Wednesday 13 December 2017

Cheese, Potato and Leek Pie.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I have the most comforting Winter pie for you. And, it's vegetarian!

This pie is something I first randomly came across and decided to bake for Sunday lunch a few weeks ago.
It was such a hit with us all that I knew you guys would love it too.
The pie begins with a creamy (without any cream involved) filling. It's packed with leeks, onion and potato and is flavoured with fresh thyme (which I had to rescue from the frostbitten garden), Dijon mustard and lots of Cheddar.
While the filling cools a little, we make the crisp pastry to go on top. Now I know that some of you are a little nervous about making your own pastry but I promise there's nothing to fear. Once you've mastered the technique, there's no going back to anything you can get in the shops. Although, if you are in a real pinch for time, a good quality puff pastry will do the trick too.
This pie is a real showstopper. There is a sort of hush that descends into the room when you bring it in for dinner. A well made pie, in all its glory, needs nothing more than green vegetables and maybe a cheeky squirt of ketchup on the side. Enjoy.

A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the Filling:

1. Potatoes
2. Butter
3. Onion
4. Leeks
5. Milk
6. Plain Flour
7. Cheddar
8. Fresh Thyme Leaves
9. Dijon Mustard

For the Pastry:

1. Unsalted Butter
2. Plain Flour
3. Salt
4. Cold Water

Bismillah, let's begin!

We start with the filling which starts with potatoes. Take 450g Potatoes.

And, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2cm chunks.

Add them to the boiling water.

Let the water come back up to the boil then set a timer for 8 minutes.

Poke the potatoes with a knife to see if they are soft.

Drain the potatoes and set them aside for later.

Now for the actual sauce for the filling. In a large pan, heat up 60g Butter.

Once it's melted ...

... we can add in the onion and leeks.

Throw in 1 Onion, peeled and thinly sliced.

And, 2 small thinly sliced Leeks. I like to slice and then thoroughly wash them as they can be pretty gritty.

Stir fry the onion and leeks in the butter for a minute or two.

Then, cover and turn the heat to low. Let the leeks cook for 15 minutes until soft.

While the leeks soften, gently heat up 600ml Milk.

Once the leeks are soft, uncover them and dry off any extra liquid.

Then, sprinkle in 50g Plain Flour.

Stir and cook the flour for 1 minute. The mixture will get thick and clumpy which is just what we want.

Once it's at this stage, gradually pour in the warm milk.

Stir it as you keep adding the milk until ...

... all the milk is in and the mixture is bubbling and thick.

Now, let's flavour up the sauce. Add in 100g Cheddar, grated.

Then, fresh thyme.

Add in 1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves, chopped.

A little Dijon.

Add in 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard.

Plus Salt and Black Pepper, to taste.

Stir everything in.

And finally, add in the cooked potatoes.

Gently stir in the potatoes and taste the filling for seasoning. Adjust as needed.

Take a 26cm pie dish. I got mine here. And, yes. That is snow outside!

Pour the filling into the dish and let it cool.

Meanwhile, let's make the pastry. Into a large bowl, grate 120g Unsalted Butter which has been frozen for 1 hour.

Freezing the butter helps keep it extra cold which will give us extra crisp pastry.

To the butter, add 175g Plain Flour.

And, 1/2 teaspoon Salt.

Give everything a stir until the flour has coated the butter.

Then, gradually pour in Cold Water.

And, mix until ...

... the pastry has come together into a rough dough.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Bring it together into a rough rectangle.

Then, using a rolling pin, roll it into a rectangle.

Once you have your rough rectangle ....

..... fold the top third down.

And, the bottom third up.

Turn the pastry 90 degrees.

Roll into a rough rectangle again and repeat the folds as before. Do this twice again - so in total 4 times.

When you're done, we can chill the pastry.

Wrap it up with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

When you're ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 7 or 220C. Pop the pastry onto a lightly floured surface.

If you want to decorate your pie, cut off a little pastry and save it for later.

Start rolling the rest ....

... into a large round.

Then, cut a 1cm wide strip long enough to fit onto the edge of your pie dish.

Like this!

Remove the large round and set aside.

Whisk 1 Egg with a fork.

Brush the edge of the pie dish with the beaten egg.

Stick the 1cm wide pastry strip around the edge.

Like this!

Brush the pastry with egg all over.

Roll the round a little bigger so that it is the same size as the dish.

Carefully place the pastry round onto the dish.

And, stick it in place.

Like so!

Press the edges of the pie down with a fork or crimp them, if you prefer.

Then, brush the entire pie top with beaten egg.

If you saved the pastry for decoration, roll it and cut out your patterns.

Stick them onto the pie.

Brush them with beaten egg.

Poke a few holes into the pastry for the steam to escape whilst baking.

Time to bake!

As the snow begins to fall ....

... bake the pie on a baking tray at Gas Mark 7 or 220C for 40-45 minutes.

When the filling is piping hot and the pastry is golden brown and crispy, the pie is done. During the baking time, if you see that the edges are browning too fast, cover them with foil.

Serve the pie with green vegetables. I found that the creamy filling goes really well with steamed tenderstem broccoli.

Time to serve up!

The perfect meal on a day when ....

... the house is surrounded with snow.

Cheese, Potato and Leek Pie.

Prep Time: About 30 minutes.
Cook Time: About 30 minutes.
Bake Time: About 45 minutes.
Serves: About 6 people.


For the Pastry
120g Unsalted Butter, frozen for 1 hour
175g Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Cold Water, as needed
1 beaten Egg, for egg wash

For the Filling
450g Potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
60g Butter
1 Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 small Leeks, thinly sliced
600ml Milk
50g Plain Flour
100g Cheddar, grated
1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

To Serve
Green Vegetables

Cook the filling:
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Once it's boiling, add in the potato chunks. Boil the potatoes for 8-10 minutes until they're just soft. Drain and set aside until needed.

Heat the butter in a large pan. Once it has melted, add in the onion and leeks. Stir fry for a few minutes then cover with a lid and leave to cook over a low heat for 15 minutes or until soft. Meanwhile, gently warm the milk in a pan over a low heat.

Uncover the leeks, turn the heat up and cook off any extra liquid. Add in the flour, stir and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the hot milk, stirring well after each addition, until the mixture is thick and bubbling.

Stir in the grated Cheddar, fresh thyme, Dijon mustard, salt, black pepper and cooked potatoes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Pour the mixture into a 26cm pie dish. Set aside to cool.

Make the pastry:
Grate the frozen butter into a mixing bowl. Stir in the flour and salt. Pour in enough cold water and mix until the pastry comes together into a rough dough.

Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle. Fold the top third down and the bottom third up. Turn 90 degrees, roll into a rectangle and fold in the same way again. Do this twice again. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Bake the pie:
Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 7 or 220C.

If you want to make decorations for your pie, slice off a little pastry and keep for later. Roll the rest of the pastry out into a round on a lightly floured surface. Cut off a 1cm wide strip long enough to fit onto the edge of the pie dish. Brush the edge of the dish with the beaten egg and press this strip onto the edge. Brush the top of the strip with beaten egg too.

Roll the pastry round to fit the top of the dish. Gently place over the pie and press the edges down to fit. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg. Roll and cut any reserved pastry for decorations and stick them onto the pie. Brush them with beaten egg too.

Make a few steam holes with a knife. Put the pie dish onto a baking tray and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top. If the edges are browning too fast, cover them with foil.

Serve with green vegetables.

{adapted from mary berry}

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your pie!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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