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BWBO Week 7 – Victorian hot water crust ‘Fesenjoon-inspired’ pie

Do you have a favourite in this year’s Great British Bake Off? We think Rebecca from The Beesley Buzz might!

Her BWBO recipe has been heavily influenced by contestant Tamal’s creation on the show. After almost dropping his pie on last week’s episode and finally winning Star Baker, we think Rebecca’s homage will really be the icing on the cake for him!

Rebecca worked with what she had to hand in the kitchen. Improvising is a skill every baker needs and it’s brilliant to see her adapting this recipe, making it her own. For her efforts she has won a lovely Kilner dessert jar set, not that you’d have room for pudding after this tasty Victorian pie!

If you’d like to recreate this masterpiece, follow these steps…

Tamal’s spice mix from the BBC, which Rebecca used in her own pie:

  • 2½ tsp ras-el-hanout
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (Rebecca didn’t use this ingredient, so don’t worry if you can’t find this on the shelves of your local supermarket!)

The main ingredients of your Victorian pie filling:

  • Groundnut oil
  • 500g mince beef
  • 4 tsp of pomegranate molasses
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 small carrots
  • 3 spring onions
  • 100g of chopped walnuts
  • A rough handful of fresh thyme
  • Chopped dried apricots
  • A handful of dried barberries
  • 1 large courgette, chopped

Ingredients for hot water crust pastry

  • 250g of plain flour
  • 150g of butter
  • 60ml of boiling water
  • Salt for seasoning
  • Egg wash for your glaze

Rebecca also baked some decorations separately from frozen short crust pastry. If you’d like to decorate your pie elaborately, you may want to adjust this recipe to ensure you have enough pastry. Alternatively you could use a smaller pie dish!



  1. Heat a splash of groundnut oil and fry your spice mixture.
  2. Add your chopped onion, carrot and courgette, ensuring you roll them around in all of the gorgeous flavour.
  3. Add in your minced beef and allow to cook through.
  4. Cook and drain your red lentils separately, adding them to your main filling which should be fully infused with the spice mixture.
  5. Add in your pomegranate molasses. The water from your veg and meat juices should ensure that the sticky molasses don’t stick to the bottom of your pan. Stir vigorously to coat your mixture.
  6. Throw in your thyme, dried apricots, barberries, and walnuts.
  7. Pre-heat your oven to 200C.
  8. To make your pie crust, rub together your dry ingredients until you get the tell-tale breadcrumb texture.
  9. Pour in your boiling water to the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed. Once cooled enough to touch, you can gather the ingredients with your hands together in a ball. Wait until your dough reaches room temperature and roll it out rather thin. Rebecca used a 7 inch pie tin.
  10. Fill your pastry with the filling and top with a thin-rolled lid. Seal this all together with your egg wash.
  11. Pop in your oven for 15 minutes at 200C, then reduce heat to 180C for a further 45 minutes.
  12. After this time check your pie and cook for a further 30 minutes. Rebecca did not use a steam hole as the pie has a lovely filling that is pre-cooked to perfection.

So there you have it! A gorgeous Victorian pie that is great for family gatherings. As the seasons change we’re hoping for something a little more hearty at dinner time, and this certainly does the job. Let us know if you recreate this recipe at home by tweeting us @SilverMushroom1.

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