4.10.17

POTATO PIE


There are several ways to approach potato pie. Slice the potatoes extremely thin or lightly sauté them in butter or blanch them in stock before layering in the pie. If you sauté or blanch first, you will have to wait until they cool down for ease of handling. I sliced the potatoes fairly thin and then sautéed for a short time in butter. I didn’t cook them, just sort of started the cooking process. Use a sharp cheese. Aged cheddar works well. Be sure to salt and season every layer. Potatoes on their own can be boring, add some flavour to it, like diced ham or crumpled up sausage meat or peas or a few asparagus tips. Wanting to keep it vegetarian, I added shoestring sliced red pepper and freshly chopped parsley. Potato pie is a great snack on its own or as a side dish. The shortcut pastry makes just enough for one pie.

*Use only waxy potatoes. Waxy potatoes hold their shape while cooking and yet they are firm with a creamy texture.  The starchy type with the thick skin would just fall apart. You can tell if a potato is waxy by the thin skin. 



Shortcrust Pastry:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup lard
1-1/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten

Filling:
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
4 waxy potatoes* peeled and thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 red pepper, shoestring sliced
3-4 sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup sharp cheese, grated
1/4 cup flaked parmesan cheese, [1/8 cup only if finely grated]
1 egg for glaze

  • Make the pastry first.
  • The butter and the lard should be at room temperature.
  • Whip until light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour and the salt and stir to combine.
  • Add the beaten egg, and stir to form a dough.
  • Divide into two parts and set them aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Next prepare the potatoes. Peel and slice thinly.
  • In a non-stick skillet melt the butter with the oil. The oil is important, butter on its own would burn.
  • Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until soft.
  • With a slotted spoon scoop out the onions and set them aside.
  • Add the sliced potatoes to the remaining butter in the skillet and on medium heat lightly sauté for a few minutes, shaking the skillet, but not stirring the potatoes much. Make sure the potatoes do not start to brown.
  • Remove from heat and distribute the onions over the potatoes.
  • Let the potatoes cool down until they are comfortable to the touch.
  • Meanwhile slice the red pepper and chop the parsley.
  • Grate the cheddar and flake the parmesan.
  • Roll out one part of the shortcrust pastry on a floured surface.
  • Line a pie plate, leaving the excess hanging over the edge.
  • Layer up the potatoes, the cheeses the red pepper slices and the chopped parsley.
  • Season each layer with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Roll out the remaining pastry and lay it over the top.
  • Press down around the edges and crimp around or press a fork into it to make a pattern.  
  • Brush with the beaten egg.
  • Score lines into the top pastry to allow steam to escape.
  • Place the pie in the preheated oven for about 1 hour.
  • When the top is starting to get colour, lay a sheet of aluminum foil on the top.
  • Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the filling feels soft when a sharp knife is pressed inside.
  • Remove the pie from the oven and serve hot or let it to cool down and serve it cold. 

cold serving

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!