By food activist and eco-chef Tom Hunt. This really is humble pie: leeks, potatoes, and cheese. I was brought up eating Cranks’s delicious wholemeal recipe, and this is a variation. In order to stay true to its make-do-and-mend roots, I’ve suggested you use up all your odds and ends of cheese from the refrigerator. Homity pie tastes best cold, so it makes great buffet or picnic food.

Ingredients (Serves 4 as a generous lunch) 

Filling

1 quantity smashed new potatoes with butter and mint

1 large onion, sliced 1 leek, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

Leaves from 1 sprig thyme

Glug of light olive oil

5⁄8 cup [150ml] heavy cream

4 sprigs parsley, roughly chopped

200g mixed cheese (use up odds and ends)

Shortcrust pastry case

12⁄3 cups [200g] all- purpose flour, preferably spelt, plus more to dust

7 tbsp [100g] cold butter, cut into small cubes

1 egg, lightly beaten

Method

  1. To make the pastry case, put the flour, butter, and a pinch of salt into a blender and blend until the butter is combined into the flour, then add 4 tbsp cold water. Pulse-blend 3 times, adding another spoon of water if it is not forming into a ball, then bring the dough together with your hands. Wrap in a clean plastic bag and chill 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 1⁄8 in [4 mm] thickness. Use the pastry to line an 8 in [20 cm] case, making sure it is pushed down into all the corners and that it overhangs at the top (this will stop the pastry shrinking back). Prick all over with a fork to help stop the pastry puffing up. Put in the oven 20 minutes until just cooked. This is called blind baking. Trim the excess pastry from the edges with a knife, brush with the egg, filling any holes or cracks, then return to the oven 3 minutes.
 Let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, sauté the onion, leek, and garlic with the thyme slowly in the light olive oil 20 minutes until soft and caramelized. Mix in the potatoes, cream, and parsley. Taste and season generously.
  4. Fill the pastry case with the potato mixture. Grate hard cheese and cut soft cheese into small pieces, then arrange on top. The pie should be almost overflowing.
Bake in the hot oven 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is bubbling with some charred spots. Let cool a little before serving.
  5. The smashed potatoes and the pie keep well in sealed containers in the refrigerator 4 or 5 days. I like them both best eaten cold.


Recipe courtesy of Tom Hunt. Photography: Laura Edwards. 

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