Hamish Russell’s cheese, onion & potato pies
Last week on Chelsea New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker, Hamish’s cheese, onion & potato pies were a hit. Despite being unconfident working with pastry, Hamish had the winning pie and the judges commended him on his light pastry and tasty filling.
- Put the flour in a shallow bowl. Add the cold, diced fats (vegetable shortening and butter) and stir gently to coat. Put in the deep freeze – no need to cover – for 10 minutes. As you do so, put your liquid in a bowl or cup with a pinch of salt and transfer to the fridge.
- Either in a processor or – for choice – a freestanding mixer with a flat paddle, blend the fats and flour until you have a mixture that resembles sandy porridge. Then, gradually process or paddle in the liquid until the pastry is almost coming together. Use your hands now to form it into two discs, cover with clingfilm, and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Meanwhile, start the filling. Peel and dice the potatoes, put them in a saucepan with plenty of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil gently for 5-10 minutes, or until the cubes are cooked but still retain their shape. Drain and leave to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the spring onions, cheeses (cheedar 75g grated, 50g diced, other cheeses grated), slightly cooled potato and parsley. Bind with the crème fraîche and season with salt and pepper.
- Roll out the pastry discs, cut 8 rough circles slightly bigger than the pie dishes and push 4 of them into the single serve pie dishes to make the bases. Fill with the mixture and put the remaining pastry discs on top as lids, sealing the edges with the flat side of a knife. Use any leftover pastry to made decorations (like leaves) to place on top of the pie. Use a whisked egg to brush the top of the pies.
- Cook for 20 minutes, by which time the pastry should be firm, beginning to turn gold, but still pale. Let the pies stand a little out of the oven in their trays before easing them out onto a cooling rack.