Seasonal recipe: hearty homity pie

Seasonal recipe: hearty homity pie

This warming vegetarian pie is a treat for all the family

As a gardener, it’s easy to get itchy fingers in the colder months – there just doesn’t seem to be much to do! I find a good remedy for this is to give myself permission to step back, take a rest and relax. Cold, dark evenings make staying at home seem much more appealing than in the summertime – and cooking a simple but satisfying meal for friends or family can bring that cosy hygge feeling right inside.

Peeled potatoes and peeler on tea towel

Image: Pixabay

This homity pie recipe is a hearty, savoury, cheesy delight that takes humble seasonal leeks, potatoes and cheese and lets them sing. It’s like a warming hug in meal form, and kids enjoy it just as much as the adults! I love to serve mine with a crisp winter slaw of red cabbage and grated carrot, or a spicy dressed rocket salad. Wholemeal pastry adds a really good nutty flavour and crisp texture, and this simple recipe for home-made pastry is pretty much foolproof. Give it a try!

You will need:

  • 600g of floury potatoes like Maris Piper, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 large leeks, cleaned and thickly sliced
  • 200g chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 5tbsp soft cheese
  • 150g grated mature cheddar
  • Large knob of butter for frying
  • Optional seasonings: nutmeg, thyme or rosemary

For the pastry:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 100g cubed butter, chilled
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg (beaten well)

Let’s get started! (Serves 4)

  1. First, the pastry. Combine the flours, salt and cubed butter, and whizz in your food processor until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.

    Grated cheddar cheese on chopping board

    Image: Pixabay

  2. Gradually add the egg, continuing to whizz until a dough is formed (add a small amount of cold water to help the mixture come together if needed).
  3. Roll your pastry out on a floured surface into a circle large enough to line a 20cm loose bottomed tin. Place in the fridge to chill.
  4. Preheat your oven to 190c (gas 5).
  5. Boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender.
  6. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and soften the leeks and garlic until fragrant and traslucent.
  7. Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes until totally wilted.
  8. Stir through the soft cheese.
  9. Tip the cooked leeks, spinach and well-drained potatoes into a large bowl, and add 3/4 of the cheddar. Add salt, pepper and other seasonings to taste and stir together well.
  10. Spoon the mixture into the pastry case, sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden and bubbling on top.
  11. Let the pie cool for ten minutes before turning out and serving. The pie will keep until the next day and is just as delicious chilled.

… And enjoy!