Homity Pie is an old English classic. I first heard of it back in the 80s when my family had a Cranks recipe book. I’m not sure if the younger generation will have heard of Cranks – I read today that it was shut down in 1991 by it’s parent company – the owners of Nandos. It’s a shame really because Cranks were pioneers in wholefood, vegetarian fare and one of their specialties was the Homity Pie.
I decided to attempt to broaden the range of food I offer my family and as my boys are very much lovers of ‘cheesy potatoes’ (baked potatoes cooked in the microwave in five minutes, skinned and then mashed up with grated cheddar), I thought this might be a winner. This is also pretty versatile and you could add just about any other ingredients – mushrooms, bacon, or other root vegetable – if you fancied.
I wanted something that would be easy and quick to cook but tasty. I could probably have attempted my own pastry but I decided to opt for some Jus Rol premade instead.
I used a small bag of medium sized salad potatoes but it is probably better with an older, more floury variety.
I rolled out the pastry on a floured surface and buttered a pie tin. Then placed the pastry in the tin and chopped the excess from round the edges. I then tried to do something a bit more interesting than nothing at all by cutting a bit of a wave design round the edge but it wasn’t exactly a roaring success decoratively!
Next, peel and cook potatoes until tender. Chop a large onion and fry until soft then add two crushed cloves of garlic. Then mix in a couple of tablespoons of milk, a beaten egg and half of your grated cheddar (about 350g). Add seasoning and mix all together.
Place the filling in the pie case and cover with the other half of your grated cheese.
Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until done.
I had some offcuts of pastry after I’d rolled it out so I decided not to waste them and knocked up some simple jam tarts using my dad’s homemade blackberry and apple jam (made from produce from his own allotment). As you can see below, EJ was really quite pleased with these when I got him up from his nap!