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Christmas Turkey and Ham Pie

Introduction & method

Somebody asked me recently if I would make a Christmas pie. Well, I'm not sure there really is such  a thing, but I thought a traditional raised-type pie would fit the bill, especially if it contained turkey and ham with a smattering of cranberries.

Christmas Turkey and Ham Pie Recipe

Make the Hot Water Pastry

Mix the two flours and salt together. Melt the butter and lard in the boiling water (be careful not to let the fats boil). While hot, stir the liquid into the flour and work it with your hands until you have a smooth dough. Set aside to cool down.

Grease the inside of a 20cm (8 inch) springform cake tin. When the pastry is almost at room temperature, take one third of it and roll it out into a disc a little bigger than the baking tin diameter. Make a hole in the centre with the narrow end of a funnel - this is to let steam escape during cooking and to pour the jelly through at the end. Roll out the remaining pastry into a large circle and carefully work it into the tin. You want to stretch the pastry into shape and try to avoid any folding or pleating. And definitely avoid making any holes in it.

Trim the excess pastry off with a knife, but leave a narrow rim all the way around the top. Put the pastry case and the lid in the fridge until you need them.

Prepare the Filling

Your meats need to be cut into slices about 1cm (a little under half an inch) thich. Try to get the slices as even as you can because we want this pie to have nice layers. 

Assemble the Pie

Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F). Place a single layer of ham in the bottom of the pastry case, making sure there are no gaps between the slices of meat. Scatter an even layer of coriander leaves over it, and a generous layer of ground black pepper. Add a layer of turkey and top it with coriander and pepper. Repeat the process with alternate layers of ham and turkey until all the meat is used up.

Moisten the rim of the case with cold water, put the lid on and firmly press the lid and case together. Raise up the rim so that it doesn't stick to the tin, and apply any style of crimping you like. You can also cut out some pastry holly leaves if you wish, and stick them on top of the pie with a bit of water. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg, taking care to get the rim and crimping fully coated too. Rest the assembled pie in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

Bake the Chritmas Pie

Put the pie into the oven for an initial 45 minutes, then carefully remove it from the tin and bake for another 45 minutes - this ensures that the outside edge and bottom get thoroughly cooked, while the lowish temperature ensures the top won't burn.

Finish the Christmas Pie

When the pie comes out of the oven, you need to let it cool down completely - in the kitchen for maybe 10 minutes, and then in the fridge until it feels cool. Now you need to make up the jelly. Heat the chicken stock in a pan until not quite boiling. Pour some hot water into a glass and sprinkle the gelatine powder on it - stir well until the gelatine is dissolved, then add it to the stock and let it simmer for a minute or two. Take the funnel, and pour the jelly into the pie through the hole in the top. You might want to pop some cranberries on top to simulate holly berries.

Put the pie in a cold place until the jelly has set. Serve with cranberry jelly. Yum!

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Christmas Turkey and Ham Pie on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 250 grams plain (all-purpose) white flour
 250 grams strong white bread flour
 150 ml boiling water
 100 ml lard
 100 ml unsalted butter
 1.5 tsp salt
 750 grams gammon ham
 450 grams turkey breast
 small bunch fresh coriander / cilantro
 1 tsp ground black pepper
 500 ml chicken stock
 1 sachet powdered gelatine


Beaten egg to glaze the pie. Cranberries for decoration.

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 1 large pie
Prep time: 20 minutes.
Chilling time time: 1 hour.
Cooking time: 1.5 hours.
Total time: 2 hours 50 minutes.