Little herb pies with pickles

These little pies are heaven as a starter or, when made a little larger, as a main meal, perhaps with bread and butter pickles and the Crunchy salad from page 79. You could also make one beautiful galette by rolling the pastry into a big round and piling the herby filling and some tomatoes on top before baking. Either way, I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.

A quick note on the pastry, which is inspired by the wonderful Maggie Beer: this recipe makes a short, flaky pastry that’s just perfect here, but if you have sheets of shortcrust or puff in the freezer, those would be great, too. Also, I find it easiest to make the filling mixture in advance and have it chilled when it comes to assembling your pies.

Serving Size

Serves 6-8


1 Tbsp olive oil
2 brown onions, thinly sliced
½ cup (125 g) sour cream
110 g (33/4 oz) goat’s cheese, crumbled
1 handful mixed herbs (see Note)
2 eggs
2 Tbsp single (pure) cream
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
Sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
Pickle or tomato relish, to serve

Sour cream pastry

⅔ cup (160 g) sour cream
1 cup (250 g) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 cups (300 g) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp sea salt


Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onion for 10 minutes or until completely softened and caramelised. Transfer the onion to a bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, make the pastry. Put the sour cream, butter, flour and salt in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds until just combined. Turn the pastry out onto a work surface and gently bring it together into a disc. Wrap the pastry and pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Add the sour cream, goat’s cheese, herbs and 1 egg to the onion and gently mix to combine.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until 3 mm (⅛ inch) thick. Using a biscuit cutter or glass, cut the pastry into 7 cm (2 ¾ inch) rounds. Place about a tablespoon of the herb mixture in the middle of a pastry round and bring the sides together, pressing to seal. Use the tines of a fork to gently press down around the edges. Place the pie on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling. Place the pies in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Whisk the remaining egg with the cream, then brush it over the pies and sprinkle them with the sesame seeds and sea salt flakes. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pies are golden and the pastry has puffed up. Serve the warm pies with a tangy pickle or tomato relish.


My favourite mix of herbs for these pies is parsley, mint, sorrel and tarragon. Try to avoid woody herbs like thyme and rosemary as they might overpower the mixture.

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