A delicious Lancashire Cheese & Onion Pie
This pie has been a bit of a favourite each time I’ve made it but I got a very specific request from my mate Ollie’s Dad. This is normally a Cheshire Cheese pie but Peter is a very proud Lancashire man and was adamant that the only kind of cheese pie should be one with Lancashire cheese in. The fab thing about this pie is that the type of cheese can be any that you favour most; just be aware that drier crumblier cheeses will need an additional creamier cheese to help bind the pie together and to save it from drying out. I found the initial recipe on the Baking Mad website which is wonderful and you should definitely sign up so you can receive their free emails.
This pie will need to made in a 25cm pie dish or tin, but if you prefer a much chunkie pie you can reduce the size of the tin by a cm or so. You can alter the onions and herbs depending on what you like the best and I reckon herbs in the pastry would make this dish even more delicious!
- 280g plain flour
- 140g Stork
- cold water to bind
- 40g butter
- 2 white onions
- 4 small red onions
- 1tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 250g crumbly Lancashire Cheese
- 150g Cheddar
- 1 egg to brush the pie with
- Start with the pastry – ideally the night before
Rub stork and flour together until it forms fine breadcrumbs
Using a metal fork stir through cold water a drop at a time
Soon it will start to form and look like this…I use a drinks water bottle to control the water flow a bit easier!
Finally form it with your hands in to a ball…don’t overwork it else you’ll have tough pastry
Place in cling film…
…and pop in the fridge for a minimum of an hour but ideally overnight if you can
Now to sweat the onions in butter…mmmmmm!
Slice the red and white onions in to chunky pieces and seperate
Put them in to a skillet or frying pan with the butter and keep a close eye whilst you soften them on a low heat…you don’t want them to catch or crisp at all
Now start to pluck the thyme leaves off your fresh time…dry thyme is fine but fresh is always better
Add the thyme to your onions whilst they sweat
Meanwhile get the shortcrust pastry out and roll out 2/3rds of the pastry on a floured surface. I have this nifty measuring mat which I got for Christmas last year and I LOVE it, it just makes life so much easier!
At this point the onions will need about 150ml of water…this helps to soften them even more
Leave the onions to simmer until the water evaporates fully, stirring occassionally
Line your tin and don’t forget, the beauty of shortcrust is that you can cut it down and piece it together like a jigsaw puzzle, so don’t worry about tears and rips
Now for the CHEESE…SO MUCH CHEEESE!!!
Here is the combined Lancashire and Cheddar…purely due to the dry, crumbly nature of Lancashire it needs extra binding through the cheddar which is stringier
- NOW PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 160 DEGREES WITH A SHELF IN THE CENTRE OF THE OVEN
Now remove the onions and leave them to cool fully…this will take about 10mins
Meanwhile roll our the lid for the pie…I did this between 2 sheets of cling film which makes it easier to add to the top of the pie
Now start to layer up the pie…start with the red and white onions (about a handful) scattered across the base
Next comes the cheese…mixed up…then onions, then cheese again! Yes that does look like a cheese mound of pie goodness!!
Now for the lid…remove one side of the cling film…whisk an egg and brush the edges of the pie base…place the lid over the top and remove the top cling film
Now crimp around the edges or use a fork to press the edges together…I used the leftover trimmed edges to then make a mouse and cheese motif for the top – just to clarify there are NO MICE in this pie…just cheese and onion ;)
Brush the entire thing with the whisked egg and bake in the centre of the oven for 40/45mins
Remove from the oven and cool for 30mins before serving. Alternatively allow to cool fully and refrigerate until needed, then warm in the oven for 20mins
Pie tin removal may be tricky with loose bottomed tins…a series of oven glove balancing techniques and supportive guidance helps :)
Yummy cheese pie…the beauty is that it can be served with salad and chips, or with beans or even just as part of a delicious buffet!
A hearty meal or a light lunch indulgence, this pie is a real treat if you love cheese…which I do. If you make a large pie then the rest can be saved for lunch the next day and it tastes lovely cold as well as warm.
Happy Cheesy Day