Hello all, I’m coming at you today with my version of a traditional British Homity Pie. I will confess, I’d never heard of this dish up until a few weeks ago when I stumbled across it online. Apparently, it dates back to World War Two where this meat-free dish served as a rationing meal. It is an open vegetable pie and usually consists of a pastry case filled with an onion, potato and leek filling.
I came across a version of mini filo homity pies on Great British Chefs and immediately loved the look of them. Using filo is great shortcut instead of making your own pastry, and a little lighter on the old waist too. Though I used some of the traditional filling ingredients of onion, potato and cheese, I decided to add some kale and peas instead of leek for some colour and sweetness. I also topped the pies with some red chilli and spring onion which is great for adding some spice and a little bit of texture.
You also get a little bit of a crunch from the petal like edges of the filo pastry which turns lovely and crisp in the oven. The combination of ingredients used in the pies mean that they’re actually quite filling, however, because of their miniature stature, it doesn’t really feel like it’s heavily calorie-laden.
These individual pies would make a great party food or appetizer and is sure to impress dinner guests. But while your friends or family admire these cute little bites, you can revel in how easy they are to make. As a bit of a traditional desi girl, I’m not too much of a fan of using the oven and prefer just to cook on the stove. I whipped up the pie filling in one pot on the stove, using a bit of a cheat’s roux sauce to bring it together, and then just stuck the pies with the filo pastry in the oven to let the pastry cook and cheese melt.
Like a lot of South Asian families, we often make samosas using filo pastry and usually have some in the house. We usually keep our in the freezer, and let it thaw before using it. As such, I didn’t really have too many problems with the pastry drying out during prep. However, if using filo pastry from the fridge, the usual advice is to keep it covered with a damp tea towel to stop it drying out.
I got 12 pies out of my ingredients, however, if you use a little less filling or a smaller baking tin, you may be able to get more.
Serves: 12 individual pies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes-1 hour
by Abida at The Red Lychee
1 packet filo pastry, cut into roughly 4 inch squares.
2 tablespoons oil plus extra to brush muffin tin
1 red onion, sliced thinly
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
1 cup of chopped kale
1 cup of peas
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup to 1 cup milk
Salt to season
Pepper to season
50g cheddar cheese, grated
handful of spring onions, chopped to garnish
Chilli, chopped to garnish (optional)
12 cup muffin tin
1) Preheat oven to 180°C/ 350°/Gas Mark 4
1) Boil cubed potatoes on the stove in salted water for about 10 minutes until 3/4 cooked. The potatoes shouldn’t be too soft as they may fall apart in the cooking process. Drain and set potatoes aside.
2) In the same pot, add oil and allow to heat up. Add onions, along with a pinch of salt to help the onions cook down. Add bay leaf. Leave onion to cook on a medium heat until onions reduce down and become soft and sweet.
3) Once onions have cooked down and slightly carmelised, add the potatoes back in. Stir to coat in onions. After 2-3 minutes, add in the kale and peas and stir again. Leave the kale to cook for a few minutes so it starts wilting down.
4) Add butter and stir in until melted. Add the tablespoon of flour and stir into vegetables. Allow the flour to cook off for about 2 minutes. Then slowly pour in milk. Keep gently stirring. Allow the mix to simmer to a boil. The liquid should start thickening and turn into a thick sauce. Once the sauce has thickened to your likening, season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat. Set filling aside to cool.
5) Whilst waiting for filling to cool, cut the pastry into roughly 4 inch squares. They should be big enough so that you can fit them into each cup of the muffin tin.
Brush each cup of the muffin tin with oil. Layer about 3 or 4 squares of filo pastry into each cup of the muffin tin. Overlap each layer of pastry at 45 degree angle to create a petal like effect on the top of the pie.
6) Fill each pastry case with a tablespoon of filling. Top with cheese. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes until the top of the pastry has turned a light golden colour and the cheese has melted. Remove from oven and garnish with chopped spring onion and chilli. Serve on its own or with sides.