Cheese and Onion Pie, a Treat for My Husband

“Oooh, I do like a bit of cheese” as Wallace likes to claim.  It’s a sentiment we agree with.  Maybe a bit too much but hey, we all have our vices!  One of my husband’s favourite crisp flavours is cheese and onion so I thought as a treat I would make a cheese and onion pie.  As I thought it was a treat from his childhood I wanted to get this right!

Cheese and onion pie 1 2018

This is not overly difficult but there are a lot of steps to this.  You’ll need a few hours to get this done.  I researched several recipes and decided to use this Foodie with Family recipe as a guide.  I did change a few things.

I had two very large onions which I sliced thinly.  Oh the tears!  In a skillet melt 4 tablespoons of butter to start with.  Add more butter as needed as the onions cook down.

Cheese and onion pie 2 2018

The onions will mound up in the skillet but after several minutes of slowly cooking the onions will soften and cook down.

As the onions cook, add 1/2 cup of veg bouillon and about 5 teaspoons of coleman’s mustard.  Feel free to add a bit more if you like the heat.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Simmer for a few minutes to reduce the liquid a bit.

Cheese and onion pie 3 2018

Remove from the heat and let cool.  Grate 1 1/2 pounds/675oz of sharp cheddar cheese.  Yes, it’s a huge amount of cheese!  In a large bowl beat two eggs and add 1/2 cup/4oz double cream.  Add the onions.

Cheese and onion pie 4 2018

Mix in the cheese completely.

Cheese and onion pie 5 2018

Set that aside.  Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.

Next prepare the hot water pastry, though in this case it’s hot milk pastry.  In a mixing bowl sift together 3 cups/12 3/4 oz of all purpose flour and 3/4 tsp of kosher salt.  Make a well in the flour.

In a saucepan, melt a cup/1/2 pound of butter, 1/3 cup/2.5oz of whole milk and about 4 teaspoons of coleman’s mustard.

Cheese and onion pie 6 2018

Simmer but don’t boil.  Pour into the flour well.

Cheese and onion pie 7 2018

Mix well until the ingredients come together in a ball.

Cheese and onion pie 8 2018

On a lightly floured surface knead the dough for a couple of minutes to work the gluten.  This is a pastry where you don’t have to worry about overworking which is a nice change.

Line a 10″/25cm springform pan with parchment paper.  Divide the dough into two balls, roughly in a 60/40 ratio.  Now this dough is very fiddly!  There were some words spoken as I rolled it out and tried to get it into the pan.  Forget having it done in one piece!  Use your knuckles to press it into the pan and up the sides.

Cheese and onion pie 9 2018

Fill the pastry with the cheese and onion mixture.  Top with the remaining pastry.  As best you can pinch the seam of the top and bottom together.  Use a knife to cut vents in the top.  Beat an egg and add a tablespoon of the whole milk.  Brush this over the top of the pie.

Cheese and onion pie 10 2018

Bake 60-75 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

Cheese and onion pie 11 2018

Let it cool and allow the cheese to set a bit before serving.  I found I prefer it served cold but it’s good warm or cold.

Cheese and onion pie 12 2018

My husband loved this.  Turns out this was the first ever cheese and onion pie he had!  So instead of an old tradition it’s become a new one.  🙂

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Apple Pie

One of my favourite pies to make is apple pie.  And as we have a ton of apples I needed to make something that would dent our supply a bit.  It is really easy to make and most of the time is taken up cutting up the apples.  My two dogs love apples so I have instant companions when I start on the apples.  Two noses right my elbows!

For the pastry I use the same as I did in this quiche.  It comes from the latest Fanny Farmer though they changed it along the way.  Not sure why as it worked in the old ones as well.  If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

The recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of shortening, 1/2 tsp salt, and cold water.  This is enough for 2 crusts for a 9 inch pie plate.  Now we have shortening stateside so I use that but of course butter works also.  As for the amount of water, it is the amount that brings the pastry together.

Add the flour, salt and shortening to a bowl.  I use a “heaping” measurement for the shortening to make the pastry nice and flaky.

I use my hands to work in the shortening.  I’ve heard of “hot hands” and that being a killer for pastry so I suppose those that have hot hands need to cut the shortening in with knives.

It should be worked until crumbly.

But then you want it to come together when lightly pressed.

At this point it is ready for the water.  Add a bit at a time while stirring with your fingers to blend in the water.  As any parent can relate I got distracted at this time and forgot to take a few photos.  Once it comes together into a ball it is time to roll it out.  Divide in half and place the bottom crust into the pie plate.  Cut up the apples and place in the crust.  I cut up about 7 apples for this.  Now some people do saute the apples first but we don’t.  We like them on the firm side.  You can get a bit more juice at times in the pie but it’s a personal preference.

Next I sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove and brown sugar on.  I normally add a bit of allspice but we were out.  That grocery list never ends!  Then I top with pats of butter.  This will all cook down into the apples.

Roll out the top crust and place on top.  Pinch around the edges and put a few cuts in the top for vents.  Place in oven.

Bake for 10 minutes then lower the temp to 350 F and bake for 30-40 minutes.  Check at 30 minutes to see if the apples are baked enough for you.  As I said, we like them on the firm side so 30 minutes works for us.

In New England it is tradition to serve the pie with cheddar cheese.  Most of the states serve it with ice cream.  Now these are nice choices but me?  I like it with custard.  🙂

I’ll admit, I added more custard after I took the photo.  🙂