The Homity Pie
A classic World War Two ration dish, adopted and made famous by veggie pioneers, Cranks.
Ours has added ‘hippity dippity doo dah’ jazz hands! A big claim indeed, but one we’re willing to stand by.
For the wholemeal pastry
350g wholemeal flour
½ tsp salt
175g butter, diced
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
2 sweet potatoes
1 large or 2 small red onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
120g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
a small bunch of spring onions, sliced
a handful of curly parsley, finely chopped
550g new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
140ml crème fraîche
sea salt and black pepper
For the topping
a handful of fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
5 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked and chopped
First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the Parmesan, then add the egg yolk and about 120ml cold water – add about three-quarters of the water at first and mix to form a dough, adding the rest of the water if it seems dry. Knead lightly until smooth, then wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and bake until tender. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan, add the red onions and garlic and cook gently until soft. Mix the Cheddar, spring onions and parsley together and set aside.
Cook the new potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, then drain very thoroughly. Transfer to a bowl and add the cooked red onions and the crème fraîche. Stir in the Cheddar mixture. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle. Peel off the skins and break up the flesh, adding it to the potato and onion mixture. Mix it in, trying not to let the chunks of sweet potato disintegrate too much. Season well. Mix together all the ingredients for the topping and set aside.
Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick and use to line a 20–23cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Add the filling, then sprinkle the topping ingredients over the pie. Place in the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with a herby salad.