Hi! I do not own individual pie dishes so would I be able to double the recipe for my family and cook it all in one dish instead (such as the one I would use for fish pie)? Would I need to cook the pastry for longer? Thank you.
Nigella's Chicken, Mushroom and Bacon pies (from Nigella Express) are made in individual portions partly for speed, as they will cook much more quickly than a larger pie. However it would be possible to make a larger version in a pie dish. You will however need to make a few adjustments. Also make sure the dish is an appropriate size for the sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry and the dish should have a lip around the edge.
You can double the amount of filling, or as appropriate to fit your dish. However there is a fair amount of sauce with the filling, as the individual pies go into dishes that are fairly deep. So we suggest that once you have cooked the filling, making sure that the chicken is just cooked through, you transfer the chicken, bacon and mushrooms to the dish with a slotted or perforated spoon and add just enough of the sauce to keep the filling moist. The remainder of the sauce should be set aside and warmed in a saucepan until just boiling, then transferred to a heatproof jug and served alongside the pie.
You will also need to let the filling cool before adding the pastry lid as if you lay the pastry over a hot filling then the pastry will become soggy when cooked. For the individual versions the pastry doesn't touch the filling so can be added and cooked immediately. Once the filling has cooled (this should take about 30 minutes in a cool place) brush the lip of the pie dish with a little beaten egg and lay the pastry sheet over the top of the pie. Press down the pastry on the edge lip of the pie dish to stick it down then trim the pastry around the pie dish.
Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg and cut a couple of small steam holes in the top and bake the pie in an oven preheated to 220c/425F for 20 minutes, as per the recipe, then reduce the oven temperature to 180c/350F and bake the pie until the filling is piping hot and the pastry is crisp and golden, approximately an extra 20-25 minutes. It is also worth putting the pie dish on a lipped baking sheet, to catch any drips if the sauce in the pie does bubble up a little.