8 Nov 2020


Never Underestimate A Simple Pie

This magnificent pie is such a treat, the gorgeous smell of the pie cooking is a teasing expectation of what’s to come, even harder is waiting the 20 minutes after the pie is cooked before eating, this is essential as the pie needs to rest and is best served warm not piping hot, as you will burn your mouth if you don’t wait!


(serves family 4 in my case 3!)

Old Fashioned Pastry
450g plain flour
110g cold lard
110g cold butter
1 tsp sea salt 
160ml cold water

Pie Ingredients
1kg King Edward or Yukon potatoes 
200g butter
pinch sea salt
1 pinch ground white pepper
4 white onions roughly sliced
500g old mature vintage cheese grated (local cheese is best)
2 sprigs thyme
100ml chicken stock
1 pinch sea salt


This pastry will yield two pies, therefore when you make the pastry cut in half and wrap one half in parchment and either keep in the fridge for use in the week or freeze for another time.

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees, peel and place your rough chopped potatoes in a pan of simmering water to boil for twenty to thirty minutes until fork tender then drain and mash with butter, salt and pepper, reserve to one side to cool down, meanwhile make the pastry, place the flour in your bowl or mixer and using a whisk fluff up and remove any lumps, this is the same a sieving, add the salt then the butter and lard, rub together roughly, you want large rubble not a breadcrumb consistency, this is what will create the flaky lift in your pastry, add the water and just bring together to a rough ball, press flat and wrap in parchment paper, pop in the fridge for twenty minutes or so to chill and rest while you prepare the filling.

Place the coconut oil and onions in a pan and gently soften the onions for ten minutes, add the chicken stock, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, fresh thyme and reserve to one side to cool.  Grate the cheese and place to one side.

Roll out 2/3 of your pastry in to a circle, reserving the rest for the pie lid.  Take your tin and grease the sides, place the pastry base in your greased tin and gently push into the sides, now take your cooled ingredients and layer, first put a thin layer of mashed potato on the base, then a third of the softened onions, followed by a generous handful of the cheese, repeat with onions and cheese and finish with a final thin layer of mashed potato, top the pie with the pastry lid, lightly score the lid in a lattice pattern and brush with either milk to be authentic, I did as the war time attitude was why waste an egg, or brush with egg wash for a more golden crispy finish.

Bake in your pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for approx 40-45 minutes until golden brown, take out and leave to slightly cool for 15 minutes, now this hard especially when not making this for the first time, as you know how good this is going to be, but it is sort of important, this is a pie that needs to be warm not piping hot for its best presentation and taste.

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