Cute Little Halloween Pies

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Makes: 12 servings 

Time: 2 Hours

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When you try to make spooky ghoulish faces, but they end up look very cute…

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For the pastry

200g (7oz) lard or unsalted butter, diced

750g (1 1/2lb) plain flour

1 large egg, beaten

2 tsp salt

oil for greasing

For the filling

50g (2oz) dried sage and onion stuffing mix

6 sausages

180g (6 1/2oz) chilli chutney

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Squeeze the sausage meat from the skins and set aside in the fridge. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin and line each hole with a strip of nonstick baking paper. 

To make the pastry, bring the lard or butter and 250ml water to the boil in a small pan. Put the flour into the bowl of a food processor, with the salt. Whizz together and pour the melted lard mixture down the processor’s chute, then process until you have a smooth dough. Turn out into a bowl and remove two thirds, covering the final third with a tea towel to keep warm. The pastry is much easier to work with when it’s warm.

If you’re making the pastry by hand, tip the flour and salt into a bowl and add the melted lard or butter mix and beat really well for a few minutes – using a wooden spoon – until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

On a floured surface, roll the larger piece of pastry out on a floured surface to about 5mm thick. Using a pastry cutter, stamp out 12 circles, about 11cm (4in) in diameter. Re-roll any trimmings. Line each hole of the tin with the circles, pushing them in with your fingers and leaving a slight overhang. Work as quickly as you can or the pastry will become harder to use.

Heat oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Put a baking tray in the oven to warm. Divide the stuffing mix between each pastry case, then add the sausage meat, pushing down lightly. Lastly add about 1 tsp of chutney to each pie, spreading out. Don’t overfill the pies or they will be difficult to close and the chutney will escape while cooking.

Roll out the remaining pastry on a floured surface and stamp out 12 8cm circles. Using a sharp knife cut out pumpkin shapes or ghost faces in each one, or use a shaped cutter. Brush the edges of the filled cases with egg, then put lids on top. Pinch the edges together with your fingers, snip off with scissors to neaten and seal the edges together, then crimp or mark with a fork. Brush with a little of the beaten egg (set the rest of the glaze aside for later).

Bake in oven for 30 minutes, then remove the tin and tray, and carefully lift the pies out of the holes. Brush the sides and top again with egg and place directly onto the preheated baking tray. Turn the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C and cook for a further 20-25 minutes until the sides are set and the tops a deep golden colour. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Source: Tesco Real Food

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