There is something very comforting and satisfying about a pie. Whether it is a rich, gravy infused steak and kidney pie, or a sweet apple and cinnamon pie, it fills the spot in a way no other food can do.
Pies play a very important role in the life of Letty Parker. When she first runs away from her step-mamma’s stifling regime, she makes her living selling pies to the other street children. Gabriel jokes that the pies are made with rat and although Letty strongly denies it she knows that Ma Tucker’s pies are neither tasty nor nutritious. Filled with lumpy grey meat, they are encased in pastry hard enough to break teeth.
By book two, “Bridge of Lies,” Letty has moved on to be the proprietor of her own detective agency, but pies still feature. She, Mango and Jeb have all known what it is to be so hungry that their bellies ache and Mango in particular is terrified of not having enough to eat. A plate of pie in the Llandogandcrow is “the bees’ architraves” and he is not happy when in ” Letty takes him to The Coronation Tap instead.
“…Mango here will die of starvation if he doesn’t get one of your pork and apple pies and a large mug of cider.”
“It will be with you directly. And what can I do for you, young sir?” Thelma twinkled at Jeb.
“The same,” he ordered and so did Letty.
“You promised steak,” Mango grumbled as they settled themselves at a table near the door where it was cooler. Letty ignored him. She didn’t say anything until their food arrived. Mango took a deep breath, picked up his knife and fork and set about the rich crusty pastry with the delicious mix of meat and fruit underneath.
“Well?” she asked.
“It’s all right,” he mumbled, his mouth full.”
What Mango has done for Letty that deserves this reward is in the opening chapter of “Bridge of Lies” which is out in paperback Amazon and in other formats on May 10th.
In the meantime, here is a recipe for a family favourite.
Sausage and Tomato Pie
Ingredients: Short crust pastry, homemade or bought, a packet of sausage meat, I tin tomatoes, a pinch (or more) of Italian mixed herbs and some black pepper.
Method: Mix the sausage meat, tomatoes, herbs and pepper together. Put in pie dish, cover with pastry and bake at 160 Fan/180/Mark 4 until done. About 40 minutes.
Can be eaten hot, or cold.
PS picture is not one of my pies.