Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Long Egg-speriment

This post is about Gala Pies and Long Eggs. If you don't know what either of these, I will now elucidate. A Gala Pie is a long version of a pork pie, typically baked in a bread tin and about the size, shape and weight as a brick. But far more tasty, unless of course, you're a troll. Gala Pies have a boiled egg running through the centre and are designed to be served in slices. Magically*, no matter where you cut the pie, you always get the full amount of egg yolk and egg white.

This is where the Long Egg comes in. Long hens became extinct aeons ago (possibly from exhaustion during the never-ending egg-laying), so these days we have to resort to magic technology to replicate their efforts. It seems that every commercial Gala Pie-maker considers the provenance of the Long Egg to be a trade secret, but my trawling of the Interwebz came up with solutions involving tubes of different diameters and the separate poaching of the yolks and the whites.

I rummaged around the kitchen and came up with a squeezy sauce bottle that seemed to be about the right diameter for the outer tube, so I cut the top off. The inner tube was more problematic, but I found some phallic pet feeder things that were only a little too big for the inner tube (I figured that was okay - more yolk, less white - only doctors like egg white anyway) in the local Chino.

I poured my yolks into one of the blue tubes, but was unable to seal the top so I had to rig up something with toothpicks and wire to keep the tube vertical while the yolks set. When it was done, I placed the long yolk into the wider tube, poured albumen around it and popped it back into the pan until it set. Getting the complete long egg out of the tube was a bit of a disaster, however. I hadn't thought to use any lubricant, and the egg white had become quite firmly attached to the polythene. So I had to cut it out with a knife and ended up with a somewhat mis-shapen long egg.

I had my pastry, jelly and pork filling all ready, and no time (or eggs) to make another long egg, so I chucked it in and baked it.

So the egg didn't look great, but the whole pie tasted fantastic.

That was a couple of weeks ago. I made another long egg this morning, using food-grade polythene tubes that I made myself using my heat-sealer. This one seems to have turned out pretty well, so I'll make another gala pie tomorrow. Wish me luck.

*Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke, 1961


Grumpy Goat said...

Well done, Keef! Mabrook, mazel tov and other encouraging remarks.

nzm said...

That's awesome - another pie to taste when we finally make it to Madrid, one day!

We had a variation on the theme "magically". Friends of mine worked for NCR in the technical department.

When called out to fix problems, someone would invariably ask them how they fixed it. Their reply would be, "We used the HPFM fix", to which the person would nod wisely and walk away....not knowing that HPFM stood for Hocus Pocus F**king Magic! ;.)

Jayne said...

Crikey keefie, I can't remember the last time I saw a Gala Pie (didn't even know it was called a Gala Pie - I just thought it was a pork pie with chukkyleg innit!) so I have to say it looks like you have just about perfected a rare art!
Thanks for making me feel hungry!

Haarlson Phillipps said...

Well done. I really enjoy (and miss)a good thick wedge of gala pie (I always wondered how they did the long-egg thing), or game pie, or just a well-made pork pie. And, of course, steak and kidney. I always bring back a few pies from the UK. It's no coincidence that the Gregg's pie and pasty shop at Newcastle airport is just a few steps from arrivals. And, I've always said -whomsoever opens the first Gregg's pie and pasty shop in Barcelona (or, even, Madrid) will make a killing. All the best.

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