The other day, I was watching a British cooking show that featured Cheese and Onion Pie. Who should walk in but the master taste tester! He commented that his mother and grandmother used to make cheese and onion pie, and that he really liked it. Therefore, I decided to give it a try.
The cheese that the recipe called for was Lancashire cheese, which I knew I would not be able to get. I did a bit of research and found that I could use a sharp white cheddar cheese in place of the Lancashire cheese. I found an “Seriously” sharp white cheddar cheese that I decided to use. It worked fine!
In addition to the cheese, the recipe called for coarsely sliced onions, unsalted butter, water, pastry, salt, freshly ground white pepper, and milk for sealing and glazing. I really don’t care for the taste of white pepper, so I used black pepper instead.
Also included was a recipe for the pastry. Being a bit lazy, I decided to use a store bought pastry, which worked just fine.
I cooked the onions over medium low heat in a large pan with 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter for about 10 minutes. Per the recipe, the onions should not brown. Then I added ½ cup of water, a pinch of salt, and about 10 grinds of black pepper to the onions and raised the heat to medium. Because the cheese was salty, I didn’t want to add too much salt to the onions. I continued cooking the onions for about 10 more minutes until the liquid was evaporated, stirring occasionally and making sure that the onions did not begin to brown. Once the onions were tender, I transferred them to a plate to cool completely.
I lined the bottom of my 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with a piece of parchment paper. The reason that I did this was to make it easier to remove the cooked pie from the bottom. Then I lined the pan with one of the pieces of pastry dough, leaving excess dough overhanging the edge. I used a fork to prick the bottom.
When the onions had cooled, I covered the base of the pie with half of the onions. Then I covered the onions with half of the cheese, which had been coarsely grated. I repeated this process with the remaining onions and cheese.
I brushed the edges of the overhanging pastry with milk, and topped it with the other piece of pastry. I then pressed the edges together to form a seal, and used the tins of a fork to further seal the top and bottom pieces of pastry together. Only then, did I trim the excess pastry.
I brushed the top of the pie with milk, made several small incisions into the center of the pie using the point of a sharp knife, and further decorated the top with the point of a knife to make a lattice effect.
Into a preheated 350° F oven the pie went for about 50 minutes, until it was golden brown. I removed the pie from the oven and let it cool for about 30 minutes before unmolding it and cutting it into serving pieces.
I’ve made this twice now within a weeks time, with a request to make it again very soon. I guess that speaks for itself. Yum!
[print_this]Cheese and Onion Pie (Adapted from My Mother’s Cheese and Onion Pie)
2 pieces store-bought pastry
3 large onions, roughly sliced
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) extra sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Heat the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Cook the onions over medium low heat for 10 minutes, without coloring. Stir in ½ cup water, salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook over medium heat without coloring until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Remove the onions, spread out onto a plate and set aside to cool.
Line the bottom of an 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom with parchment paper. Then line the tart pan with one of the pieces of pastry, leaving any excess pastry overhanging the edge.
Cover the base of the pie with half of the onions and then cover with half the grated cheese. Repeat the layering process until all of the mixture is used up.
Brush the edges of the pastry case with milk and place the other piece of pastry on top. Seal the edges by pressing them together lightly before trimming off any excess overhang. Brush the surface of the pie with milk. Make three or four small incisions into the center of the pie using the point of a sharp knife and, if you wish, further decorate to make a lattice effect.
Place the pie into the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and leave for a good 20-30 minutes before unmolding and cutting into generous wedges. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature (not piping hot). Yield: 4 servings.[/print_this]