Greg Henry’s English Farmhouse Cheddar Onion Pie may be your first experience baking pie with mustard and cayenne pepper. For extra Brit points, Henry recommends using an English Cheddar.
Henry blogs at Sippity Sup, and he has a cookbook coming out this fall. AND we’re thrilled to announce that he will be judging the Savory Pies at the 4th Annual Good Food Pie Contest!
Read below for his recipe, and click here to enter YOUR delicious pie (or pies) in the 4th Annual Good Food Pie Contest on Saturday, September 8th at LACMA.
English Farmhouse Cheddar Onion Pie
(From Greg Henry of Sippity Sup www.sippitysup.com)
The British love a savory pie. Some of the most cherished pies in my repertoire find their inspiration in these traditional savories. Quite a few of them (not surprisingly) get their comfort from potatoes, whether baked inside or mashed and rosti topped. There’s power in those pies.
Here is an example of a favorite English countryside pie full of big flavor; starting with the cheese. Cheddar is an English cheese that has been imitated the world over. Great examples can now be found in many different countries. But if you can, I suggest you honor this pie and its roots by choosing an authentic English Cheddar. Many are still made by traditional methods on the farm.
Basic Savory Pie Pastry (see below)
2 waxy potatoes such as red, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2-cups)
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1-cup)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced
1/2 teaspoon English mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for shell
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
3 cups English farmhouse-style white Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
flour for rolling
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Choose and prepare the Basic Savory Pie Pastry recipe. Divide dough and shape into 2 discs one about 6-inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick, the other about 4-inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick. Wrap them in plastic. Refrigerate dough at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days), or freeze for up to 1 month.
Place the oven rack in center position. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the filling: Put the diced potatoes into a medium-sized bowl, cover with cool water. Allow them to soak 10 minutes in order to leach out some of the starch. Drain them, then transfer to a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with more cool water until the potatoes are just submerged. Turn the heat on high and bring the water to a boil. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Starting with cool water ensures that the potatoes will cook evenly. Drain the potatoes, letting them cool in the colander.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the diced onion, stirring until well softened, about 8 minutes. Scrape them into the
colander with the potatoes to cool.
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, cream, parsley, mustard, cayenne and salt & pepper. Stir in potato, onion, and cheese. Set aside.
Form the pie: Using a lightly floured rolling pin and a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger disc of chilled dough to about a 13-inch round, a generous 1/4-inch thick. Carefully fold the dough in half, and slide it onto the rolling pin, transferring it to a 9-inch pie pan. Unfold the dough, easing it gently into the pie pan; do not stretch the dough. Spoon the prepared filling into the pie shell, spreading it evenly with the back of the spoon. Brush some of egg wash along the rim of shell.
Roll out the second disc of dough on a freshly floured rolling pin and surface to about an 11-inch round in same manner. Carefully fold the dough in half, and slide it onto the rolling pin, transferring it to the top of the filled pie pan. Trim edges of pie, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold the edges under and press together; flute or crimp decoratively. Chill for about 20 minutes.
Bake the pie: Brush the top of pie lightly with some of remaining egg glaze. Sprinkle the top with a little kosher salt. With the point of a sharp knife pierce 6 or 8 steam vents decoratively into the top crust. Transfer the pie to a baking sheet and bake in the heated oven until golden brown, about 45 minutes.
To serve: Allow the pie to cool on a rack at least 30 minutes. Slice into 8 wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
makes 8 slices
Basic Savory Pie Pastry
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, leveled,
1/2 t kosher salt
8 ounces very cold high-fat, European-style butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 or 3 tablespoons very cold water
In the bowl of a food processor pulse flour and salt until well combined. Add butter, and process about 8-10 seconds, until the mixture is crumbly and coarse. If there are additions such as herbs, lemon juice, or vinegar, add these now (see specific recipes).
With machine running, add water in a slow, steady stream until dough just comes together and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. You might not use all the water. Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough.
Makes two 8- to 9-inch pie crusts or one 8- to 9-inch double-crust pie shell.
Notes: High-fat European-style butter is essential to a flaky, tender crust. Which, along with chilling, helps keep the dough from shrinking in pre-baked crusts. Many people swear that the addition of 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar makes for a guaranteed flakey crust. I’m on the fence but you can add it if you want to.