Karen Wright: Get set for al fresco dining with a picnic pie ... with a difference

Karen’s delicious feta and spinach plaitKaren’s delicious feta and spinach plait
Karen’s delicious feta and spinach plait
Former Great British Bake Off contestant Karen Wright shares her recipe for everyday happiness

Another recent bank holiday weekend over and, from a weather point of view, it was a bit cold and showery but at least we don’t have long to wait until the next one ... and I have put an order in for a scorcher!

When summer does make an appearance, we will no doubt all be keen to dine al fresco as often as possible.

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Most of us love the idea of a barbecue or a picnic but in reality, they can sometimes be a bit ‘same old, same old’, with bangers and burgers on the barbecue and sandwiches and sausage rolls at the picnic.

I have been working on a couple of picnic pies and this is the first of them.

With a nod to Greece it is a huge feta and spinach plait, a bit of a spanakopita filling in a puff pastry case.

I made the pastry from scratch but of course shop-bought works well.

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The filling was a couple of blocks of feta crumbled up, oregano, sliced spring onions cooked in a bit of oil to soften, and a bag of baby spinach wilted and drained really well. I squeezed in lemon juice and a bit of runny honey and gave it a good mix.

I rolled out my pastry into a large rectangle and, looking at it lengthways, I mentally divided it into thirds, placed the filling down the centre third and, using a pizza roller, cut strips about an inch wide at an angle to the four-o’clock position on the right and eight-o’clock on the left.

Using beaten egg and a pastry brush I brushed both sets of strips and then started to fold them over the filling, one strip at a time, alternating the sides. I brushed over the top of the plait as I went along.

I lifted the plait onto baking paper and popped it into the fridge for 30 minutes to chill while the oven heated up. With the oven set to 220c (200c fan) I placed a baking sheet in to heat up.

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Then brushed the pastry again and sprinkled it with sesame seeds. I let it bake for about 30 minutes until puffed and golden.

I shall be teaching this class online on Saturday, May 8 with http://www.bakewithalegend.comBon appetite!

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