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Ham Hock and Apple-Thyme Pies


This recipe from cookbook Apple Blossom Pie is a delicious way to make the most of ham left over after Christmas Day.

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Subtitled Memories of An Australian Country Kitchen, the recently published book features more than 200 recipes from food writer and chef Kate McGhie, as well as stories inspired by her memories of growing up on a farm.

“Pies were (and are) a great way of using up the odd leftovers of various meats,” she writes in the introduction to this recipe. “Sometimes when there was not quite enough ham, it was supplemented with whisked egg and chopped bacon and occasionally chopped left-over silverbeet or sausages.”

Cooking time: start to finish about one and a quarter hours.
Makes about 12 small pies


1 large smoked pork hock (about 1kg) ­­
3 large granny smith apples
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1/3 cup (45g) finely chopped celery
1/4 cup (40g) finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons runny honey
4 sheets shortcrust pastry
1 small free-range egg, whisked


Put the hock in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. Drain and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 190C (375F) (fan-forced 170C/325F).

Peel the apple, coarsely grate and put into a bowl. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the thyme, celery and onion, and cook until softened. Tip the mixture into the bowl with the apples.

Pull the meat away from the pork hock and shred as finely as you can – or chop. Put the meat into the bowl, add the honey and mix well. Stamp out circles of pastry to line tartlet moulds (about 6cm in diameter).

Spoon the mixture into the pastry shells and cover with another circle of pastry, pressing the edges together with a fork.

Poke small holes in the pastry lids to allow steam to escape and the pastry to cook through. Brush the tops with the egg and bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before turning out.

And a bit more:

If hocks are hard to come by, substitute with finely diced cooked ham. I have also used Italian-style pork and fennel sausages – remove the skins and pan-fry with the other ingredients.

Apple Blossom Pie, by Kate McGhie, published by Murdoch Books, $49.99.

Apple Blossom Pie, by Kate McGhie, published by Murdoch Books, $49.99.


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