*This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclaimer here
Homity pie is a vegetarian British classic. Filled with leek, potato and onion and oozing with cheese, it’s a perfectly comforting dish that is simple enough to serve as a mid-week meal, and great for freezing.
What is it?
While the origins of Homity pie are unknown, it is generally believed to have originated in Devon around the time of the second world war. The ingredients are simple and inexpensive, making it great for wartime rationing.
The pie is made from a shortcrust pastry case which is filled with a simple mixture of leek, onion and potato. I add garlic, thyme and a little mustard to this recipe for extra flavour. It is typically served as an open pie.
What can I serve it with?
This pie works great served with a crisp green salad or some extra veggies. Some ideas to try include:
- Roasted tenderstem broccoli
- Minted peas
- Roasted leeks and tomatoes
- Tomato and herb salsa
- Grilled asparagus with balsamic red onion
Do I need to blind-bake the pastry?
If you want to avoid a soggy pie bottom and make sure you have a pie that can easily be cut and scooped onto a plate without being sloppy and messy, then don’t skip this step.
There are a few things that are needed for this technique to be successful. Firstly make sure that you have lined the baking dish as closely as possible with the pastry. Press the pastry carefully around the edges and corners. Next, line the pastry inside the dish with some baking/parchment paper. Then you need to add some weight to the bottom of the dish which will stop the pastry from rising.
You can buy ready-made baking beads which are actually made for exactly this purpose, or you can use some uncooked rice instead (you won’t be able to cook it after doing this, but you can keep it in a jar and reuse it next time you need to blind bake.)
Can I make it in advance?
This pie is great for making in advance. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. It can be reheated in the oven or even eaten cold – making it a perfect choice to take on a picnic or pack in a lunchbox.
When freezing, wrap in clingfilm to prevent freezer burn, and then place in a sealed container. Allow to defrost in the fridge first and then reheat in the oven. You can also slice and clingfilm it in individual portions to take out one at a time.
Can I make it vegan?
Homity pie can easily be reworked into a vegan recipe. Simply replace:
- Cheese with a dairy-free alternative
- Double cream with a soy alternative or cashew cream.
You need a few simple ingredients for this recipe. For a full list with measurements jump to the printable recipe card.
- Shortcrust pastry (plain flour, butter, water and salt) – you can alternatively buy a ready-made pastry, but it is super simple to make.
- Potatoes – ideally use a floury variety such as Maris Piper or Desiree, or russet if you are in the US
- Leek – trim the tops and bottoms and you can use both the green and white parts for this recipe
- Onion – brown or white
- Garlic – minced or crushed
- Mustard – I use dijon but wholegrain will also work well
- Baking dish – around 800ml in capacity for 4 portions (the default recipe below). This set of 4 baking dishes are great to make sure you always have the right set on hand. Or if you want to remove the pie from the dish after making it check out these 3 pie dishes with removable bases (the middle-sized one is perfect for this recipe)
- Baking beans (you’ll need these for blind baking, or you can also use raw rice. These baking beans from Amazon work great!
How to make it
For detailed step by step instructions, jump to the printable recipe card.
- First, make the pastry. Mix together the flour, salt and butter and rub between your fingers until it roughly resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add half the water and mix before adding the remaining water and kneading until fully combined.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F. Roll the dough out until around 1/2 cm thick and big enough to easily cover the baking dish. Place in the baking dish, top with parchment/baking paper and then weigh down with baking beans or uncooked rice.
- Place in the oven for 10 minutes and then remove the paper and weights. Prick the bottom all over with a fork and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. When done cut any pastry which is overhanging the dish so it is flush with the edges.
- Boil the potatoes for around 5 minutes until just tender and then place in iced water to stop them from cooking further.
- Cook the leeks and onions in a frying pan for 5-6 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Remove the leeks and onions from the heat and stir in half the cheese. Then add the cream, mustard and thyme and season to taste. Stir in the potatoes and tip into the pastry in the baking dish.
- Scatter the remaining cheese on top and then bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
Looking for more great vegetarian recipes? Try:
- Quinoa chilli
- Beetroot gnocchi
- BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwiches
- Red lentil bolognese
- Greek stuffed tomatoes
Products that work well for this recipe:
Set of 3 pie dishes with removable bases
Ceramic Baking Beans
Joseph Joseph Fold Flat Grater
This homity pie is humble, inexpensive to make and simple. Yet it’s fabulously comforting and tasty. Great eaten hot or cold.
The default recipe serves 4.
For the Pastry:
- 250g / 9oz / 2 cups plain flour
- 125g / 4.5oz unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 100ml / 1/2 cup water
- pinch of salt
For the filling
- 450g / 1lb potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200g / 8oz sliced leek (around 2 medium leeks, ends removed and sliced)
- 1 medium onion (around 250g / 7oz), sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 125g / 5oz mature cheddar, grated
- 2 tbsp double/thick cream
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems.
- 1 baking dish – around 800ml in capacity, or a round dish around 22cm in diameter. Check out this set of 4 rectangular baking dishes (the second smallest one is a perfect size) or these round fluted dishes with removable bases.
- First, make the pastry. Mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the butter. Rub the butter in with your fingertips until you have a breadcrumb consistency. Add half the water and stir together. Once combined add the remaining water and continue to stir until fully combined. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface until around 1/2cm thick and large enough to cover your baking dish. Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and then unroll it evenly over the baking dish. Carefully press in the dough so it’s pushed into the edges. You can leave any pastry hanging over the edge of the tin as it is for now.
- Next, blind bake the pastry. This stops the bottom from going soggy. Press a large sheet of greaseproof/parchment paper into the dish and then use some baking beans or uncooked rice to weigh it down. Place in the oven for 10 minutes and then remove the baking paper, and baking beans or rice. Prick all over the bottom of the pastry with a fork and then place back in the oven for 10 minutes. Trim off any pastry overhanging over the edge of the tin so that it’s even with the edge.
- While the pastry is blind baking prepare the filling. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and then add the potatoes. Cook for around 6-8 minutes until still solid but you can just pierce them with a fork. Drain and add to a bowl of ice-cold water to stop them from continuing to cook.
- Add the oil to a large frying pan/skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leek and onion and cook for around 5-6 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute then stir in half the cheese and remove from the heat. Add the potatoes to the pan and stir in the cream, thyme and mustard. Season to taste.
- Spread the mixture so it’s even in the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Place in the oven for around 25-30 minutes.
- If you are feeling fancy, you can roll out leftover pastry, cut out leaf shapes and then use a little egg wash to line the top and bottom of the leaves and place around the edges.
- If you want to serve the pie outside of the dish then use a dish with a removable base so you can easily pop out the pie. This one works really well for this recipe.
- You can’t beat fresh thyme, but if you are using dried then use half the amount specified.
- Make sure to use a floury potato variety – as waxy potatoes will be firmer and the pie won’t be as soft in the middle.
- Grate the cheese yourself, as pre-grated cheese has additives which stop it from melting as well.
- This pie can be served hot or cold, leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days stored in a sealed container.
- To freeze, wrap the pie in clingfilm to prevent freezer burn then place in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Hob / Oven
- Cuisine: British
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 750
- Fat: 40g
- Carbohydrates: 75g
- Protein: 18g
Keywords: british, vegetarian, easy, dinner, pie, potatoes