Sunday, 27 January 2008

Roquefort Cheese, Pear and Potato Pie

You've really got to like blue cheese to eat this, and I know I certainly do. Roquefort and pear have always been perfect companions in salads, so why not in a pie. I wanted to create something that was quite rustic rather than cordon bleu, so opted to leave the potatoes and pears with their skins on. The pastry is very much 'country-style,' spelt flour adding its wholesome nuttiness to the whole pie.
It's not obligatory to use Roquefort – Dolcelatte or Stilton would be just as good.

Serves 4-6

For the pastry
4oz plain flour
4oz spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4oz butter, cold from the fridge, cubed
a little cold water

For the pie filling
10oz new potatoes or salad potatoes (no need to peel)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
half glass white wine
1 heaped tablespoon plain greek yoghurt
4oz of Roquefort cheese
1 pear - Williams variety is good, core removed and sliced (no need to peel)
freshly ground black pepper

For the crumble topping
1 teaspoon olive oil
2oz pine nuts
2oz fresh white breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

one,  8 inch diameter, 2 inch deep, round cake tin

For the pastry
Sieve the flours and baking powder into a large bowl, add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then add a drop of water and stir into the mixture with a fork. Work lightly to bring together into a ball. Be careful not to make the dough too wet. Using your hands, work the dough into a ball. Wrap it cling film and put into the fridge for an hour to chill. This will make it easier to roll later.

For the pie filling
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and fry gently until golden, add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute or so. Pour in the wine and simmer until it has completely evaporated. Transfer the onions to a large bowl to cool, keep the frying pan, unwashed, for using later.
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until the sharp point of a knife pierces one easily. Drain, and allow to cool slightly, before slicing them into big pieces.
Add the potatoes to the onion mixture, stir in the yogurt and season with pepper.

For the crumble topping
Heat the oil in the frying pan you used for the onions, tip in the pine nuts and fry gently until they become slightly golden, add the breadcrumbs and rosemary and continue to fry until the breadcrumbs are golden. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Preparing your cooking tin and pastry case
You'll see from the photos, that I've used folded aluminium foil strips in the tin. This was intended to assist the removal of the pie. I'm going to make a confession — although this should have worked in principle, I had to resort to turning the pie out by putting a tin over the top and turning it upside-down, and then inverting it back on to a plate. When I tried to use the foil to lift it out, as originally intended, it proved to be rather difficult and may have resulted in certain breakage!

Grease the tin. Place the chilled dough on a floured work surface and roll out so that it's big enough to line the tin. Place the pastry into the tin, making sure it fits against all the surfaces. Trim away the excess pastry.

Assembling the pie
First, tip in the onion and potato mixture so it covers the bottom evenly, then crumble the cheese over. Arrange the pear slices on top and sprinkle over the crumble topping. Push a few rosemary sprigs into the top.
Place on the middle shelf of a preheated oven, Gas 4 for about an hour. iceland reykjavik norway sweden reykjavik finland
Remove from the oven and leave to stand in its tin for 5 minutes before turning out.
Serve cut into wedges with a green salad.


JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I think I would really like this, it looks delicious!

I just wanted to say, I also love Scandinavian food - I lived in Norway for a time.

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

Cheeky Spouse said...

Thank you - and I'm glad you liked the sound of the recipe.

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