Gelf Alderson

The Pie Shop

  • Recommended


    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $75

    Learn in an online classroom with no more than 20 classmates. More

Course Description

River Cottage's chef Tom Morrell teaches you how to make and cook with pastry on his pie making course.

River Cottage chef Tom Morrell will teach you all the skills necessary to make a variety of savoury pastry recipes – including shortcrust, rough puff, hot water crust and suet. He'll then show you how to make a pork pie, bake sausage rolls, make pastry bases for quiches and tarts and make a classic British suet pastry for steamed or boiled puddings.

By the end of this course you will have gained the practical skills, knowledge and confidence to create homemade pies for any occasion.

You'll learn:

  • which pastry to use for different pies
  • how to make pork pies with hot waster pastry
  • making quick rough puff pastry for sausage rolls and cheese straws
  • blind baking with shortcrust pastry for tart cases
  • savoury and sweet steamed pudding recipes using suet pastry

The course includes:

  • 4 on-demand video lessons - presented by Tom Morrell and River Cottage
  • lifetime access to the videos, notes and interactive class
  • flexible classes - join and learn when and where you like
  • downloadable lesson notes
  • practical pastry and pie making assignments and recipes (with tutor feedback available)
  • access on your mobile, PC, Mac or laptop
  • small interactive online classroom - chat online to students from around the world and share your creative ideas

Independent Cookery Schools Association approved

This course has been approved by the Independent Cookery Schools Association (ICSA), recognising the highest standards of training.

Time to complete the pie making course:

Every student is different but in general we think the whole course will take around 15 hours 5 minutes to complete including:

  • Video lessons: 3 hours 5 minutes in total
  • Course notes: 30 minutes per lesson
  • Your pastry and pie making recipe assignments: at least 2 hours per lesson
  • Interactive classroom time: 15 minutes per lesson
  • Tutor feedback review (Expert level): 15 minutes per lesson

You'll need:

Your lesson notes will include the full details of the ingredients you'll need, but you will be making pies and pastry, so you'll need standard kitchen equipment.

Ready to get started?

Just add the course to your basket above - choose the 'Expert' option for personal feedback from Tom on your pie making.

If you know someone who'd love this course then give it as a gift - just tick "This is a gift" at the checkout.

Any questions? Contact us by clicking on the orange speech symbol - we'd love to hear from you.

CPD Accreditation

Course activity has been accredited by the CPD Standards Office (CPDSO). The course equates to 15 hours, 5 minutes of CPD learning.
The CPD Standards Office. CPD Provider: 50276.

Course outline

  • Hot water pastry

    In this first lesson Tom will teach you how to perfect pork pie pastry. Get Tom’s tips for working with this pastry, and practise what you’ve learned with the creation of the ultimate River Cottage pork pie.

  • Rough puff pastry

    A common misconception is that puff pastry is tricky to work with. In this lesson Tom will teach you otherwise and show you how puff pastry can be as easy to cook with as, well, pie! By following a few simple guidelines you can have perfect puff pastry every time, and by the end of this lesson you will have created sausage rolls, cheese straws and a cheese, potato and basil tart.

  • Shortcrust

    Shortcrust pastry can be great for both savoury and sweet dishes. Follow Tom’s method and learn the art of blind baking and sealing. By the end of this lesson you will have created tart cases, an indulgent veggie roast onion and blue cheese quiche.

  • Suet pastry

    Suet pastry is a good, old-fashioned British pastry used for steamed or boiled, sweet and savoury puddings. Learn how to work with this versatile pastry, and put your skills to the test with the ultimate comfort food – steamed suet pudding.

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Gelf Alderson

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 4 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 4 assignments marked by Gelf Alderson
    • Certificate of completion and CPD hours
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
  • The Peer option

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course whenever you like
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 4 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more

Buy this course for a business or group

You can now buy this course through your business or organisation for individuals and groups up to 20

Food & Drink classroom - how it works

  • Start anytime

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments
  • Personal tuition

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors
  • Share ideas

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

Meet Gelf Alderson

Gelf Alderson - Food & Drink
Gelf Alderson is the Culinary Director at River Cottage having worked alongside Hugh F-W for nearly ten years. Gelf is a dedicated ambassador of the River Cottage commitment to sustainability. He was one of the early pioneers of the farm to fork philosophy and is passionate about using food that is farmed locally, sourced from the River Cottage kitchen garden, or foraged from the surrounding area.

Gelf is able to communicate the importance of sustainable eating in a simple, practical and down to earth way. He is both engaging and charismatic and leaves people with a clear understanding and heads full of ideas to implement at home.

Frequently bought as part of this collection

  • The River Cottage Cooking Diploma

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    12 Courses • 9 Expert Tutors

    River Cottage cookery courses online. Join Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at River Cottage for culinary training in your own home.

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Awards & Accreditations

  • CPD Accredited (provider 50276)
  • Good Web Guide
  • Red Herring Winner
  • Education Investor Awards 2021 - Finalist
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Digital Education Awards 2023 Winner for Digital Health and Wellbeing Learning Product of the Year
  • Digital Education Awards 2023 Winner for Adult Home Learning Product of the Year