Monday, 19 October 2009

Nigella's Cheese, Onions and Potato Pies

These are delicious little savoury pies, perfect with a mound of steamed veggies or a big salad, for a casual and fun dinner. The pastry takes a little time, but can be prepared earlier. The nicest thing about them is that they come in individual servings. Isn't everything better in little individual servings? They are like a little gift on your plate, just waiting to be unwrapped.

Cheese, Onion, and Potato Pies
Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess, &

For the pastry:
2 large egg yolks
1 heaping teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold water
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, teaspooned out
7 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, diced
2 4-cup popover pans (or 2 4-cup 4-inch tartlet pans)

For the filling:
2 large potatoes (boiling, not baking)
Scant 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions (about 6)
4-5 ounces sharp Cheddar: 1/3 cup grated, 1/4 cup diced
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
1/4 cup Red Leicester cheese, grated (I used Gruyere)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
4 tablespoons creme fraiche to bind (I used yogurt cheese)
Salt and pepper
Make the pastry by the usual method, then halve it, form each half into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and leave in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes, put them in a saucepan with plenty of cold water, and bring to the boil. Boil gently for 5-10 minutes, or until the cubes are cooked but still retain their shape. Drain and leave to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the green onions, cheese, slightly cooled potato, and parsley. Bind with the creme fraiche and season with salt and pepper. Roll out one of the pastry discs, cut 8 rough circles slightly larger than the indents, and push 4 into the first tray to make the bases. Fill each with an eighth of the mixture and put the remaining 4 circles on as lids. Seal the pie edges with the back of a knife, making a little hole in each one. Repeat for the second tray with the other disc and the remaining half of the filling.
Cook for 20 minutes, (I needed about 30), by which time the pastry should be firm, beginning to turn gold,but still pale, and let the pies stand a little out of the oven in their trays before easing them out of the molds.