Caramelised Leek, Onion & Garlic Pie
This super simple dish is a bit of a family favourite – and both easy and satisfying to make! Leeks, onions and garlic are known for their medicinal properties – anti-viral, blood cleansing and traditionally used to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They are great for eliminating uric acid too, so are useful for anyone who suffers from gout or arthritis. An all-round and a wonderful support to your immune system, they are also high in vitamin C, potassium and folic acid, as well as being a tradional remedy for respiratory infections.
1 large onion
3 large garlic cloves
a large handful of cheese, grated
½ pack puff pastry
3 large eggs, beaten
2-3 tbsp of milk or cream
1 tsp brown sugar
S & P
Slice up your onions and leeks quite thinly – keeping your hands wet seems to lessen the crying-eyes problem I find!
Warm up a mixture of olive oil (3 tbsps) and butter (1dessert spoon) but be careful not to let it get too hot or got forbid let it smoke. Gently start to add the leeks and onion, stirring gently. Sprinkle the sugar as you go in pinches - the onions can be quite sweet when cooked slowly like this. Crush the garlic cloves and add them in, with a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Keep stirring gently for a out 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat your oven to 180 degrees, and then butter a 12inch flan dish, although any baking or roasting tray will do. Gently roll out your pastry (or use ready rolled!) and lay it over the buttered dish, pressing it down gently into the sides. Trim off the edges and save any left over bits. If you are using a roasting pan, make a more rustic shape and fold up the edges to forma barrier.. It’s hard to get this bit wrong so free style if you like. Prick the pastry with a fork several times over and then cover it with a piece of greaseproof paper. Weight this down with Baking Beans, or a can on it’s side (if you don’t have a box of Baking Beans, invest in some now, as making pies is much easier with them!)
When the oven is hot, blind bake the pie shell for about 8 minutes, or until the pastry has started to take and turn golden on the outside.
Don’t forget to keep stirring your onions!
You should be getting a lovely warm buttery aroma from the onions and all harshness should have passed. Keep them going – the slower you cook them the better.
When you’re ready, take the pie shell out of the oven and carefully remove the Baking Beans. Gently cover the surface with your mixture, leaving lots of gaps if you can.
Whisk up the eggs, season and add a splash of cream or milk. Pour this gently onto the mixture and let it sink between the onions and leeks. Sprinkle with cheese and then add the remaining scraps of pastry in twists if you like a bit of decoration!
Place back in the oven and wait for the magic to start! Within 15 minutes, you will have a pie worthy of centre table – and maybe some for a packed lunch or cold snack the next day ;-)