Shropshire Fidget Pie

Shropshire Fidget Pie is, I have to admit, something I became aware of only a few years ago.  It seems it went out of fashion for some time.  The interest in eating local food has revived its fortunes and I finally got to taste a fidget pie a couple of months ago at our local National Trust property.  The National Trust cafes tend to serve superb local food and this one serves food that is harvested on site from the walled garden and the farm.  Fortunately for me one of the cooks at this property is also a family friend so when I saw her just before Christmas I grilled her for the recipe.  She told me what made up the filling.

Anyway,  as a true Salopian I thought it was about time I made a Fidget Pie.  (For those unaware, a Salopian is someone born in Shropshire.  The county was previously known as Salop, goodness knows why they felt the need to change the name).  Some of you might be aware that I am very proud to be a Salopian and a Midlander so to cook something that hails from the county makes me very pleased.

Our friend’s advice and a search around the internet has led to this version.  It is a combination of several recipes.  At the National Trust they make it in a pasty shape but it is also made like a pork pie in some recipes or as a topped pie as I have in this version.

It was a total success.  Mr OC was a bit dubious when he heard what was in a Fidget Pie, but he was certainly won over tonight. The combination of cider and apples really deliver a tasty punch.  This is a pie that comes highly recommended by me and Mr OC.

Serves 4

For the pastry:

8 oz plain white flour
4 oz cold butter
4 tbsp cold water

For the filling:

1 bramley apple, cored, peeled and sliced
2-3 potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
250g (10oz) ham or gammon
1 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried sage or 4-5 fresh leaves finely chopped
2 tsp cornflour
150 ml (¼ pint) double cream
300ml (½ pint) cider

Beaten egg for brushing over the top of the pie.

Method

Start by making the pastry.  Put the flour and cold butter into a food processor and whizz until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs.  Add the water (you may need more or less) and whizz until it forms a ball.  Put the pastry into a plastic food bag or wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

For the filling, boil the potatoes for 3 minutes and then add the onions to the water and boil for another 2- 3 minutes.  Drain well.

Using a dish that measures 23cm x 30cm layer the apples, potato, onion and ham into the dish, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the brown sugar and the sage.

In a  jug stir together the cornflour and the cream until combined and then mix in the cider.  Pour this over the filling.

Roll out the pastry to the size of the dish and then cover the dish, pressing down well around the sides. Make a hole in the top of the pie. I used my blackbird as a steam vent. Brush with the beaten egg.

Place in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 or the baking oven of the Aga for about 1 hour until the pie is golden brown.

The fidget before pastry

My eldest helping with the pastry and egg wash

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34 responses to “Shropshire Fidget Pie

  1. I love that reginal foods like this are making a come back. That pastry looks good enough to dive into nose first!

  2. How could it fail with that lovely cream and cider? I think I might see if I can come up with a vegetarian version of this because it does sound very good. Lovely looking pastry too and the Salop on the top is just great.

    • Ooh that would be good if you could. Let me know if you do. My eldest helped with the Salop, I might just include a picture of her doing that as she would like that and I forgot. I enjoyed one or maybe two glasses of vino with the pie.

  3. but pastry and potato together?

  4. I love learning about these regional recipes from you. And now I know that you are a Salopian and what fidget pie looks like! Thanks.

  5. That looks amazing! Well done. I love regional recipes and this is one of the best 🙂

  6. I love the return to regional cooking!

    This pie looks delicious, and what’s more perfect for using up leftover ham!

  7. I like your pie label. The crust looks immense too!

  8. this might well be my favorite name for a pie.
    and I am happy to know that its cook is very nice Salopian, indeed!

    • It is a great name, they think it originated from when it was made with five sides (fitchet, apparently). I think it might be because you fidget with impatience waiting for it to cook 🙂 Thank you for your kind words.

  9. I made this recipe for my husband last night and he absolutely loved it! I will be a regular to your site from now on!

  10. Will you be entering your pie in to the Fidget Pie and Ale competition at the Harper Adams Farmers Market on 3rd July? The winning pie will go through to the final at Ludlow Festival in August. I’ve been looking at this recipe and thinking about a vegetarian alternative, although I’m not sure how it’d go down with the judges! Will give it a go though….

    • Hi Lee,
      Thanks for the heads up on this one, it sounds like it might be a good plan if I can organise myself enough. A fidget pie and ale competition sounds like a fantastic idea! A veggie alternative would be very good and if you can come up with one let me know, there could a guest post waiting right here for you…
      Kath

  11. Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it last night and it was better than I imagined! It brought a little Shropshire to Montréal! 🙂

  12. I too first came across and ate Fidget Pie at a National Trust property, but it was Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire. I suspect that the pork/apple/cider combination makes it more Salop/Herefordshire than East Anglia, but it was still lovely – so thanks for the recipe.

  13. Thanks for this. My granddaughter spotted the fidget pasties at Attingham this weekend and was keen to try them. A version is on the Wolverhampton school dinner menu these days, and she assures me they are good. We’ll try this filling, perhaps with just a pastry top, tonight when she comes over for her weekly after-school cooking session.

  14. Yes. This is a good recipe. A pie with just a top reduces the calories but is still great to serve at the family table.

  15. I made a vegetarian version tonight. All I did was substitute the ham with Quorn bacon. My two vegetarian guests loved it. Us meat eaters had your original version. Happy people all round

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  17. Apparently the name was fif-ecgede – cg was said like our modern ch and all the “e”s were spoken. But why was it made in a pentagon shape?

    Quorn bacon – maybe that’s made from foxes instead of pigs?

  18. The origin of the name “Shropshire” is the Old English Scrobbesbyrigscīr, which means “Shrewsburyshire”. The name may, therefore, be derived indirectly from a personal name such as Scrope (also spelt Scrobbe).

    Salop is an old abbreviation for Shropshire, sometimes used on envelopes or telegrams, and comes from the Anglo-French “Salopesberia”. It is normally replaced by the more contemporary “Shrops” although Shropshire residents are still referred to as “Salopians”.[1] Salop however is also used as an alternative name for the county town, Shrewsbury, which also shares the motto of Floreat Salopia.

    When a county council for the county was first established in 1889, it was called Salop County Council.[23] Following the Local Government Act 1972, Salop became the official name of the county, but a campaign led by a local councillor, John Kenyon, succeeded in having both the county and council renamed as Shropshire in 1980.[24] This took effect from 1 April of that year.[25]

  19. I really enjoyed the Fidget Pie at Buildwas and I’ve just put my version in the oven and I’ll let you know how it tastes. Thanks Julie, Ron’s niece xx

  20. I loved it…. I made it with chicken and it’s the first time I’ve cooked from a recipe for years. Thank you so much xx

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