12/28/21

Homity Pie

A savory, flavor-packed English pie made with potatoes, onions, leeks and cream, topped with cheese often made in England during World War II amid ration restrictions.

I’m reading The Rose Code by Kate Quinn, a novel about the mostly female code breakers in World War II. The book is fantastic, which I knew it would be, since I enjoyed her books The Huntress and The Alice Network as well! 

The book mentions something called Woolton Pie a time or two, and true to my recipe-obsessive nature, I wanted to know more about this seemingly meager, savory pie. 

I researched Woolton Pie which lead me down a rabbit hole of English recipes from WWII which were most often vegetarian due to war rations and a general shortage of livestock. The Woolton Pie looked interesting (boiled winter veggies like potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, carrots, turnips, etc. with an oat thickened vegetable gravy, topped with whipped potatoes and cheese) but the recipe that really caught my eye was Homity Pie.

Homity Pie - A savory, flavor-packed English pie made with potatoes, onions, leeks and cream, topped with cheese often made in England during World War II amid ration restrictions.

WHAT IS HOMITY PIE?

Homity Pie is savory British baked dish with a bottom pastry (an “open pie”) filled with potatoes, onions, leeks and a little cream, topped with cheddar cheese.

Sounds great, right??

Well, let me tell you this... IT IS.

I mean, it sounded good enough to me to figure out how to make it (and how to properly prep leeks which I’m glad I researched a bit or I would have 100% screwed this pie up) but it’s not just good... IT IS FANTASTIC!

Homity Pie - A savory, flavor-packed English pie made with potatoes, onions, leeks and cream, topped with cheese often made in England during World War II amid ration restrictions.

The Oldest came walking through just after I’d taken these photos, said it smelled good, so I gave her some to try without saying too much because I wanted to see her initial reaction. Which was the same as mine! Her eyes bugged out a bit and she said over a mouthful, thuth eth RULLY gooh! 

While it was cooking I was thinking to myself, hmmmm that was a fair amount of work for one little ole potato recipe, it can’t be much different from Scalloped Potatoes and they’re a lot easier to make.

Wrong. I was wrong. This is SO MUCH BETTER than any other potato recipe I’ve made before. I don’t know why this isn’t a thing here in the States. Hey, maybe it will be after enough of y’all make it!! 

Homity Pie - A savory, flavor-packed English pie made with potatoes, onions, leeks and cream, topped with cheese often made in England during World War II amid ration restrictions.

My pie looks a little cheesier than yours will. That's because the one pictured here has more cheese in it than it should.

That's because [deep breath in] I originally had my pastry in my BIG deep dish pie pan. The crust was pinched and lovely and beautiful. But when I spooned the filling in, it was way too shallow [slow exhale out].

So... [deep breath in] I turned it out onto a cutting board then flipped it into a smaller pan which wrecked the pretty crust. I shaped it back as good as I could but it still looked like a throwaway. To try to make it look less like something that was dropped on the floor, I stirred up the filling and added more cheese all over the top [slow exhale out].

Homity Pie - A savory, flavor-packed English pie made with potatoes, onions, leeks and cream, topped with cheese often made in England during World War II amid ration restrictions.

NOTES ABOUT MAKING HOMITY PIE 

  • I used russet potatoes which are starchy. If you use a waxy potato instead (like Yukon gold or red), start with 1/2 cup of cream. Most of the recipes I looked at used less cream but my russets soaked it all up so I kept adding until things didn’t look dry.
  • I used a little over 2 pounds of potatoes to get 6 cups of 3/4-inch cubes.
  • To prepare leeks, cut the dark green ends off and discard. Use only the white and light green part (about where the leaves start veering off). Cut off the root as well (you should be left with a tight little cylinder). Slice the trimmed leek in half lengthwise. Turn both pieces cut-side down then dice each into half-moon pieces. Add diced leeks to a bowl then clean with cold water. Drain well.
  • Two prepped and diced leeks yield about 2 cups diced pieces.
  • I used one Pillsbury refrigerated pie pastry crust in a 6-cup deep dish pie plate but any prepared frozen deep dish pastry should work. The filling will not expand or spill out so it’s OK to mound it up a bit if necessary.
  • You can use dried thyme but the fresh thyme REALLY came through in this. I mean, if you’re going to buy leeks you might as well buy some fresh thyme too, right??

Homity Pie - A savory, flavor-packed English pie made with potatoes, onions, leeks and cream, topped with cheese often made in England during World War II amid ration restrictions.
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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 deep dish pie pastry
  • 6 cups diced potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Wash and peel potatoes then cut into cubes (about 3/4 inch). Boil in salted water for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain then set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce pie pastry on bottom and along sides with a fork several times to vent the crust.
  3. Sauté onion and leeks in butter over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until slightly caramelized. Add garlic then continue cooking for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Add thyme, salt, pepper and cream to onions then mix well. Add potatoes and HALF of cheese then gently fold until well combined.
  5. Spoon mixture into pie pastry then top with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is just starting to brown.
  6. Let pie rest 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh thyme if desired.


6 comments:

  1. A woman after my own heart! I can't tell you how many recipes I've researched and made after they were mentioned in a book. My most recent foray into British cuisine was kedgeree. I'm glad I made it but I feel no need to ever make it again. ;-) I have high hopes for this one, though!

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  2. This looks AMAZING!! I can't seem to find the actual recipe, just recommendations and suggestions when making the recipe. Please help!! Thank you!

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    1. The recipe card is under the 5th recipe picture (the collage). Can you really not see it? What do you see after that pic?

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  3. I can not see the recipe either. All i see after the collage s the symbols for Facebook , Twitter etc... Would love to have this recipe

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    1. Are you using mobile or PC? Which model and VERSION? Older iPhones using outdated browser aps seem to be where the trouble is but my recipe card developer is working on a resolution. I will update the post with the recipe in the text today. Sorry for your troubles!

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  4. I just remembered another blog of mine mentions a HOMINY CASSEROLE that she makes, and she uses 2 cans of hominy....you spelled it with a T in int and Hominy doesn't have a T in it....so maybe it's the way they spell it in England.....and the casserole was entirely different.....she crushed up Tortillas and put on top of hers, it called for Fritos she said, but that was what she had so she just used it ...they said it was delicious..... so I am going to make hers because I eat hominy and I love it.....do you know what it is? If you're Southern you probably do.....lol.....
    Then I want to make it your way and see what your recipes taste like..... you can check out her recipe on
    WHIPPOORWILL HOLLER.....she's from Texas, but lives in Arkansas I think..... she has a lot of country recipes.....and I will mention your blog to her also.....:)

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Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy