My recipe today for Cheese & Onion Plate Pie is a classic that hails from the North of England, mainly from Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire.
A Traditional English Pie Recipe
My recipe today for Cheese & Onion Plate Pie is a classic that hails from the North of England, mainly from Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire. It’s a simple pie to make, with most of the work being making your own shortcrust pastry, and pre-cooking the onions.
I LOVE cheese and onion pies, in all forms. From the cheese and onion pasties my mum used to make for picnics, to her cheese and potato pie, and cheese, onion and potato plate pie too. There is something magical about the alchemy of cheese and onion when mixed together, and it remains my favourite toastie and sandwich filling as well.
You CAN make this Cheese & Onion Plate Pie with puff pastry, BUT to be truly authentic and for the best crumb and taste, shortcrust pastry is best in my opinion. And, my recipe today suggests using 3/4 white flour to 1/4 wholemeal (wholewheat) flour for an extra nutty taste and texture.
You HAVE to use a good quality mature cheese, one with bags of ooomph and flavour, such as vintage or extra mature Cheddar cheese. But, for a Cheshire or Lancashire version, Lancashire and Cheshire cheese also works very well, as does Wensleydale cheese for a Yorkshire version.
The only other proviso is to try to bake this on an enamel pie plate, for even heat retention and a crispy bottom, as opposed to a soggy bottom! The pastry decorations are optional, but you should have enough leftover pastry trimmings to have a go at being arty, which I love.
Enjoy this Cheese & Onion Plate Pie if you make it, and if you have any leftover filling, pop it in a container in the fridge and make some pasties, veggie sausage rolls or small hand pies, OR use it as an excellent Welsh Rarebit topping. I’ve shared the recipe at THE END OF THIS POST, along with other pie recipes and some baking tips. Karen
Baking Tips and Substitutions
- Use 225g (8ozs) white SR flour and 115g (4ozs) wholemeal or wholewheat SR flour for a nutty taste and texture.
- Use any regional cheese to taste, such as Wensleydale, Cheshire, Lancashire, Double Gloucester, Red Leicester or Caerphilly cheese.
- Use red onions in place of yellow onions.
- For a firmer filling, add a tablespoon or 2 of mashed potatoes.
- For added piquancy, add 1/2 teaspoon of English mustard power to the cheese and onion filling.
- Can be frozen before baking – bake from frozen adding on an extra 5 minutes baking time.
- You can add fresh herbs, such as chopped parsley and thyme.
- You can use ready-made puff pastry or ready-made shortcrust pastry.
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Recipe for Cheese & Onion Plate Pie
- Shortcrust Pastry:
- 340g SR flour (12 ozs)
- 160g butter (6 ozs)
- cold water (to mix, about 30ml)
- pinch of salt
- Pie Filling:
- 3 large onions, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or 25g (1oz) butter
- 450g (1lb) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt and white pepper, to taste
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, Gas Mark 4. Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) ovenproof plate or pie dish, enamel is best.
- Mix flour and salt in basin, rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Using a knife to cut and stir, mix with cold water to form a stiff dough. Do not over mix, light of hand is best. Allow pastry dough to chill and "relax" for 30 minutes, in a fridge or a cool place, cover the bowl or put the pastry in some cling film.
- Sweat the onions in a large frying pan or sauté pan with a lid, over a low heat. Keep stirring to stop the onions browning and keep the pan covered. The onions will be cooked in about 25 to 30 minutes. Take off the heat.
- Add the grated cheese to the hot onions and mix well. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
- Roll out the pastry and line the pie plate with half the pastry, trim off the edges and save the excess pastry for decorations.
- Spoon the cheese and onion filling into the middle of the pastry case, leaving about 1”/2.5cm border around the edge. Roll out the remaining pastry and cover the filling with the pastry, sealing around the edges with your thumb, or with a knife/fork. (You can brush some beaten egg on the border before sealing)
- Trim the edges and brush the beaten egg all over the pie crust, make two a cuts for air holes in the top and decorate with excess pastry if desired.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and crisp; allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving with chips, or with salad and assorted pickles and sauces.
Use 225g (8ozs) white SR flour and 115g (4ozs) wholemeal or wholewheat SR flour for a nutty taste and texture.
Use any regional cheese to taste, such as Wensleydale, Cheshire, Lancashire, Double Gloucester, Red Leicester or Caerphilly cheese.
Use red onions in place of yellow onions.
For a firmer filling, add a tablespoon or 2 of mashed potatoes.
For added piquancy, add 1/2 teaspoon of English mustard power to the cheese and onion filling.
Can be frozen before baking - bake from frozen adding on an extra 5 minutes baking time.
You can add fresh herbs, such as chopped parsley and thyme.
You can use ready-made puff pastry or ready-made shortcrust pastry.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Slices Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 527Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 93mgSodium 380mgCarbohydrates 57gFiber 3gSugar 7gProtein 10g