Garden pie, decorated with edible flowers and herbs and some wild garlic from a walk in the woods.Jump to Recipe
During lock down i have been trying to turn the things i bake into art, so this pie was my latest project.
I have made a few garden focaccia’s, so i thought a pie would be a fun experiment.
I love how the pressed flowers and herbs looked once baked, the faded beauty is so wonderful.
The flowers used are pansy, calendula and primrose, and the herbs are thyme, dill and parsley.
I added some wild garlic, garlic mustard too.
Filled with leek and potato in a creamy cheese sauce.
I adapted the recipe from Julie Jones book and used what i had in the fridge. It was a case of use what we have,
so i had to alter her recipe slightly. The pie still turned out Delicious with my swaps.
We did not have enough white potoatoes so i used a mix of half white and half sweet potatoes.
I also used a few different cheeses from my fridge to use up left overs.
.Julies recipe uses milk and stock for the sauce but i added some double cream too as it was close to its use by date.
The flowers and herbs are from my garden.
Flowers used for eating need to be organic, and un-sprayed with any pesticides.
Foraged flowers and plants are great too, like garlic and nettles.
If you don’t have a garden, my favourite place to purchase them from here in the Uk is maddocks farm organics.
For a list of some edible flowers which work well visit my post here
I tend to put wild garlic in everything this time of the year. We found this magical looking path full of it in the woods.
The recipe for this pie was from Julie Jones new book, The pastry school. Its a really wonderful book full of great pastry tips and tricks. Plus so incredibly Delicious and beautiful recipes.
I had already made the pastry so i did not use her recipe for this pie, but i have included her recipe for the filling with my alterations noted.
cheddar short crust pastry
- 265 g plain flour 2 1/8 cup ? (i had to use a converter so i am not sure on accuracy)
- 40 g cheddar grated 1/3 cup
- 130 g cold unsalted butter cut into cubes (1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large egg yolks if more liquid needed add 1 tbsp of water or egg white
- This pastry can be made by hand or in a food processor, To make in a food processor add the flour, grated cheddar, and butter and salt, and pulse until it resembles bread crumbs then add the yolks and pulse again, if you need more liquid add some of the egg white or some ice cold water until you get a soft dough. form into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.To make by hand, rub butter and grated cheddar into the flour and salt, then add the yolks and mix until a soft dough. if needed add some of the egg white or ice water. (about 1 tbsp depending on the size of your yolks) once you have a soft dough mix into a ball then flatten and cover and chill for 30 minutes to one hour.Then its ready to be rolled out for the pie
Leek and potato pie
For the filling
- 3 and 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 200 g (7oz) onions finely sliced
- 200 g (7oz) leeks finely sliced
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves (i used 1 tsp fresh thyme with a small bunch of chopped wild garlic instead of a tbsp of thyme)
- maldon salt/ black pepper
- 300 g (10 1/2 oz) waxy potatoes washed, quartered and cut into small 1/2 cm slices (I used half white and half sweet potato and it was still delicious)
- 250 ml vegetable stock
For the sauce
- 3 1/2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 100 ml (half a cup plus 1 tbsp) vegetable stock I used half a cup heavy cream and 50 ml stock as i had cream that needed using up
- 100 ml 1/2 cup plus one tbsp milk
- 160 g 5 3/4 oz grated cheddar i used about a mix of cheeses in my fridge, strong cheddar, smoked cheddar and some spreadable cream cheese style cheddar (approx 100g) as i didn't have 160g of cheddar
- black pepper
- Heat a large saute pan and add the butter and onions, leeks and thyme and a good pinch of salt.Allow to slowly cook, until soft and just starting to turn golden. It should take around 30 minutes. (i added the chopped wild garlic at this point too but that is my adaptation)Add the potatoes and a generous grinding of pepper, stir to combine then add the stock.Allow to simmer until potatoes are soft and the liquid has evaporated. remove from the heat.
To make the sauce
- Add butter and flour to a sauce pan, allow butter to melt and flour to sizzle for a few minutes. mix, then pour in the milk and stock whisking continuously until thick. Allow sauce to bubble over a low heat for 5 minutes, before adding the cheese, taste and add more pepper if needed. mix into potatoes mixture and allow to cool.
- preheat oven to 180c 350fOnce filling has chilled for a standard pie cut the pastry in half and roll out one thin piece to line the tin (approx 9 inch tin), add the filling, then roll out the other piece for the lid, seal lid with egg wash, then crimp edges to seal. pierce a few holes for steam to escape. brush the pie with a beaten egg mixed with 2 tbsp milk.Bake for 35/40 minutes or until golden.serve hot.
Decorating the pie
I decided to make some pastry flowers and use some real edible flowers and herbs to create this pie.
Yellow and orange flowers like pansy and calendula hold their colour quite well with the heat of the oven.
The calendula flower was pressed the night before to flatten it.
I formed the pastry pansy’s and leaves by hand as i do not own many cookie cutters.
To do this break off small balls of dough and flatten each one into a petal, then use a knife to create texture.
Join petals together to form the flower, place covered in the fridge to firm up.
The herbs used to decorate the pie are thyme, pastry, dill, wild garlic. garlic mustard leaves.
Decorations are quite a personal thing, so be creative and decorate however you wish. I used this baking exercise as a form of art, to keep me busy during lock down.
I made a second one this week with yellow and orange flowers as those seem to do well in the heat of the oven.