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Caerphilly cheese as the name suggests was originally made in Caerphilly, South Wales.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
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.