It is nearly the end of British Pie week, and I feel it is high time I talked about pastry.
I have been playing with pastry a bit recently. And I have learnt a new pastry (new to me) for sweet pies and tarts and played about with a savoury shortcrust to produce one I am very happy with.
Let’s start with savoury for our main course. I was playing with a recipe for an old fashioned Homity Pie, as made famous by Cranks back in the 1970s, which I liked, but found their wholemeal pastry just a little too worthy and heavy for my taste. But I wanted a touch of hessian about the pastry, though not a total sackload. This is what I came up with, which worked beautifully.
150g Plain Flour
50g Wholemeal Flour
Pinch salt (if using unsalted butter)
Pinch mustard powder
30g grated cheese (I used cheddar)
One small egg, beaten with a splash of water
I make my pastries in the food processor, for ease and speed, but you can simply rub in as you would do normally, and then bind with the egg. In a food processor, blitz the flours and fats, add the cheese and seasoning and blitz to mix, then with the motor running, trickle in the egg until the mixture binds into a smooth ball.
I filled two 4 inch tartlet cases, and baked blind for 10 mins (at Gas mk 6, 200 C/400 F), and made the filling whilst the tart cases cooked
3 medium sized potatoes, roughly 300g, slightly waxy for preference, Charlotte or Vivaldi are good
200g onions (2 small or one medium, don’t be too fussed about exact quantity)
1 tbs oil
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
50g cheese, grated, I used a mix of gruyere and cheddar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp milk
Salt & pepper to taste
Another 50g cheese grated, I used gruyere
Cube the potatoes and steam until tender, saute the onions and garlic in the oil until very soft, mix these two together, and stir in all the other ingredients, Pile into the part cooked cases, top with the additional cheese and bake for 20 minutes at Mark 6, rising to Mark 7 for the last few minutes if it needs to brown a little more.
I thought this was substantial enough to need a light simple salad, and so made some coleslaw (a current favourite of mine for winter salad). Quantities are rather hit and miss, you can work to how ever much you a) have in the fridge b) like proportion wise. I like a lot of carrot, you might prefer something else.
This mix has shredded carrot, red cabbage, red onion and celery, with poppy seeds and sesame seeds, and is dressed with Crush Foods new Lemon Dressing, which I think is utterly glorious. I shall be getting more soon, it doesn’t seem to be up on the website yet, but I am sure a shout to Brendan or Steve will point you in the right direction.