I made a pie and it set. Both of these are exciting. Pies, like cakes, are something that I don’t make often. When I do make pies, they tend to be of the sloppy variety, something like apple, rhubarb and custard, chocolate brandy etc. I have never made a pie like this – one that is thick and gelatinous, and holds its shape with no effort.

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I am now very much a fan of this pie. Because of the aforementioned characteristics it looks great, and it tastes great as well. It is thick, spicy and satisfying, reminiscent of a glass of mulled wine, or christmas mince pies. It tick all the health boxes as well. Despite the thick and creamy texture, the main ingredient is water, hence my name for it. There is only one egg, no cream, no milk, barely any butter. For a healthy dessert that doesn’t taste healthy, this is a wonderful option. And, after all those healthy eating points, it’s totally okay to serve it warm with cream, runny or whipped, or with rich vanilla icecream (it is also good on its own, hot or cold).

This recipe was adapted from Digby Law’s ‘Vinegar Pie’, from his wonderful book A Dessert Cookbook. I changed the name because it is both misleading (this pie does not taste like vinegar, it tastes like spice) and off-putting.

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Spice Water Pie (serves 5)

Two tablespoons of butter

Half a cup of sugar

Three tablespoons of white flour

One and a half teaspoons of cinnamon

Half a teaspoon of nutmeg

Half a teaspoon of ginger

A pInch of salt

One egg

Two tablespoons of white vinegar

One cup of water

One and a half tablespoons of corn-flour

One sheet of puff/sweet short pastry

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl then add all the other ingredients, except the corn-flour and pastry. Mix well. Dissolve the corn-flour in a small amount of water and add to the mixture. Place in a saucepan, heat gently, and stir until thick and smooth, then remove from the heat.

Grease a medium sized (about 20 cm diameter) pie dish, and place the pastry into it. Bake for three minutes, then remove from the oven and pour the filling into the case. Return to the oven and bake until the crust is brown. Leave to cool and set for a few minutes before serving.

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