Not quite a quiche, nor a crostata, this is a neat way to produce a golden-crusted, cheese-laden pie with very little effort. As with most pies, this is as comforting as it is delicious, and a thrifty way to use up all those bits of cheese that lurk in the fridge. Buy in good-quality, all-butter puff pastry and no one will believe that it isn’t homemade.
Leek, cheddar and pancetta puff pie
Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 10 min
300g new potatoes
100g pancetta slices, roughly chopped
4 leeks, washed and sliced
6-8 thyme sprigs
6 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
Salt and black pepper
320g puff pastry
125g cheddar (or any other mature hard cheese), grated
40g parmesan, grated
1 egg, to glaze
Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Put the potatoes in a pan of salted water, bring to a boil and cook for 15-18 minutes, until tender. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, peel and slice into 5mm-thick rounds.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium pan over a medium heat, add the pancetta and fry for four to five minutes, until it begins to release its fat. Add the leeks and thyme, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes, until very soft. Remove the lid, cook for another few minutes to drive off the moisture, then stir in the creme fraiche and mustard. Season well, take off the heat and leave to cool.
Roll out the pastry so that it is roughly 3mm thick, making sure it is just larger than your pastry dish, which should be 24-26cm diameter. Put half the sliced potatoes on the base of the dish, then spoon over half the leek mix and sprinkle over half of both cheeses, then repeat.
Brush a little egg around the rim of the pie dish, then top it with the pastry. Trim and crimp the edges, make a small air hole in the middle, then brush more egg over the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until crisp and golden. Serve with a crisp green salad.
The simple flex …
There are some great vegan puff pastries in the shops – use one here, exclude the dairy and swap in some wintry roots and Indian spice pastes for a delicious vegan curry puff pie.