In its simplest form, homity pie is the kind of frugal meal that World War II housewives would have loved to throw together with their rations and homegrown veggies : potatoes, onions, leeks and a bit of cheese and pastry are pretty much all that are needed. I decided to incorporate some bacon, which was a lovely addition, both for flavour and texture, but it wasn't in the original recipe. The kids cleared their plates and Pierre wouldn't believe me when I told him that it had leeks in it because he was convinced he didn't like them ! Definitely one that I'll be making again.
1 sheet of ready made pastry (shortcrust or puff, you can make your own of course)
1 pack bacon lardons
1 large leek or 2 small ones
1 cup grated cheese
a glug of cream or milk
a knob of butter
Use the pastry to line a dish, fill with baking beans and put in the oven to bake blind while you prepare the filling. Chop the potatoes into chunks (you needn't bother peeling them) and put on to boil in a pan of salted water.
In a frying pan, start cooking the bacon lardons until they release some fat, then add the onions and leeks. Gently fry for about ten minutes until the bacon is cooked and the veggies are soft. Drain off the excess fat.
Drain the potatoes when they are cooked and put them back in the pan. Add the bacon, leeks and onions and a knob of butter. Toss around in the pan until the butter melts. Add a glug of cream (double cream is lovely but crème fraîche would do too or even milk) - don't overdo it. You want a texture halfway between boiled potatoes and mash, with definite chunks of potato in there. Leave for ten minutes for the butter and cream to soak into the potato and leeks, season with salt (if needed) and pepper, then pour into the pastry case (after removing the baking beans, obviously !).
Sprinkle over some grated cheese.
Pop back in the oven at 180° for 15 minutes until the cheese has melted. This could have done with five minutes longer but the kids were about to start gnawing the arm off the settee !
Serve with a green salad or a tomato salad.
It's really simple to throw together, uses nothing but store cupboard basics and is really tasty. The creamy potato filling studded with salty bacon and buttery leeks, topped with gooey cheese, reminds me of another childhood favourite - cheese and potato pie. The ultimate crowd-pleasing comfort food !