I just have one more day until I am finished work and have a month long holiday break. I feel completely worn out and very ready for that holiday!
It’s times like this I want to eat simple comfort foods that don’t have a huge amount of preparation and things that just have a nice home cooked feel about them.
This onion pie courtesy of Nigella Lawson hits the spot for me. Now with Leah living at home again (she’s pescatarian) more and more vegetarian meals are on the menu. That’s just fine by me, although I know we’ll be having the occasional meal with meat, with a vegetarian option. Ryan is a real meat and potatoes kid - hang on he’s nearly 20, I don’t think I can call him a kid any more…..
This pie is perfect on cold nights teamed up with a hearty soup.
This is not a pie in a traditional sense, it’s more like a thick onion scone or maybe pizza. It’s cooked with a similar method to an upside down cake.
One of the other things I love about this pie, is that the ingredients are usually on hand. If the pantry is looking somewhat empty, you can still usually make this.
The basis of this pie is a few simple things. Onions, cheese, butter, oil, and a little thyme. Nigella specifies red onions in her recipe, but I find it works just as well with brown onions, which are half the price.
I also want to show you this. This pot sits at my front door with some of the herbs that I like to use fresh. It has oregano, flat leaf parsley, thyme and sage planted in it. I have chives and basil in another pot. I love fresh herbs, they beat dried herbs hands down for many dishes, and you really don’t need a lot of room for them. Just buy yourself a big pot, fill it with potting mix and either put in plants or scatter a few seeds over the surface. You won’t regret it.
Ok, enough off topic talk from me, on with the pie!
Supper Onion Pie
For the topping
- 6 large onions - red or brown (750 grams)
- 1 Tblspn olive oil
- 25 grams butter
- 3-4 sprigs of thyme (or 1/2 tspn dried)
- 150 grams strong Cheddar or Gruyere grated
For the base
- 250 grams plain flour
- 1 tspn baking powder
- 1 tspn of salt
- 100 mls milk
- 40 grams butter melted
- 1 small tspn english mustard (powder preferably but you can use ready made)
- 1 large egg beaten
Preheat the oven to 200C/390F
Peel the onions and halve them, then cut each half into 4.
Heat the oil and butter over a medium heat, cook the onions slowly for about 30 minutes until caramelised and lightly brown on the edges. Season with salt and pepper and add the thyme.
Place the onions in the pie dish and scatter over roughly 1/3 of the grated cheese. Set aside while you make the dough.
Put the flour baking powder and salt in a bowl with the remaining cheese
Mix the milk, egg, mustard and melted butter together and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix to a sticky dough with a knife.
Roll out to the same size as the pie dish on a floured work surface. Transfer to the dish covering the onions and tuck the edges in.
Place in the oven at 200C for 15 mins, then turn down to 180C/350F and cook for an additional 10 minutes.It should be golden brown on the top.
Cover with a large plate and flip upside down to turn out, so that the onions are sitting on the top. Cut into slices and serve with a thick soup for a comforting meal.
When we were eating this, there was some discussion around additions to it. We thought maybe a layer of mushrooms might make a nice variation. Next time you are feeling tired and want something simple, this might be just the thing.