Fidget Pie (bacon/ham & fruit)

Fidget Pie is a traditional English recipe for a pie served in the fields to the workers busy bringing in the harvest. I can see why. It seems to contain meat, two veg and dessert all in one. A variation on a pastie perhaps? There is some confusion about how Fidget Pie got its name. Some say that it is a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon for five-sided or five-cornered (fif-ecgede) the shape in which the pie was originally baked. Others say it is derived from the word “fitch”, an old word for polecat. This apparently is because of the aroma that emanates from the pie whilst it is being cooked! I have only seen a polecat from a distance and cannot vouch for its smell, although I imagine it’s rather like a ferret’s aroma. I can confirm that there were no nasty odours emanating from this pie whilst it was cooking. I should also like to assure my readers that no polecats were harmed in the making of this pie.

Ingredients - serves 4

8oz (225g) shortcrust pastry (home made or bought) 1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons parsley 1 lb (450g) potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 8oz (225g) cooked bacon or ham
1 tablespoon cornflour 1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and sliced
¼ pint (150ml) dry cider 1 egg, beaten


  1. Using a 1 pint (600ml) pie dish place a layer of the sliced potatoes in the bottom.
  2. Then add a layer of the bacon or ham, followed by a layer of onion and then apple.
  3. Sprinkle with some of the chopped parsley.
  4. Repeat layering in this way until these ingredients are used up and the dish is full.
  5. Mix the cornflour with a little of the cider and pour over the layers.
  6. Pour in the remaining cider and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface. Cut a strip long enough to fit around the edge of the pie dish.
  8. Moisten the rim of the dish and press the strip around the edge.
  9. Moisten the edge strip and cover the pie with the remaining rolled out pastry.
  10. Trim the excess pastry and crimp the edges to form a seal.
  11. Cut two steam holes in the pastry cover and brush with beaten egg.
  12. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190°C/375° F/Gas Mark 5 for about 1 hour or until the pastry is golden brown.



Bramley cooking apples