Food Club July 2016

‘Send her victorious’….In June we saw our Queen celebrate her 90th birthday and the country turned out in full to celebrate with her.

The celebrations began in April with the ‘official’ birthday, where the Queen was presented with a birthday cake by Nadiya Hussain, winner of the Great British Bake Off last series. The lilac, gold and white iced cake was met with mixed opinions – some said it looked ‘wonky’, others said it was badly iced, but the Queen accepted it with her usual humility.

The moral of this is ‘get baking’- you never know, but you could become the next star of the GBB, or a similar show which could start a whole new culinary career for you!

‘The Real Birthday Party’

June saw the Queen celebrate her real birthday with those lucky enough to acquire the £150 tickets to include a picnic lunch on the Mall, could join in the party.

We had a close look at the contents of the hampers designed by Marks and Spencer and have recreated a sensational ‘pork pie’ recipe based on the one that was one of the centrepieces of the cold buffet lunch.

The hampers also included a selection of luxury sandwiches, smoked salmon mousse, chicken roulade with asparagus and Cornish potato salad, the ‘famous’ pork pie (theirs had piccalilli topping, whereas ours has pork, apricot and pistachios inside!), a raspberry and jelly sponge dessert and some delicate butterfly cakes. The food was washed down with a can of Pimms, apple juice from the Home Farm at Windsor and some mineral water. There was also a platter of cheese and biscuits to complete the meal.

Our own Live to Eat Mini Pies

We love this recipe, and the pies look lovely with just that little bit of effort. Try out our recipe, it make 12 delicious fruity and nutty pork pies.


  • 2 x 500g packs of shop bought puff pastry
  • 400g pork mince
  • 100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 50g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 or 4 pinches of ground nutmeg
  • Small bunch parsley, finely chopped (you could use sage or thyme if preferred, but use less as they are more pungent)
  • 2 eggs, beaten


  1. Heat oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4, and line 2 x 6 hole muffin tins with strips of baking paper, which makes the mini pies easier to lift from the tin. If you don’t have two tins, do 6 pies at a time. Divide both of the pastry blocks in 2, and set half of each aside. Roll out the remaining pastry on a surface dusted with flour. The pastry should be about the thickness of a 20p coin.
  2. Cut out 12 x 8cm circles and line the muffin tins with the pastry on top of the baking paper strips, with just a little bit of pastry over the edge of each hole.
  3. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl (excluding the eggs) and season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, combine all the ingredients together. Pack the pie bases firmly with the pork mix.
  4. Roll out the remaining pastry to the same thickness. Cut ½ cm strips and form into a lattice on the top of each pie, by criss-crossing the pastry. Cut off any excess strips to that the pies are neat.
  5. Gently brush across the top inside edge of each pie and fold in the overhanging pastry to form a neat rim.
  6. Brush the top of the pies with more of the beaten egg and bake for approx 45 minutes or until you can see that the pastry is golden and cooked through.


Enjoy – we did!

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