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  • Writer's pictureAlana Wynn

Hot Water Crust Veggie Pies

Updated: Jan 28, 2023

Hot water crust pies filled with mushrooms, onion and cabbage for a British pub kind of night.

If you are on my site I can only assume that you love to bake. And with that I must ask DO YOU WATCH THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF?!?! Of course I absolutely love the show and can't get enough of the wild things/flavors the bakers put together. Another great aspect with the show is learning about new baked goods or common British items such as the elaborate, and sometimes kinda gross, meat pies. They are usually filled with different gamey meats and lots of spices. These pies look like an elaborate chicken pot pie, but when you take them out of their mold they hold their shape and can be cut like a cake, with the filling holding together in one slice.

What makes this pie different is the type of dough required. They require what is called a hot water crust dough. This dough gets it's name from having to boil together water, butter and lard before adding to your flour mixture. This makes the dough more pliable to work with, allowing you to patch up any holes easily, unlike it's cold butter crust counter part. Also the final product produces a much more stable shell that you can remove easily from its baking container and still hold its shape.

Veggie filling

I'm not a huge fan of the gamey meats, plus I feel like I'm always trying to find a way to use up the cabbage in my fridge (it stays fresh for a really long time ok!?). This filling is all about layering the flavors with your veggies. Browning the mushrooms really well, caramelizing those onions and getting the right dice on your cabbage (small and bite sized!). I also used a tad of poultry seasoning in the filling to give it a savory Thanksgiving feel, but with vegetarian vibes. What is great about a veggie pie is it's pretty easy to sub in/out anything you'd like! Just keep in mind if you're using frozen veggies it could make the filling very watery.

Dough Tips

Now if you are not going to read the rest of this before getting started then PLEASE watch the following episode of GBB. I made these without watching the pie episode as a refresher before hand and deeply regretted it 😅. On Netflix watch Season 7, Episode 8 (Pastry Week) and skip to about 40min in when they begin the final bake. I used Food52's recipe for hot water crust that you can find here. The recipe makes enough dough for one large pie OR 6 minis. Ok, now some helpful tips for when working with the dough.

Kneed Well

You want to work the dough for about 8 minutes or so. It should have cooled down slightly and begin to firm up a bit. Watching the episode you get a good grasp for what your dough should look and feel like.

Work Fast

Once the dough gets too cold it becomes harder to work with and crumbles easily. To ensure you have smooth looking pie tops you want the dough to still be pliable, therefor you want to make sure it stays warm!

No Soggy Bottoms, Or Thick Crusts

To get that cute delicate look AND pretty crimped edges you want to make sure your dough is the right thickness. It should be on the thinner side, while still being workable. About the thickness of a straw if you were to lay one on the table next to your rolled out dough. Again, watching the GBB episode really helps with understanding what Paul Hollywood would or would not find acceptable🤣

hot water crust without lard

Even though most places on the internet said lard is the way to go...I just did not have time to search for that. Also...kinda gross. To replace it I just used equal parts vegetable shortening and it came out just wonderful to me! Plus how can you make a vegetarian filling and then add animal fat to the crust...ya just can't.


Hot Water Crust Pie with mushroom, cabbage and onion filling

Makes 6 Mini Double Crust Pies

Equipment: Large muffin tin, circle cookies cutters, rolling pin and a pastry brush (optional for egg wash).

hot water crust recipe

From Food52

Notes: For a vegetarian crust, sub out the lard with equal parts vegetable oil.

mushroom, cabbage and onion filling

4 Medium Portobello Mushrooms, finely chopped (110g, about 2 cups)

½ Small Onion, finely chopped

1 Cup (135g) Cabbage, finely chopped

2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped


1 Tbsp. Flour

¼ Tsp. Poultry Seasoning

1 Cup vegetable broth

  1. In a medium pot set to medium heat, add oil and mushrooms. Stir to coat. Allow mushrooms to sit undisturbed while the one side browns. Once browning begins, stir mushrooms to evenly cook on all sides. Tip: mushrooms cook better when not constantly disturbed in the pan. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.

  2. Once fully cooked, remove from pan and set aside. Add more oil if needed and then add onion. Watch carefully and stir frequently to make sure onions caramelize and do not burn. Turn down heat if they are not cooking evenly.

  3. Once onions are browned, remove and set aside with mushrooms.

  4. Add cabbage to pot and cook until soften.

  5. Add garlic to cabbage and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Then add mushrooms and onion back to pot.

  6. Mix vegetables together, then add flour and seasoning. Stir continuously, coating the vegetables fully, cooking for 2-3 minutes.

  7. Slowly add vegetable broth, about ¼ cup at a time. Mixing thoroughly as you incorporate the liquid before adding more. Adding liquid all at once will cause flour to clump up.

  8. Add salt and pepper to taste then allow mixture to cook for a few minutes more until it can coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and store in fridge to cool.

  9. Once filling is cooled you can begin the dough. Before beginning, set your oven temp to 375 ℉ and grease your muffin tin REALLY well.

  10. Make hot water crust using recipe from Food52 .

  11. Roll out dough to about the thickness of a drinking straw.

  12. Working with some speed, cut out a circle using your large cutter and place it into the muffin tin. Using your fingers, press the dough up the sides until even thickness and hanging slightly out of the tin. If your circle isn't large enough, rip off pieces of dough from the rolled out sheet and patch them around the mold to your desired size.

  13. Fill mold with cooled filling until just shy of the rim of dough.

  14. Using your smaller circle cutter, cut out the top for your pie. Place it on top of the filling and using your fingers pinch together the top and bottom pieces to seal them together.

  15. Once all your pieces are assembled whisk your egg with a splash of water and using a pastry brush, apply the egg wash to the top of the pies.

  16. Bake for roughly 25 minutes or until golden brown.

  17. Once out of the oven allow to cool slightly before remove from the tin. The pies should pull right out!

Tips For Sculpting Your Pies

  • Use a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter to cut out the pieces. I selected one slightly larger than the muffin tin hole and my largest cutter for the base.

  • For the base piece of your dough make sure there is some over hang (not much! but some). This gives your top piece something to grab onto and prevent leakage.

  • Leave a vent in the top for steam to escape, otherwise things will get messy in the oven! For the images above I cut slits once the top was crimped on. Otherwise if you have a fun shape you can cut it out prior to applying lid.

  • Egg wash: not necessary, but it does give it a nice glossy finish.

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