Lancashire Butter Pie – Potato & Onion

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Lancashire Butter Pie is a traditional pie which has been enjoyed for so long in Lancashire. Particularly, it seems, around Preston and Bury. This is a very simple pie of potatoes and onions, with lots of butter too. Though, it seems, there are many theories as to origin it is often considered that the pie would be eaten on Fridays when, for religious reasons, it was not permitted to eat meat.

Whatever the reason the pies are still popular today. They are made with a buttery shortcrust pastry and filled with layer of potatoes and onions with some butter added too. Of course salt and pepper are used for seasoning too.

For the more modern palate the recipe can be easily adapted, perhaps using some grated parmesan to add that lovely umami flavour, enriching the pie immeasurably.

But for my recipe I decided to stick to the traditional pie ingredients.

It is a very simple recipe, but there are several stages. Sliced potatoes need to be cooked until just tender. Although in my recipe I mention using a stock cube in the water to cook the potatoes, that is optional. Onions have to be gently sautéed until soft. Then, as the potatoes and onions cool a pastry needs to be made.

After that it is easy to roll out the pastry and assemble the pie. Baking takes about 40 minutes and the pie is ready to eat.

The pie is often served with pickled red cabbage or something similar.

My Bake

My pie baked very well, in just 40 minutes. The top coloured well and the filling heated through.

It sliced well too and tasted just exactly as I expected. The pastry was tender and buttery. The filling had the sweetness of onion and the buttery potatoes.

After a taste, for the video, I ate mine with some stir-fried vegetables and it made a very good meal.

Lancashire Butter Pie – Video

Another savoury recipe you might wish to try is Beef Stroganoff – Quick & Easy

Lancashire Butter Pie – Potato & Onion

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: Pies, TartsCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy


Prep Time


Cooking time




  • Pastry
  • 400g(2 2/3 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup)plain flour

  • 200g(14 tbsp_1 tsp) cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1 medium egg(large in USA)

  • 45ml(3 tbsp) ice cold water

  • good pinch of salt

  • Filling
  • 1kg(2.2 lbs) Potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices

  • 2 onions(about 450g/1lb) peeled and sliced thinly

  • 170g(12 tbsp) unsalted butter(you can adjust the amount to preference)

  • 1 vegetable stock cube

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 egg for egg wash, beaten


  • Butter the inside of an 8 inch/20cm springform pan.
  • Dissolve the stock cube in some hot water.
  • Place the sliced potatoes into a large sauce and pour over the stock.
  • Add more water until the potatoes are fully covered.
  • Bring the potatoes to boiling point and reduce the heat to gently simmer until the potatoes are tender but still holding their shape.
  • Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool.
  • Use half of the filling butter to gently fry the onions until they are soft.
  • Drain the onions and set aside to cool.
  • Place the butter and flour into a food processor(you can make the pastry by hand, rubbing the butter in).
  • Process the butter and flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the egg and process again, adding enough of the water until the mixture clumps together into a ball.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for about a minute to ensure all it fully combined.
  • Form the dough into a ball and flatten to a disc, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Place 2/3 of the pastry dough onto a floured surface and roll it out until it is large enough to cover the base and side of the springform pan.
  • Carefully transfer into the pan and gently press against the sides, patching as necessary it it spits.
  • Place a layer of potatoes over the base of the pastry, filling the gaps with smaller pieces.
  • Cover the potatoes with half the onions.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add another layer of potatoes and onions and then a final layer of potatoes on the top.
  • Dot the top of the potatoes with as much of the remaining butter as you wish.
  • Fold the edge of the pastry down onto the potatoes and brush that edge with beaten egg.
  • Roll out the remaining pastry to a diameter of 8 inches/20 cm.
  • Lay the pastry on top on the butter and press around the edge to seal the pie.
  • Brush the top with egg wash.
  • Make a hole in the centre to allow steam to escape during baking.
  • Place the pie into the fridge to chill as you preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
  • Bake the pie for 40 minutes, until the top has turned a light golden colour and the filling is heated through.
  • Remove from the oven and take off the outer ring. then slice and serve.


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