pies – spiced ones, herby ones, a large one in a loaf tin with a whole line of full eggs. So, maybe I just haven't tried a good enough jelly-included-pork pie yet. Perhaps it is a taste that grows with age. Until then, I'm more than happy eating these little guys instead. Enjoy!