Top Chef’s Tips For the Perfect Pie

Wednesday 06th Mar 2024 |

Top chef, Mark Greenaway, has graced some of the finest dining establishments around the world, and now heads up Grazing at The Caledonian, Edinburgh’s iconic luxury hotel.

Pies were originally a historical method of food preservation in the 18th century. With the crust creating a durable container for food to make it last longer.

Today, they’ve evolved into an art and the crust plays a key role. But they’re not always easy to master.

The Caledonian’s head chef, Mark Greenaway, has offered his secrets into creating the perfect pie, for anyone looking to take to the kitchen over National Pie Week.  

Known locally as the “Caley”, The Caledonian is one of Edinburgh’s most significant landmarks. The former Victorian railway building nestled next to Edinburgh Castle, has a reputation for style and excellence for over one hundred years. 

perfect pie

How do you avoid a soggy bottom?

Always preheat your baking tray in the oven before placing pie on top to reduce the risk of a soggy bottom.

What’s the secret to the perfect finish?  

Instead of egg wash for the top of your pie,  mix equal quantities of sugar and water, this will give an amazing finish to your pie. 

Where do you keep your dough?

Always refrigerate your dough after rolling it to give it a chance to relax.

Is pastry the most important part, or the filling?

What’s more important the filling or pastry?

Mmm, I would say is an even split, the pastry has to be great and the filling has to be amazing and bursting with flavour, it should be a harmonious relationship, not one part stronger than the other 

What’s the easiest pastry to cook with?

Practice, practice, practice. Nothing is easy if you don’t know it, and all it takes is a few tips and a lot of practice. 

What’s the best pie contents?

I love chicken tarragon and mushroom or a slow braised oxtail with loads of root vegetables 

How easy is to make a pie?

It’s like everything, it’s easy to make but the more practice you have the greater the pie. 

perfect pie


What is The Caledonian’s best pie?

It has to be the beef wellington. It’s one of best-selling dishes throughout the whole menu. 

Why does beef wellington counts as a pie?

It’s essentially meat enveloped in pastry, if that isn’t a pie I don’t know what is. 

What’s your favourite pie recipe?

What’s your favourite pie to make?

It has to be the beef wellington, once you master it it’s incredible, and if you cook it at home everyone will be impressed. 

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