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Macaroni Pie

Introduction & method

These pies are very popular in Scotland. Basically, you take a hard pastry shell (as used in Scotch pies), fill it with macaroni cheese and bake it. Pure, unadulterated comfort food.

Macaroni Pie Recipe

Make Hot Water Pastry

Cut the lard into small pieces, put them in a small saucepan with the water and slowly heat until all the lard has melted. In a large heat-resistant bowl, stir the salt into the flour. Make a well in the centre and pour in half of the lard and water. Mix well, then add the remaining liquid. The dough will be very dry, so you'll probably need to tip it out onto your worktop and knead it a bit until it comes together.

Form the Shells

The pie bases (shells) need to be well-chilled, firmly set and a little dried-out before you can use them. Traditional Scotch pie shells are rigid enough to be baked free-standing, without any mould or former. If you want to do it this way, let them firm up in the fridge for 2-3 hours, then ease them out of the mould, stand them on a plate and leave to dry, uncovered, in the fridge for 2-3 days. If you want an easier life, you can bake the pies in their moulds.

You'll need some kind of rings or ramekins to form your shells. They should be 9-10mm (3½-4 inches) diameter, and 3cm (1¼ inch) tall. Butter the inside of your formers. Sprinkle flour on your worktop and roll some dough as thinly as you can. Seriously, it'll be hard work, but the thinner you can get it, the better. Now sprinkle a generous amount of flour on the pastry disc and lay it into a former, floured side down. Use a blob of spare dough to press the pastry right down into the bottom of the former. Try not to get any folds or creases in the pastry. Roughly cut off the excess dough around the top - don't cut it right up to the rim at this stage. Place the shells in the fridge to dry out for between 3 hours and three days.

About the Cheese

I like to use a mixture of mature cheddar and red Leicester, but you can use whatever cheese you like and is available - as long as it's proper cheesy tasting.

Make Macaroni Cheese

We start with a cheese sauce and I like a bit of an onion flavour infused into the milk. This is entirely optional but if you want to do it, peel and roughly chop the onion. Heat the milk almost to boiling point. Turn off the heat and add the onion. Leave to infuse for 15-30 minutes.

Bring a pan of salted water to a rolling boil. When it's boiling, add the macaroni and cook it for a minute less than the manufacturer's recommendation. Stir it once of twice to stop it from sticking to itself. Drain and set aside until needed.

Start making the sauce as soon as you've got the pasata going. Melt the butter in a medium frying pan. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Gradually add the milk (if you've done the infusion, remove the onion). Stir it until it starts to thicken, then stir in the cream and mustard. Gradually add most of the grated cheese but leave a bit to sprinkle on the pies before baking. Now add the pasta. When it's all combined, add a bit more milk if it's too thick. Give it a taste and add salt if it needs it, although most cheese is quite salty so you may not need to add extra. 

Let the sauce cool down before filling the pies.

Assemble and Bake the Pies

Heat your oven to 180°C (356°F) for a fan/convection oven, 200°C (392°F) conventional, gas 6. Spoon macaroni cheese into each pie shell and sprinkle generously with the remaining grated cheese.  Place your pie shells, whether free-standing or in a mould, on a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

MAcaroni pies are brilliant hot or cold.


The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Macaroni Pie on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 250 grams plain white (all-purpose) flour
 125 grams lard
 100 ml water
 half a tsp salt
 200 grams macaroni
 300 grams strong cheese
 250 ml milk
 100 ml double (heavy) cream
 1 medium onion
 1 tsp Dijon mustard
 60 grams butter
 60 grams plain flour

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 6 -8 small pies
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Chilling time: 2 hours.
Cooking time: 45 minutes.
Total time: 3 Hours + .