At the time of writing it is nearly the end of February and I’m still trying to bake something from each chapter of How To Be A Domestic Goddess as part of my monthly Cooking The Books challenge. Last Saturday I had to try and bake something from the Pastry chapter. Pastry is something I either get right or wrong depending on time, mood, the weather, well you name it. I wanted to bake something savoury for a change and it had to be something my family would eat, yet be quick to bake and not too fiddly.
So, for Saturday lunch I chose to bake the Cheese, Onion and Potato Pies, which Nigella says is “the picnic food of fondness imagination, although we eat them for ordinary tea in the kitchen fairly often,” I agree they would make great picnic food but in the middle of the cold, wet and rainy February we’re having at the moment I think I’ll stay inside and eat them in the warm, thank you! My husband and daughter were out, so it was just me, the dog and the cat for company.
Here’s how they were made:
I made up a batch of shortcrust pastry by hand in the traditional fashion. Nigella’s recipe uses Trex as an ingredient along with butter.
The pastry came together fine for me, usually I get my food processor out but I couldn’t be bothered to get it out of the cupboard. I hoped it wouldn’t be too difficult to work with as my hands get quite warm when working in the kitchen.
I chopped up 6 spring onions for the filling. Nigella says “the trick is to use spring onions which have all the flavour but none of the BOey breath of the usual onion!”
Also for the filling I peeled and diced about 500g potatoes.
My two Yorkshire pudding tins.
The potatoes were par-boiled in salted water for about 5-10 minutes. They had to be soft but still retain their shape.
After the pastry had chilled for about 20 minutes I rolled it out and cut 16 circles (8 tops and 8 bottoms) with a circular cutter. This cutter was slightly bigger than the base of the tins.
It was here where I realised the pastry was a bit thick in places and I should have rolled it even thinner. No wonder I struggled to get 16 circles out of it. I also noticed there was loads of filling left over, in fact half of it! Did I make too much or wasn’t I putting enough inside the pies? I struggled to seal the pies properly as well.
The bases were pushed into the bottom of the Yorkshire pudding tins.
To make the filling I mixed together the spring onions, potatoes and some grated cheddar along with some parsley and some creme fraiche.
Nigella suggests using Cheddar, Red Leicester and Parmesan cheese in the filling but I only had cheddar and some grated Mozzarella. I put the same quantity of cheese in the mixture and the flavours seemed to work.
Filling the pies with the onion and cheese mixture.
The lids went onto the pies and I made a hole in the top of each one before putting them into the oven.
The finished pies- very riustic looking yet very yummy!
We had the pies with a large salad for our Saturday lunch. One was enough for me and still warm from the oven it tasted absolutely fantastic. Well worth the effort and I will definitely make them again, they’re a lovely treat on a weekend lunchtime if you have the time to make them. I was expecting to have some leftover to eat the day afterwards but my hubby ended up eating three!
My husband worked his way through three of these pies!
Love Sam xx