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Woolton pie


Serves: 10-12
timePrep time: 1 hr 40 mins
timeTotal time:
Woolton pie
Recipe photograph by Tara Fisher
We’ve kept the pastry traditional but updated the filling with sweet caramelised onions and layers of spinach - try this wartime-inspired pie

Serves: 10-12
timePrep time: 1 hr 40 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
541Kcal
Fat
25gr
Saturates
12gr
Carbs
61gr
Sugars
6gr
Fibre
7gr
Protein
14gr
Salt
1.1gr

Abigail Spooner

Abigail Spooner

Abi is our Junior Food Editor and can usually be found in the test kitchen, trialling recipes to ensure perfect results for our readers. An obsessive foodie with a sweet tooth, she is happiest when baking and is a firm believer that there is always room for dessert (preferably following a big bowl of pasta)
See more of Abigail Spooner’s recipes
Abigail Spooner

Abigail Spooner

Abi is our Junior Food Editor and can usually be found in the test kitchen, trialling recipes to ensure perfect results for our readers. An obsessive foodie with a sweet tooth, she is happiest when baking and is a firm believer that there is always room for dessert (preferably following a big bowl of pasta)
See more of Abigail Spooner’s recipes

Ingredients

For the potato pastry
  • 325g floury potatoes, eg Maris Piper
  • 200g wholemeal flour
  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 75g cold butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 75g chilled lard or white vegetable fat, diced - use vegetarian if required
  • 1 egg, separated
For the filling
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 4 large onions, sliced
  • 800g floury potatoes, eg Maris Piper
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 x 260g packs young spinach
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • ½ x 20g pack sage, leaves chopped
  • 60g dried breadcrumbs or rolled oats
  • 150g extra-mature cheddar, grated - use gluten-fee if required

Step by step

Get ahead
Prepare to the end of step 7 a day ahead and chill. Cook for 5-10 minutes longer from chilled. The cooked pie keeps for up to 2 days in the fridge.
  1. For the pastry, peel and roughly chop the potatoes and place in a saucepan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain, run under cold water to cool then drain again. Place on a plate lined with kitchen paper and chill. Once the potatoes are cold, put the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl and rub in the fats until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mash the potatoes and add 225g to the pastry (any leftover can be added to the pie filling), along with the egg white. Bring the dough together until it forms large clumps; it will look quite dry at this point; just leave it for 5 minutes to let the flours absorb the moisture, then bring into a ball of dough. Knead briefly; shape one third of the pastry into a disc, wrap and chill.
  2. Grease and flour a 20cm springform or loose-based deep cake tin (at least 6cm deep). On a floured surface, roll out the remaining pastry to a 35cm round and use to line the base and sides of the tin. Leaving a little overhang, trim off any excess pastry. Chill in the fridge.
  3. In a large, deep frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and the butter over a medium heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and gently cook for about an hour until soft and caramelised, stirring every so often. Leave to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes for the filling into 2cm cubes. Add to a saucepan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and cook for 8-9 minutes until just tender. Drain, refresh under cold water and drain again. Spread out on a clean tea towel and leave to dry out.
  5. In the same saucepan, gently fry the garlic in 1⁄2 tablespoon of olive oil for 1-2 minutes, then add the spinach, cover and leave to wilt. You may need to add it in 2 batches. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Leave to cool then squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Season the potatoes well and stir together with the caramelised onions and the chopped herbs (plus any leftover mash from the pastry).
  6. Place a baking tray in the oven and preheat to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Remove the pastry disc and lined tin from the fridge. Scatter a third of the dried breadcrumbs (or oats) over the base of the pastry-lined tin, then layer as follows; a third of the potato, a quarter of the cheese, half the spinach, a quarter of the cheese and a third of the breadcrumbs. Repeat these layers, then finish with the remaining potatoes.
  7. Roll the pastry disc into a circle slightly larger than the diameter of the tin. Brush a little cold water around the overhanging edges of pastry and lift the disc on top of the pie, pressing down to seal. Trim away any excess, then crimp all the way around. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg yolk and make a criss-cross in the pastry lid to allow steam to escape. Use the leftover pastry to decorate, if you wish, and glaze again.
  8. Slide the pie onto the hot baking tray in the oven and bake for 1 hour, covering with foil for the final 20 minutes, once golden. Leave to cool completely in the tin then chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Remove from the tin, slice and serve with piccalilli or a chutney.

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