Day 11 – Pork Pies with Cranberry Jelly

On the eleventh day of Christmas The Pink Whisk sent to me…..Pork Pies with Cranberry Jelly.

(She’s nearly collapsed in a heap getting all these recipes done – but the taste testing has been fun!)

Pork Pie with Cranberry Jelly

The cranberry jelly in these pies makes for something really lovely – a sweetish jelly with the tasty pork filling and crunchy crisp hot water crust pastry.  The idea actually comes from Davey Chambers (2010 Bake Off) who talked about cranberry jelly pork pies and I have dreamt about them ever since!  Finally, here they are The Pink Whisk way!



340g plain flour

1 tsp salt

150ml water

115g lard


225g pork shoulder

100g pork belly

60g bacon (about 2 rashers)

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp sage

salt and pepper

1 egg, beaten to glaze.


1 x Knorr stock pot (chicken)

100ml boiling water

80g Cranberry Jelly

Makes 6.

You can make pork pies in variety of shapes and sizes, these are made in a silicone cupcake pan.

Grease the pan/tin will and then it’s on with dicing up the meat for the filling.  Small chunks probably about 1/2cm square.

Place the diced meat into a bowl and add the herbs, season well with salt and pepper and mix the whole lot up.  Hands work better at this than a spoon but it’s messy!

Set the filling to one side.

Preheat the oven to 180c (fan)/200c/Gas Mark 5.

Now onto the hot water crust pastry.

Add the plain flour and salt to a large bowl.

Place the water and lard into a saucepan.  Heat until the water comes the the boil and the fat has completely melted.

Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the water/fat.  Be careful it’s hot.  Stir well with a spoon until the mixture more or less comes together.

Now you need to knead it, check it’s not still to hot before you dive in and burn your hands.  Bring it all together until it’s nice and smooth.

Now take half of the pastry and roll it out fairly thickly (0.5cm) on your worksurface lightly dusted with flour to stop it sticking.  Keep pinching more out of the bag as you need it.

Hot water crust pastry is bizarre in that it needs to be kept warm to be pliable and workable.  Place the half you’re not using yet in a sandwich bag to keep the warmth in.  If it still gets too cool and tough, a quick 20 seconds in the microwave will sort it out!

Cut out large circles to line the recesses of the pan – you will need them about 12cm round – if you have a cutter that big great, if not just rough hand cut circles will do.

Feed the pastry into the recesses and then start to mould it with your fingers, you need to flatten out the sides, but don’t make it too thin.  Raise the edge of the pastry about 1cm above the top of the pan.

Now fill them up with the meaty filling, packing it down tightly.

Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out circles just larger than the tops of the pies.

Wet the rim of the pastry and seal the two pieces together.  If you have too much excess trim it off with scissors and shape into a nice wavy top with your fingers.

If you have excess pastry left and you’re feeling creative you could add some little pastry leaves to the tops of your pies.

Add two holes to the top of the pie with a skewer – make sure they’re big enough – we need to get the jelly in once they’ve baked!

Brush the tops with beaten egg to glaze and place in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 160c (fan)/180c/Gas Mark 4 and bake for another 1 hour 15 minutes.  Keep an eye on the tops and if they’re browning too much cover them with foil or baking paper.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a good hour before removing if you’re using silicone trays – you’ll need the pastry to firm up before popping them out.  If the juices have run around the edge just run a sharp knife around the top edge to separate them from the pan.

Cool completely on a wire rack.

Time to make up the jelly.  Knorr recently sent me a hamper full of lovely things to try out including some of their stock pots – and I’m a convert.  (If you haven’t tried them you should, they’re lovely.  Favourite is to add one to a pan of rice whilst cooking!)

Dissolve one chicken stock pot in 100ml boiling water.  Weigh out the cranberry jelly (if you don’t have cranberry redcurrant will work just as well)  Melt the jelly in a small bowl in the microwave or in a small pan.

Add to the stock and whisk to combine. Because the jelly will set again and it’s only a small amount of stock (made from the jellied stock pot) you don’t need to add gelatine – hurrah!

Repoke the holes in the top of the pies with the skewer again one hole is for the jelly going in, the other for letting the air out.  Now I’m wishing I had some tiny funnels….

Instead I’m using a piping tip and a teeny jug combo.

Fill up each pie with the jelly.  I’ve made that sound easy – it’s a little bit tedious and takes a while as it has to be done slowly.  Patience is not one of my virtues.  In the end I did this

cut a slit between the two holes = pork pie not as pretty but gets the job done in 1/3rd of the time.  I’m sure you don’t have as much of an impatient streak as me and you’ll be okay!

Once all the pies are topped up with jelly, place in the fridge to chill.

Pork Pie with Cranberry Jelly

Once chilled and the jelly has set, serve – or scoff them down for your dinner!

Knorr also have a Marco Pierre White recipe on their website for a Fruity Turkey Curry which we may all be needing come Boxing Day!  Knorr

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

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