The curiously named Shropshire fidget pie is one of the county’s best-known regional dishes and is commonly made using apples, bacon or gammon, and Shropshire potatoes. There are a number of theories as to the origin of the name: it's thought it relates to the ingredients’ tendency to shuffle around in their pastry case when baked, or it could be that it was once ‘fitched’ – five-sided. A less palatable origin is that it smells like polecat (known in Shropshire as a ‘fitch’ or ‘fitchett’) while cooking. Whatever its origin, it's a delicious meal served hot with buttered greens and a glass of local cider.

Rustle up this tasty pie for a warming meal in autumn and winter.


For the filling

  • 375g Gammon steak
  • 2 Bramley cooking apples peeled
  • 160ml Cider
  • 750g Shropshire potatoes
  • 1tbsp Wholegrain mustard with honey
  • 50g Butter
  • 80g Double cream
  • 100g Cheddar cheese

For the pastry

  • 75g Plain flour
  • 75g Self-raising flour
  • 75g Butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • 50ml Water add a tiny amount gradually until the pastry forms a ball


For the pastry

  • STEP 1

    Preheat oven to 180°C/375°F/Gas 5. Make the pastry by sifting the plain and sel-raising flour and salt into a bowl. Dice butter and rub into flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in water until pastry forms a ball. Wrap pastry in cling-film and rest in fridge 20 mins.

For the filling

  • STEP 1

    Peel the potatoes, cut into chunks and cook in salted boiling water for around 20 mins. Dice the gammon and sauté in a pan until sealed. Add the cider to the pan and simmer for 15 mins until tender.

  • STEP 2

    Dice the apples, add to the gammon and stir to coat the apples with the sauce. Cook 2-3 mins then remove pan from the heat to cool.

  • STEP 3

    Drain the potatoes and mash with the cream, butter and mustard until smooth.

  • STEP 4

    Remove pastry from the fridge. Roll out and line a deep flan dish. Add gammon mix and top with grated cheese. Pipe or spoon the mustard mash on top to create topping. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 mins.


Clare HargreavesFreelance travel writer and photographer