Friday, 2 March 2012

Caerphilly Cheese, Leek and Potato Pie

Well this is the first proper recipe I have made in my new home: Caerphilly Cheese, Leek and Potato Pie.  Its going to take me a while to get used to the kitchen lay-out though.  In my previous  galley style tiny kitchen, I just used to just literally turn around to get something.  Now I have to walk a few paces, yeah I know such hard work. 

I was actually going to make four individual pies, similar to these Cauliflower pies. I changed my mind though in case I had unexpected visitors and made a large family friendly pie instead.   I have to admit, it is not the prettiest of pies I have ever made and sliced it doesn't look so pretty either, but its packed with texture and real Welsh flavours. Its real food after all.  I should also add its good both warm and cold.
Caerphilly cheese as the name suggests was originally made in Caerphilly, South Wales.  You may be interested to note as I am, that last year the town of Caerphilly held its first annual The Big Cheese event.  I hope to check it out the event in person this year.  

Now back to the cheese, Caerphilly cheese is a ivory-white crumbly cheese with a very delicate flavour.  It is fondly known as 'the crumblies'.  I like it because it holds its shape well when cooked.  I've used Caerphilly cheese many times, and not so long ago in a South Asian street food recipe: the popular Pakoras aka onion bhajis.  See my Caerphilly Cheese Pakora recipe here if your intrigued.  They really were good. 
Not that I have ever eaten a pork pie, but the pastry reminds me of it, which is why I think these would have also been perfect as individual hand held pies.  Also not that you can see it well, I used my alphabet cookie cutters to cut out 'Croeso' translated 'Welcome' in Welsh, but it's got a bit lost on baking.  I am submitting this recipe into a competition calling for Leek Recipes . Of course, as a Welshcake - how can I resist.  It is also being hosted by lovethegarden.com and being judged by the rather marvellous Kerstin Rodgers also known as Ms Marmite from The Secret Garden Club.  I've been hogging a copy of her book from the library since I joined: Supper Club, but I have to admit - I would love to have a signed copy of my own, as well as gardening vouchers to spend.  So let's see how this pie goes down with the judges. 

On another note, I am so glad to get back in the kitchen.  Time now to turn my thoughts to the growing space outside too.  Seeds need sowing.  Oh I haven't been this excited in a long while.   

Updated: March 2012 - Fellow blogger Patty at Poppycock and Other Creative Nonsense made a variation of this pie, please follow this link to see.  It is rather pretty.
Caerphilly Cheese, Leek and Potato Pie
Serves 4 - 6
Ingredients
For the pastry (to line a 7 - 8 inch round cake tin)
225g plain flour
pinch of salt
65g butter, diced
65g vegetarian suet
1 egg, beaten
You can cheat and make it also with readymade shopbought shortcrust pastry
For the filling
400g potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely slice
1 large leek or 2 medium leeks, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
200g Caerphilly cheese, coarsely chopped
Method for the pastry
Sift the flour into the bowl with salt, then rub in the butter with your fingertips and stir in the suet.  Add a little cold water to make a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
Method for the filling
Boil the potatoes for the filling in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water until soft, then drain.
Heat the oil in a wide pan or frying pan, add the onions, leeks and garlic and fry until very soft.  Season well and allow to cool.
Combine the fried vegetables with the boiled potatoes and the rest of the filling ingredients, then allow to cool.
To assemble the Pie
Set aside enough pastry for the top lid.  Roll out the rest on a lightly floured surface to fit snuggly into your round baking tin.  It must come up at the sides, so press gently.  Place all the filling in the pastry round and press down, then roll out the remaining pastry to the size of your cake tin and cut out round with a knife.  Gently ease it on top of the filling.  Bring the sides of the pastry down and pinch around it to bind.  Brush with egg wash, then bake for 30 - 35 minutes at gas mark 6/200oC.  Allow to cool, before removing from the tin.

38 comments:

  1. Hooray for your new kitchen AND garden. No wonder you are excited. Do hope it all goes well for you back home in Wales. Love the pie - love all of your pies actually, but it's nice to see a super large one.

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  2. Ooh that pie looks good...a bit like a Welsh version of spanakopita!

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    1. Welsh version of spanakopita - i like that :0

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  3. I think it looks wonderful and I do love caerphilly. Such a wonderful cheese. I love the texture of it. I a wishing I had the ingredients to make this tonight. I haven't felt as excited to try a pie in a long time. *slurp*

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  4. Delicious Shaheen!

    (The pie I mean, although I'm sure you are too lol)x

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  5. sounds yummy and made me lick my lips looking at it so I'm sticking up for the look of this pie :-)

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  6. I love Leek & Potato pie - what a fabulously appropriate choice for the first dish in your new kitchen.

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  7. lovely pie - must be nice to have a bit more room in the kitchen - and if you can produce such a stunning pie I am sure you will be in the swing of things there in no time

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  8. Hi Shaheen,
    I am so glad to see you blog again. Your pie looks really good - I'll take anything thats vegetarian. Good luck getting used to the new kitchen and garden.

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  9. This actually looks pretty good, especially when whole, and it sounds good too. I enjoyed reading you post, and will try the recipe out :)
    thank you for sharing..

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  10. That looks good, you can't beat a pie as comfort food xxx

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  11. Looks good Shaeen. Reminds me of trips to Caerphilly when we lived in Cardiff (except I always got lost coming back out of the town and landed up on the Harold Wilson Industrial Estate!). Glad the move went well even if D still has to trek back and forth to Scotland.

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    1. Thanks Jane.
      I don't know Cardiff that well, but am looking forward to exploring it a lot more now that I am not living that far from it. Just to to jump on the train.

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  12. looks lovely. Will try that next time we get leeks in our veg box.

    have you found any wild garlic yet? Our patch is just coming through... will trawl through your back catalogue for ideas... made some pesto and some gnocci last year.

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    1. Hi Ray,
      My foraging forays in Wales has not yet begun. I know ther is wild garlic around here somewhere, as I saw it on anothers boggers site. But don't know if she will share with me the location, as well as the site for picking sloe berries. You know how some foragers can be a either greedy or a bit protective of their foraging sites. I can only ask. Otherwise I will keep my beady eyes open wide and nose alert for that distinct scent.

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    2. Last year, there was lots of it right next to Castle Coch (a nice walk from Cardiff on a sunny day). The hillside was covered in these fragrant plants!

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    3. Thanks Deborah.
      Someone told me to find some there. I am hoping to check it out maybe this weekend.

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  13. This so lovely and inviting. I really want a slice of it. It sounds like you are settling in well, and I love that you are getting excited about growing your own produce again.

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    1. Thank you so much James.
      Yes after the loss of my allotment plot, its so refreshing and exciting to get back in the mindset of serious and proper growing agian.

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  14. Hi Shaheen,
    Glad to hear your move went well. Bet you can't wait to get going on your new garden. Would love to see what it looks like - will you be sharing some photos with us soon?

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  15. Thank you so much Sensory Dragon,
    I am quite excited. Much work was done yesterday, today plans to sow seeds. Yes, I promise to share some pictures, though not much to show yet :)

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  16. Mmm, yes that pie looks scrummy.
    We've got potatoes in so now, I just need some leeks, cheese, suet, egg and pastry ingredients....!

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  17. Joannie Jones4 March 2012 14:15

    I've just discovered your site while looking for some recipes and I'd like to say hello, great blog, and thanks for the inspirational recipes.

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    1. Thank you so much Joannie. Lovely to make your acquaintance.

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  18. Thank you so much Joannie. Lovely to make your acquaintance.

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  19. deliziosii complimentii

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  20. Tried this pie yesterday and my kids were most upset not to get seconds - and then their Dad ate all the leftovers - tsk tsk. Very good and def a keeper - I changed nothing.
    Thanks
    Bev

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    1. Oh Bev,
      As I started to read your comment I was a bit nervous as it started negatively, but as I read on I was so relieves 'phew' a good comment. Your the first person to come back and tell me that you made the pie. I am soooo pleased it was enjoyed by all your family, even if the kids did not get seconds. If you had a blog I would have been happy to have linked it to your recipe. Still Thank you so much for letting me know, it means a lot to me when my recipes work and sometimes when they don't (which is not that often so far, thank goodness). Take care and thank you for taking the time to comment.

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  21. So sorry about causing you the worry however briefly, this was the first time I have ever commented on a meal that I had actually made from a blog, I need to not write as I think - I must just say that I had never used suet in anything other than dumplings and I was really impressed with the pastry and my family are seriously fussy eaters it is rare to find something they all like.
    Bev

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    1. Bev,
      NO - it was in a good way, honestly. You should write as you think, thats how I write my blog and how I would talk to people.

      I do appreciate you comment, so please do continue. Even if it just a hello. You should start your own blog. Can just be a weekly diary of your life.

      I've been experimenting with suet now for five years in lots of veggie pies, and have to say its been a marvel. Another product used by veggies is Trex - a vegetable shortening.
      Here are links to some recipes using suet and Trex, so you get an idea of what is possible. The pastry is much more smoother.

      http://allotment2kitchen.blogspot.com/2011/10/welsh-laverbread-vegetable-suet-pudding.html

      http://allotment2kitchen.blogspot.com/2010/12/vegetarian-suet-mushroom-pudding.html

      http://allotment2kitchen.blogspot.com/2010/09/vegan-mushroom-and-spinach-roly-poly.html

      And Trex
      http://allotment2kitchen.blogspot.com/2010/12/brussels-sprout-pie.html

      http://allotment2kitchen.blogspot.com/2011/10/vegan-laver-bread-mushrooms-and-puy.html

      http://allotment2kitchen.blogspot.com/2011/02/deep-mushroom-family-pie.html

      Warm wishes, Shaheen

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  22. Hi Shaheen,
    Thanks for that, I do usually use Trex for my pastry and it does make it nice and crumbly. I have always been intrigued by laver bread but I don'y know how easy it is to source (even though we are only over the bridge in Bristol!) I look forward to trying more of your recipes soon.
    Thanks
    Bev

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  23. Thanks Bev.
    When I lived in Scotland, my nephew would bring me a tin of laverbread, the reason I have it. Now living in Wales, the only place I have seen it for sale is Cardiff and its quite pricey to be honest for something that was once deemed peasant food. I am going to keep my eyes peeled for some reasonably prices tins, until then the pricey tins will have to do. You can purchase them online.
    http://www.laverbread.com/buy-laverbread-online/

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  24. This looks delicious! Must try it soon!

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    1. Thank you Annie,
      This recipe is proving popular. I've made it twice since posting this.

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