Possibly the worst pie in London or maybe should that be Derbyshire. Pen is going to be so proud of me for fitting a musical connection into my blog post! For those who don’t follow me on Twitter you may not realise that Hubby & I are going to a Halloween Party as Sweeney Todd & Mrs Lovett. Going as Mrs Lovett seemed a natural choice for me – I know exactly how I can make the outfit with a few things I own and I make great pies…although I’m not scheming and as twisted as Mrs Lovett.
For those who don’t know the story Mrs Lovett makes pies from Sweeney Todd’s victims. In the musical she sings a song called The Worst Pies in London and this has been my inspiration. To accompany my Victorian Gothic costume I need just one essential prop – a really quite gruesome pie. 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. I had forgotten how easy it is to make and was like working with pastry. To help with making the shape I used a small foil pie dish. This helped to support the dough as it was drying. 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. I have to say they are almost too realistic for my liking.
Salt Dough Sweeney Todd Pie
makes 1 small inedible pie
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/2 cup of water
- flaked almonds
- 1 egg (beaten)
Mix together flour, salt and water until you have a smooth dough. Cover in clingfilm and leave for 30 min.
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.
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.
In the pie place a few balls of dough. These are only for making sure the lid of the pie doesn’t collapse.
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.
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.
Please note, this pie is NOT edible. Well the dough wouldn’t do any major harm if accidentally eaten, but it won’t taste nice due to the massive salt content. If you wanted to make a similar gruesome top for a proper edible pie use shortcrust pastry.