For the filling
- 800g onions, roughly chopped
- 250g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pastry
- 225g plain flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 110g chilled butter, cut into pieces
- 3 tbsp chilled water
- A little milk, to glaze
- Put the onions into a large saucepan and cover with boiling water. Add a pinch of salt. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until very tender, then drain well through a colander. Return them to the saucepan and use a potato masher to mash thoroughly. This will release more liquid, so return the saucepan to the hob and cook them for a few more minutes, stirring often, to evaporate some of this extra moisture.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese. The heat of the onions will melt it – there’s no need to do this on the hob, or else it will make the cheese stringy. Season with pepper. Cool completely.
- Now make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the water, using a measuring spoon for accuracy. Stir with a knife, then bring the dough together with your hand to make a soft (not sticky) dough.
- Transfer to a surface dusted with flour and knead lightly for a few moments until smooth. Wrap and chill for 10 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 210°C/Gas 6. Preheat a baking sheet in the centre of the oven.
- Roll out half the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 24cm Traditional Enamel Pie Plate. Spoon the cheese mixture on top and dampen the pastry edges with water. Roll out the remaining pastry and use the lattice pastry roller to easily create a latticework effect. Carefully pull the pastry gently apart to open up the lattice, place it on top of the pie and press the edges together to seal. Brush the surface with a little milk.
- Bake the pie on the preheated baking sheet for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve.
Tip: Always cool the filling completely before putting it onto the pastry base – otherwise you’ll get the dreaded soggy base. Cooking the pie on a preheated baking sheet helps to prevent this too.
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