MOLLY YEH’S WEDDING PIE

MOLLY YEH’S WEDDING PIE

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CONGRATULATIONS, MOLLY.

YEH!

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“your pie”

lyrics adapted from bernie taupin

it’s a little bit lovely, this filling inside
i’m not one of those who can take just one slice
i don’t have much money eggboy, but what I will do…
I’d move to this Dakota farm house, just for you

if i was a domestic goddess… but then again, no
or a woman who makes potions on a food-network show
i know it’s not much but it’s the best i can do
my gift is my pies and this one’s for you

and you can tell everybody this is your pie
it may be quite simple but now that it’s done
i hope you don’t mind
i hope you don’t mind that i put down in slices
how wonderful life is now you’re in my world

~

hair smelled like hummus and feet white in flours
i made many messes the day you… made me one promise
the snow will be falling when i make this pie
and i’ll too be in white on my sweet twenty-five

so excuse me forgetting, but these things i do
you see i’ve forgotten if they’re… one cup or two?
anyway the thing is you’re what i choose
a sweet oh quiet farm boy… the day i saw you

and you can tell everybody this is your pie
it may be quite simple but wait till you try
i hope you don’t mind
i hope you don’t mind that i put down in slices
how wonderful life is now you’re in my world

~

i hope you don’t mind
i hope you don’t mind that i put down in piiiieees~
how wonderful life is…
now i’m in your world

for molly
the closest thing to sunshine a stranger can be

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This recipe is also a marriage between  a traditional Chinese wedding pie, and the techniques of an old-school British pork pie.  Despite the long recipe, because you know I’m wordy, this recipe is actually extremely easy.  The pie crust is very low-maintenance, not temperature/time-sensitive like the typical butter pie-crust.  The dough is made with boiling water which killed most of the gluten already so it will not require the most gentle hands in the business either.  The pie is meant to be eaten cold, filled with (in this case) wild mushrooms and truffle minced pork (or you can use chicken), and jello-stock with added gelatin, which also makes it perfect for events.  The only time-consuming part, obviously, is cutting out the traditional Chinese wedding pattern on top of the pie.

In Chinese, the word xi/喜, means all happy occurrences in life.  But when you put two of the same character together, 喜喜/double happiness, then it’s referring specifically to weddings, which is the character in the center of the pattern, surrounded by flowers and two love-birds/鴛鴦 on the bottom.  Here is the patter to be printed on a 8 1/2″ × 11″ paper (the diameter of the pie should be 8″):

I’ve made this pie twice and here are a few tips that I learnt which will make the cut-out-job easier.  Before cutting, flash-freeze the rolled out dough that’s going to be cut (the rest of the pie-crust doesn’t need to be cold), until it’s cold but not hard, and every time it gets too soft/hard to work with, pop it back into the freezer for another 20 min.  This will make an enormous difference.  Then, DO NOT use any kitchen knives for this job.  Use small, cleaned craft-blade for cutting, and wooden skewers to punch out small holes.

Then for the two holes that you cut out on the top of the pie, for pouring the stock inside.  For the first pie I did, I cut out two square-holes hidden inside the 喜喜 character, then on the second pie, I did two round holes closer to the edge of the pie, hidden underneath the flower patter.  I would suggest doing it the second way, closer to the edge of the pie, as that’s where most of the empty cavity will be.  The holes closer to the center of the pie, may be blocked due to the expansion of the filling during cooking.

wedding pattern

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MOLLY YEH’S WEDDING PIE

5 hours

Yield: One 8" pork pie

Ingredients

    PIE CRUST:
  • 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 14 tbsp (200 grams) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup (240 grams/240 ml) boiling water
  • WILD MUSHROOMS AND TRUFFLE PORK FILLING:
  • 1/4 cup dried porcini + 1/2 cup hot water
  • 14 oz (400 grams) assorted wild mushrooms
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 19.4 oz (550 grams) ground pork shoulder
  • 1/2 medium-size onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp ground truffle paste, or 1 1/2 tbsp truffle oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • MUSHROOM STOCK:
  • 2 cups (475 grams) homemade or storebought chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) mushroom soaking liquid
  • 3 tbsp powdered gelatin
  • 1/2 tsp truffle paste, or truffle oil

Instructions

  1. Before you start the recipe, cut out the attached pattern on a piece of paper.
  2. TO MAKE THE PIE CRUST: Combine all-purpose flour, unsalted butter and salt in a large bowl (or stand-mixer bowl with pedal attachment). While stirring with a fork (or the stand-mixer running on low speed), add the boiling water and mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough for a couple min just until all the butter has evenly incorporated into the dough. Don't over-work it. The dough will be warm and very soft, but not sticky.
  3. Dust working-surface and the dough with flour, then divide the dough in 1/2, then divide 1 portion of it into 1/4 again. Wrap the 1/2, and a 1/4 with plastic-wrap and set aside in the fridge. Now roll the 1/4 portion of the dough out, dusting with flours if needed, into a circle about 1/8" (3 mm) thick. Overlay the cut-pattern over the top and trim the dough down to a slightly larger circle. Flash-freeze the dough for 30 min before working on it.
  4. TO MAKE THE FILLING: Soak dried porcini in 1/2 cup of hot water until soften. Drain and reserve the soaking liquid. Clean and trim the stems off the mushrooms (the weight in the recipe is AFTER TRIMMING), the slice thinly, combine with soaked porcini, and divide into 2 batches (overcrowding mushrooms in skillet will deter browning). Heat 4 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over high heat, until really hot. Scatter the mushrooms (*don't season at this point*) in the hot pan, then don't move them for 1~2 min, until the first side is deeply browned (moving them too much will cause sweating). Fold the mushrooms over and brown the other side, then remove from the skillet and repeat with the second batch (add more olive oil if needed). Once the second batch is properly browned, add the first batch back into the skillet, along with minced garlic, thyme leaves, ground black/white pepper, chopped parsley and salt. Cook for another min until fragrant.
  5. In a food-processor or on chopping board, mince the cooked mushrooms until finely chopped, then transfer to a large bowl. In the same bowl, add ground pork shoulder, diced onion, cornstarch, truffle paste (or truffle oil), salt and ground white/black pepper. Mix evenly then set aside.
  6. TO MAKE THE PIE: Once the rolled out dough in the freezer is cold (*but not hard*), you can overlay the cut-out pattern on the top and start cutting. Use a small craft-blade, NOT a kitchen knife. And for those small holes, simply punch a cleaned wooden skewer into the dough all the way through. Every time when the dough gets soft and hard to work with, flash-freeze for another 20 min, then continue. Once finished, keep the cut-out dough cold in the fridge.
  7. Preheat the oven on 355F/180C.
  8. Take the other 1/4 of the dough, and roll it into a circle about 1/4" thick (*this is the bottom of the pie so it needs to be thicker to prevent leakage*). Then roll the 1/2 of the dough into a large circle slightly thicker than 1/8". Pile the filling onto the center of the smaller circle (*keep in mind that you are making an 8" pie so spread the filling out into close diameter*), then brush the edge with egg-wash. Drape the large circle over the top, then pinch the edges tightly together (like making a giant ravioli). Leave about 1/4" around the edge and trim off the rest of the dough (keep the scraps!). Tuck the edges underneath, making sure there's no tears or holes.
  9. Line the bottom and edges of a 8" cake-mold with removable bottom. Carefully transfer the pie into the mold, then gently with your hands or another flat-bottom pan, press the pie down to fit the edges of the mold with the top as levelled as you can. Pick 2 locations near the edge of the pie, in correspondence with the cut-out pattern, then remove two 1/2" circles from the crust (this is for pouring stock into the pie later on) with a mini biscuit-cutter. Brush the top of the pie with egg-wash, then position the cut-out dough right in the center. The way it covers the 2 mini holes should be symmetrical. Brush the overall surface again with egg-wash.
  10. Bake in the oven for 50 min. The top of the pie should only just starting to brown. Take the pie out then remove the sides of the mold (however your cake-mold works) and parchments. Carefully, without breaking the crust, slide the pie onto another baking-sheet (to catch any drippings or leakage), then brush the sides with egg-wash. Return to the oven and bake for another 25~30 min until browned on all sides (*turn to top heat for the last 10 min if needed*). If any liquid or oil is leaking on the sides, don't panic, it happens.
  11. Let the pie cool for 20 min, then chill in the fridge until it's not hot anymore (warm is fine). Meanwhile, heat chicken stock, mushroom soaking liquid, gelatin and truffle paste in a pot over medium-low heat. Stir until all the gelatin has melted.
  12. Now just as a precaution, roll the scrap-dough into a thin rope and seal the bottom-edges of the pie to prevent leaking. Pour the stock into the pie through the 2 mini holes, just a little bit at a time, until the stock doesn't go down anymore (suggesting the cavity inside the pie is filled). Chill the pie in the fridge until completely cooled down (you may be able to pour more stock into the pie as it chills), and that the stock has solidified.
  13. Serve with Dijon mustard.

Notes

If the crowd is not pork-friendly, you can substitute ground pork with ground chicken.

The pie can be made the day ahead, but I haven't tried freezing it yet.

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53 Comments
  • Thalia @ butter and brioche

    November 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM Reply

    This pie is INCREDIBLE. Seriously.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    November 30, 2014 at 4:52 PM Reply

    This is just the thickest, bestest dang pie ever. Love love love!

  • Belinda@themoonblushbaker

    November 30, 2014 at 5:16 PM Reply

    I am mesmerized by the detail you have gone to in this pie! You have made one of the best gifts to ever give a new couple. Thank you for a such a post that the food world needs.

  • aimee @twigg studios

    November 30, 2014 at 5:25 PM Reply

    Wow it is amazing xx

  • Erica

    November 30, 2014 at 5:31 PM Reply

    Always something brilliant, that’s why I love your blog! x

  • Sarah

    November 30, 2014 at 6:01 PM Reply

    Wow that looks great! I love this blog – your recipes and photographs are amazing.

  • Rebecca@Figs and Pigs

    November 30, 2014 at 6:35 PM Reply

    Wow what an epic pie, it looks surely fit for purpose. I imagine Molly feels pretty awesome to have those lovely words written for her.

  • Baby June

    November 30, 2014 at 8:18 PM Reply

    What a gorgeous pie. Perfect for Molly Yeh :)

  • Christine

    November 30, 2014 at 8:37 PM Reply

    Stunning. Reminds me of tourtière!
    On an unrelated note, someone needs to write a piece on Chinese diaspora food blogging – you, Molly, and Mimi!! Love it!!

  • Debbie G

    November 30, 2014 at 9:25 PM Reply

    How can a blog make my eyes water…lovely.

  • Monique

    November 30, 2014 at 9:26 PM Reply

    The most beautiful pie in the world.:)

  • adrian @ the food gays

    November 30, 2014 at 10:13 PM Reply

    wow. just, wow.

  • Millie l Add A Little

    November 30, 2014 at 10:16 PM Reply

    This is amazing and that song nearly brought me to tears!

  • robi

    November 30, 2014 at 10:54 PM Reply

    A M A Z I N G !!!

  • Iris fried

    November 30, 2014 at 10:58 PM Reply

    What fabulous recipe; you are both beautiful and amazing!

  • Nicola Miller of The Millers Tale

    November 30, 2014 at 11:17 PM Reply

    How does this pie reheat? It looks lovely but I’d take a few days to get through it!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      December 1, 2014 at 12:50 AM Reply

      Nicole, don’t reheat! It has/supposed to be eaten at room temperature!

  • Julie

    November 30, 2014 at 11:25 PM Reply

    This is quite possibly the most amazing thing I have ever seen – wow! I love your adaptation of the classic song too :)

  • Jennifer Farley

    November 30, 2014 at 11:30 PM Reply

    This is beyond impressive!! Gorgeous, wonderful, I love it. Yay Molly!

  • cynthia

    November 30, 2014 at 11:44 PM Reply

    DOUBLE HAPPINESS!!!!!! This could not be more incredible or perfect or stunning, Mandy!!!! You are a marvel. So so amazing!!

  • Amy @ BorrowedSalt.com

    December 1, 2014 at 12:34 AM Reply

    Gorgeous gorgeous! I only wish I had the steady hands and patience to EVER achieve such a work of art!

  • Michelle @ Hummingbird High

    December 1, 2014 at 12:58 AM Reply

    OMG, those lyrics lol. Also this pie!

  • Mariela

    December 1, 2014 at 1:00 AM Reply

    Both you and this pie are awesome. Love this post!!! Congrats Molly!

  • Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

    December 1, 2014 at 1:17 AM Reply

    WOW, this pie is so impressive — I can tell so much work went into it and it turned out gorgeously. I loved reading the tweaked lyrics too! :)

  • Sharon | Cheesy Pennies

    December 1, 2014 at 3:14 AM Reply

    I have never wanted to eat room temperature minced pork so much in my life.

  • Becky @ displacedhousewife.com

    December 1, 2014 at 5:07 AM Reply

    Beautiful!!

  • Minik

    December 1, 2014 at 5:11 AM Reply

    This is the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen on a food blog. Just wow.

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)

    December 1, 2014 at 11:45 AM Reply

    This is beyond amazing!!!!!

  • Charlie (Chockywoky)

    December 1, 2014 at 12:09 PM Reply

    This is one of (scratch that), IS the best pies I’ve ever seen. And read about. Molly is definitely very lucky.

  • Renee Kemps

    December 1, 2014 at 6:02 PM Reply

    I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s so, so incredible! Congratulations!!

  • Thea @ Baking Magique

    December 1, 2014 at 8:39 PM Reply

    I’ve never seen such a beautiful pie! That pattern is amazing. I really hope molly will like it!

  • Jodi@prairiekuchen

    December 1, 2014 at 10:22 PM Reply

    There are no words. A beautiful work of art.

  • Em | the pig & quill

    December 2, 2014 at 1:30 AM Reply

    HOLY INSANITY, I (nearly) have no words for this creation. So much happiness! Double, some would even say! ;)

  • Marissa | Pinch and Swirl

    December 2, 2014 at 1:40 AM Reply

    I completely agree that Molly is ‘the closest thing to sunshine that a stranger can be’. Thank you for such a sweet tribute and such a lovely pie!!

  • Emily

    December 2, 2014 at 2:17 AM Reply

    HOLY WOW!!!!! This is amazing. Ah-mazing. Total gorgeousness and deliciousness, Mandy. Of course, if anyone deserves total gorgeousness and deliciousness, it’s miss Molly. :)

  • renee (will frolic for food)

    December 2, 2014 at 3:51 AM Reply

    girl you are freakin CRAZY and so so so so sooooooo awesome. I bet molly dropped her gingerbread farmhouse and had to start all over when she saw this. I would have. And after reading that poem I probably would have just been like “well… that wins the internet. there’s nothing else left for me to do.” i love the traditional cut out on top of your pie! baller.

  • Lisa

    December 2, 2014 at 8:25 AM Reply

    This is amazing! Beautiful work!

  • Amaryllis

    December 2, 2014 at 9:05 PM Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous! Thank you, thank you!

  • Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy

    December 3, 2014 at 4:36 AM Reply

    1. That song was genius.
    2. This pie is genius.
    3. You’re a genius.

    :)

  • Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen

    December 3, 2014 at 7:33 PM Reply

    This isn’t just any pie; this is art. And those lyrics. This may just be the most glorious post the food blogging world has ever seen. Mandy, you’re a stunner (and so freakin’ talented and sweet and ..).

  • Valentina @Hortus

    December 3, 2014 at 9:56 PM Reply

    Well, this is THE pie. It is way beyond gorgeous!!! I am speechless. And it’s perfect for Molly – that’s right, both she and this recipe shine so incredibly bright!!!
    (Molly, comparing you to this pie is meant to be a very flattering comment!)

  • kimithy

    December 4, 2014 at 12:32 AM Reply

    Whoa, that is beautiful! I looked at the photos before reading the text, and was definitely NOT expecting it to be filled with meat, haha. I very distinctly imagined that crust filled with some kind of Greeky/Canadiany mashup of things – raisins, honey, maple caramel, nutmeg… But MEAT = surprising and awesome, and so much cooler. But my original thought got me thinking about using that crust recipe for other things as well – do you think it would work well with sweet fillings?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      December 5, 2014 at 2:41 PM Reply

      KIMITHY: OH I’m so sorry I forgot to answer your comment!! This pie recipe is adapted from a traditional british pork pie recipe that I did a while back. The crust is seasoned quite salty, so if you want to use it for sweet filling, I would suggest dialling down the salt a bit. But I think an American butter crust would probably work better with sweet fillings though.

  • Sneh | Cook Republic

    December 4, 2014 at 11:02 AM Reply

    I had to write!! This is glorious. And such a wonderful gesture to boot. I bet Molly is infinitely chuffed :-) xx

  • Aysegul - Ice

    December 4, 2014 at 7:30 PM Reply

    WOW! just wow… So so beautiful.

  • Melissa @ Treats With a Twist

    December 5, 2014 at 10:23 AM Reply

    HOLY crap! 1. Your song is my FAV and you adapted it brilliantly.
    2. You are the most AMAZING person ever for making such a beautiful work of art for dear Molly. I’m just blown away. I’ve never seen something so lovely.

  • kristie {birch and wild}

    December 5, 2014 at 12:34 PM Reply

    This is incredible! I don’t even eat meat, but I could dive into this. You amaze me.

  • Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

    December 11, 2014 at 6:21 AM Reply

    AIYAHHHHH with a double happiness AIYAHHHHH on top for SHEER MIND MELTING amazingness!!! This is much too great. You are incredible. And perfect for Molly – a mix of two cultures, a twist on tradition and above all, BRILLIANT! xo

  • ellie | fit for the soul

    December 13, 2014 at 2:27 PM Reply

    This is truly amazing! I’ve honestly never seen anything like it, and it’s so sweet that it’s named after Molly…yayyyyy haha.

  • Mirta Porley

    December 17, 2014 at 8:24 AM Reply

    I left without words how wonderful a work of edible art ,greetings from Uruguay

  • Edythe

    April 5, 2016 at 2:14 AM Reply

    Thanks for your great recipe! I made this twice (once as a test run and the 2nd for this year’s Pie Day contribution). I did end up reducing the salt in the crust by half (we like ours less salty) and it still turned out great! It took me 9 hours though so I’m a lot slower than you! Cutting out the stencil took an hour and the dough overlay another 2 hours on and off. Were you actually able to use all of the stock? If so, how did you do it? I could only inject 5 oz out of the 2 1/4 cups both times. Is there a trick to getting more in there? I also found that pouring it into the holes didn’t soak it as evenly as I liked so I used a syringe the 2nd time and it distributed it better. By the way, your photo tutorial is awesome. Helped me stay on track throughout the process!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      April 5, 2016 at 5:53 PM Reply

      Edythe, you may not need all of the stock. It depends on how much the meat filling shrink. The more it shrinks, the more stock you can fill :)

  • Remiko

    March 6, 2018 at 2:43 AM Reply

    I know you are not British but dang, you need to be on the Great British Bake Off.

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