13. Nov, 2018

The Famous Knaphill Pie

If you have read The Asylum Soul you will know all about Mrs Pengelley's Knaphill Pie. One reader has asked if there was a real recipe. The answer is yes. Bacon & Leek complete with all the 'secret' family ingredients. The recipe comes from a family who lived in Queens Road, Knaphill at the time the book is set and is known to have been a favourite among those who worked at Brookwood Lunatic Asylum.

Records show that the pie got its name simply because the bacon came from the Middle-White breed of pigs that were bought and reared at the institution. The breed was actually favoured by the asylum's bursar because of the fine quality and quantity of its pork. 

Since its mention in The Asylum Soul, the pie has been included on the menu at The Crown and, The Garibaldi pubs in Knaphill. 



  • Full stove/oven.
  • Melt 2oz knob of lard in large pan.
  • Add 16oz bacon (chopped) and stir for 5 minutes until beginning to slightly brown then allow cooling down slightly.
  • Transfer to deep medium oven dish and add 2 finely chopped leeks.
  • Add level tea spoon of grated garlic and stir again.
  • Grate 8oz strong cheddar cheese and sprinkle over top.
  • Whilst bashing washed King Edward potatoes in saucepan add salt, water and milk and sprinkles of white pepper.
  • When fused set potato into dish on top of other ingredients and add tram-lines with fork and then sprinkle rosemary sparingly on top.
  • Cooking time 1 hour 20 minutes. Check and prod with a long fork every 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven when potato is browned. Allow 10 minute rest.
  • Best served with carrots and cauliflower.

Note: Quantity of ingredients based on 4 served/imperial measurements.