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Homity Pie
Pies and Pastries

An open-baked pie containing a filling of potatoes and an onion and leek mixture, covered with cheese.

The origin of this dish is unknown, it has varously been claimed as some unknown form of the (unknown) 'Devon Pie', to originate with the Land girls of the Second World War or from Cranks Vegetarian Restaurant, which opened in London in 1961. We at Foods of England can find no written record of it by this name before a menu for the former 'Dog And Fireside Inn' at Virgina Water in the 'Staines & Ashford News' on Thursday 12 October 1995

The original source of this receipt isn't known. Can you help? editor@foodsofengland.co.uk

Homity Pie, purchased from a farmers market in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, 2013
Image: Harry Wood

Receipt from BBC Good Food - Hairy Bikers' Best of British, Vegetarian

For the pastry
125g/4oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling
125g/4oz wholemeal flour
150g/5oz butter
1 free-range egg, beaten

For the filling
850g/1lb 14oz floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edward, peeled and cut into quarters
25g/1oz butter
1 tbsp sunflower oil
3 onions, halved and sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g/3½oz baby spinach leaves
175g/6oz mature cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
250ml/9fl oz double cream
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the flour and butter in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse until the mixture just comes together as a dough. Bring the dough together and flatten into a round.
Put the pastry in the centre of a 20cm/8in springform cake tin and carefully ease it over the base and up the sides of the tin.
Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes, or until just tender. Drain in a colander, tip back into the saucepan and cut into 3cm/1¼in pieces with a round-bladed knife.
Melt the butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the onions gently for 15 minutes, or until soft and pale golden-brown. Add the garlic and cook for two further minutes, stirring regularly.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C (fan)/Gas 6.
Add the onions and garlic to the potatoes and sprinkle with 100g/3½oz of the cheese and the parsley. Add the spinach leaves and season with nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.
Spoon the filling mixture into the pastry case. Pour over the cream and allow it to drizzle down between the layers. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Place the tin on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and pale golden-brown.
Leave the pie to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove the pie from the tin and place it on a serving plate. Cut into thick wedges with a sharp knife.

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