There’s something about a good pie that makes you feel all warm inside, a well made pie is an absolute delight, and I’m not referring to those pies you see with microwaved fillings and a ridiculous puff pastry hat sitting on top!!!!
I’m talking about a proper pie!
For the pastry
450g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
120g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
1 egg yolk
50g of grated parmesan cheese
120ml of water
1 egg, beaten, for glazing
For the cheesey filling
1 large potato, peeled and cut into cubes
2 onions, finely sliced
2 leeks finely sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
50ml of whole milk
50ml of double cream
200g of grated mature cheddar cheese ( I’m using Thornby Moor Cumbrian Farm house)
1 tsp English mustard
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and black pepper
Now for the methods
Firstly make the pastry,
pulse the flour, baking powder, salt, butter and egg yolk in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the grated parmesan and stir until well combined.
Now Gradually add the water, a tablespoon at a time, mix until the mixture just comes together as a dough. (You may not need to use all of the water.) Roll the dough into a ball, then wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour.
Now for the filling
bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the potato pieces to the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until tender, then drain well and set aside.
Using the same saucepan (think of the washing up!!) bring some water to the boil, add the sliced onions and leeks, cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Drain well, now return the cooked onions and leeks to the saucepan.
Sprinkle the onions with the flour and mix well to coat. Add the milk and cream and gently heat the mixture over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stir continuously, until the liquid is smooth and thickened slightly. Now Add the cooked potato pieces, grated cheese, mustard and cayenne pepper and stir well. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, mix well, leave to cool slightly
Preheat the oven to 180C
Now you can make one large pie or individual ones, the choice is yours
Lightly Grease a deep 20cm/8in pie tin with some butter. Add a small amount of flour, turn the tin to coat the base and sides of the tin, then shake out any excess.
Now roll out two thirds of the pastry onto a clean floured work surface, almost twice as wide as the diameter of the pie tin. Now Using the rolling pin, lift the pastry and lay it over the pie tin to line the base and sides. Gently press the pastry into the corners of the tin, trimming off any excess, then prick the base of the pastry case several times with a fork.
Cover the pastry with a sheet of greaseproof paper and fill it with rice or if you’re very posh and have them, baking beans, Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the pastry is pale golden-brown. Remove from the oven, remove the rice and greaseproof paper and set the pastry aside to cool. Once cool,carefully spoon the pie filling into the pastry case.
Roll the remaining pastry out onto a floured work surface until it is slightly larger than the diameter of the pie tin. Brush the rim of the cooked pastry case with some of the beaten egg and place the pastry lid on top of the pie. Trim off any excess pastry. Seal the pastry lid to the pastry case by crimping the edges of the pastry lid with your fingers or a fork
Now make two small holes in the centre of the pastry lid this will allow the steam to escape. Brush the pastry lid with the remaining beaten egg, then transfer to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden-brown.
You can serve the pie hot with a lovely green salad, but it tastes great cold too if you’re lucky enough to have the weather for a picnic!!!
I know that you are going to love this recipe, even all of those meat eaters amongst us!!