Cheese, Bacon & Onion Pie Makes 8 Slices
Ready in 1½ hours, plus chilling Perfect for a simple lunch or for an early summer picnic this savoury pie has a really rich and buttery crisp pastry and a tasty smoked bacon and onion ﬁlling. It tastes just as delicious warm or cold. Look for packs of smoked bacon pieces near the bacon rashers in the supermarket or use ﬂavoursome Italian diced pancetta instead.
Pastry: • • • •
225g plain flour 1 tsp mustard powder Pinch of salt 115g butter, chilled and diced • 4-5 tbsp iced water
Filling: • 175g smoked bacon pieces • 4 onions, peeled and thinly sliced • 1 tbsp sunflower oil • 200g mature Cheddar cheese, grated • Beaten egg, to glaze • Tomato salad, to serve (see Tip)
Tip: Serve simply with a fresh tomato salad made by thickly slicing ripe vine tomatoes and layering with finely chopped spring onions and a few fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper.
To make the pastry, sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the mustard powder and salt. Add the diced butter and rub into the flour between your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in enough of the iced water with a round bladed knife to mix to a crumbly dough. Knead very lightly until just smooth then flatten into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Dry-fry the bacon pieces in a large non-stick frying pan for 4-5 minutes until just golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the oil and sliced onions to the pan and fry gently, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until the onions are very tender and pale golden. Leave to cool. Preheat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 5. Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up. Roll out just over half the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20x30cm loose-based fluted flan tin. Layer the bacon, onions and grated cheese in the pastry case and season between the layers with freshly ground black pepper. Roll out the rest of the pastry and use to cover the filling. Seal the edges of the pastry with water then pinch them tightly together with fingertips. Trim off any excess pastry. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and pierce 3-4 holes in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Bake on the hot baking sheet for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Serve warm or cold with tomato salad, if liked.
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Edition 81 May