I felt like making a savoury pie today, so I opted for cheese and potato but only using ingredients that I already had in my cupboard and fridge. A quick check decided me on cheese and potato pie.
For this I wanted a rich pastry, flavoured with cheese too and then potatoes roughy mashed and with some cheese incorporated into them, with more cheese on the top. For the cheese I used Grana Padano which is a hard italian cheese, of a similar texture to parmesan, which grates easily. Then for the cheese to top the potatoes I opted for boursin, a lovely soft, herby cheese from France. I also had some buffalo mozzarella, so I decided to add some of that too. I think that the Grana Padano could easily be swapped out for parmesan or pecorino. The Boursin could also be swapped out for a soft, or semi soft cheese of choice, such as stilton, cubed or sliced cheddar, goronzola etc. The mozzarella was more to give a bit of stringy texture during eating and could easily be omitted.
The recipe is actually very simple and results in a delicious tasting pie, which is so rich in flavour. I served it warm, but it would certainly store in the fridge for a few days, or it could be frozen too.
As I mentioned it tasted so good and turned out slightly rustic in appearance which suits me just fine. I really like this pie and will be making it again throughout the summer, when I will probably eat it cold with some salad.
For the pastry:
- 370g(2 1/2 cups) plain flour(or cake and pastry flour)
- 150g(1 stick + 2 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
- 50g(1 3/4 oz) mozzarella(optional)
- pinch of salt
- 100g(about a cup) of finely grated Grana Padano(or other hard cheese)
- 2 medium eggs(large in USA)
For the filling:
- 400g(14 oz) potatoes boiled until soft and then peeled
- 20g grana padano
- 150g(5 1/4 oz) soft cheese of choice( I used Boursin)
- 50g(1 3/4 oz) mozzarella(optional)
- salt to taste
- chopped fresh parsley to sprinkle over cheese, if desired
- Place the butter and grated grana padano into a large bowl and mix with a hand, squeezing together, to get combined.
- Add the salt to the eggs.
- Add the eggs and mix with a hand again to get them combined too. The mixture will look curdled but it is fine.
- Add the flour and use your hand to squeeze and mix into a dough.
- When the mixture is clumping into a dough tip it out onto a work surface and knead it until the dough forms into a smooth paste like texture.
- Form into a disc and chill for 30 minutes.
- Place the potatoes into a bowl, with salt to taste, and use a fork to roughly mash them.
- Mix the 20g of grana padano into the potatoes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/400 F.
- Place a baking tray in the oven to heat up, this will be used to stand the tart tin on to bake.
- Cut off about a quarter of the dough and set aside.
- Roll the remaining dough, on a lightly floured surface, to a circle of about 30 cm diameter., about 5 mm/ 1/4 inch in thickness.
- Don’t worry too much about cracking, you can patch later if necessary.
- Gently roll the the pastry onto the rolling pin and lift it to place it in a 23cm/9 inch tart tin(or even a springform cake tin.
- Gently press the pastry into the sides and onto the base, leaving an overlap all around the edge.
- Cut off any excess, but leaving that overlap in place.
- Use a form to prick all over the base of the pastry.
- Spread the potato mixture evenly over the base.
- Spoon, or use fingers, to deposit clumps of Boursin over the potatoes, spreading it a little.
- Add cubes of mozzarella if desired.
- Sprinkle chopped parsley over the top, if using.
- Take the scraps of pastry and the piece that was set aside and work them into a ball.
- Roll out into a rectangle so that you can cut 1/2inch strips(about 10-12 strips).
- Place half the strips, leaving a gap between each, parallel to each other over the surface of the pie.
- Place the other half of the strips at an angle to the first set, over the surface of the pie.
- Snip off any excess lengths.
- Fold the overlap of pastry down onto the end of the strips, and fold all the way round.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool further.
- Server hot, warm or cold, as preferred.