When Denon DJ leaked their alleged sidecar player, I was mid-way through making one of my signature cheese pies, which seemed like the perfect commentary on a week of leaks. It did somewhat impact on the brevity of the writing, but there seems to be more interest in my culinary antics than the content of the actual story itself, to the point of numerous recipe requests. So here it is.
What’s funny is that while DJWORX has never been in the tutorial game, that’s exactly what this is. So let’s get into it.
Basically this is a recipe that makes a 6” pie in a cast iron pan. I’m sure you could use a pie dish too but I haven’t tried that.
Me and my better half share this and add some vegetables to make a proper meal. It’s not exactly a vegetarian recipe either, but if you leave out the bacon it is at least meat-free. But be sure to multiply up the amounts accordingly if you want to feed more people, or fancy bigger portions than we do.
- One quarter chopped red onion
- One or two rashers chopped bacon (optional)
- 150g Wensleydale cheese, grated
- 150g Extra mature/vintage cheddar cheese, grated
- 150ml tub soured cream
- Full fat or semi-skimmed milk. Not skimmed because that stuff is little more than white water.
- 2 good handfuls of baby Spinach
- Sturdy greens like broccoli, peas, or string beans
- 1 roll Puff pastry
- 1 Egg
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1 clove of garlic
- Pinch of grated Nutmeg (optional)
First thing — use low heat. You don’t want to be rushing this, especially with a pan full of dairy. You could end up with a separated or burned mess.
- Add chopped bacon dry to a frying pan on a medium heat. When it starts to catch, add the chopped onion with some olive oil.
- When the onion is soft but not brown, add the soured cream and some milk. You want something like a thick soup texture at this point.
- Season with a little black pepper and salt.
- Add the grated cheese into the pan and allow to melt into soured cream and milk mixture. Again, low heat — this isn’t a race.
- Add a couple of handfuls of baby spinach. It’ll wilt down but should retain enough integrity to not end up as green string.
- Finely chop up a little fresh garlic and add to the pan.
- Season again with a little black pepper and salt.
- Blanch and add greens such as broccoli or string beans. They add an extra flavour dimension as well as some substance and texture to an otherwise runny mixture laced with soft wilted Spinach.
- Preheat oven to 200-220°.
- Whisk up the egg and optional nutmeg.
- Flour one side of the puff pastry, then line the inside of a 6” cast iron pan or pie dish (flour side down) with the pastry. Let it overhang by an inch all round.
- Fill with the pie filling.
- Brush egg glaze around the whole edge of the pastry overhang. It doesn’t matter if it gets in the pie mix.
- Add the pastry lid. Use a fork to seal the pastry lid to the base. Trim with a sharp knife.
- Cut a cross in the top of the pie.
- Glaze the top of the pie.
- Given that the filling is already cooked, stick in the oven on the middle shelf until the top is nicely browned, probably 25 minutes. Well, it is in my wonky old oven.
The consistency of the filling will depend on how neatly it’ll transfer from pan to plate (oozy is best IMHO). If you take it out of the oven too soon, the base will be soggy and it’ll stick to the pan, and make serving it a nightmare. I go around the edge with a knife first, slice in half and then edge a palette knife underneath to break it free from the pan.
I tend to make up some little roasties to go on the side, but any veg work. Charred cauliflower/charred Hispi cabbage are particularly nice with this.
It’s not a difficult recipe — just take time with the filling and it’ll all fall into place. It’s also a great recipe for swapping out ingredients to try different things. Swap red onions for spring onions, or try different cheeses or greens. It’s hugely adaptable depending on what’s in your cupboard.
So… is anyone going to try it and post the results here?