OK, so I really do not know the origins of Heidi Pie. It is something that I had made with my Mum years ago – She had mentioned it in relation to Heidi of the mountain, So I assumed that it was a well-known thing. This week I was tasked with teaching a group of volunteers how to make a vegetarian pie. Heidi pie was my first thought, however when I tried to find an online recipe to making the session easier, I couldn’t really find one- the only reference I could find to it was in relation to pies by pie minister, and those images didn’t look like the pretty, layered pie that I thought of as a Heidi pie, so I went ahead and made my own.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hr
Difficulty: Intermediate Makes: 1 large pie (serves up to 16)
For the pastry:
250 g butter
For the filling
2 large sweet potatoes
6 table spoons of olive oil
2 tbsp of cinnamon
2 tbsp rosemary
5 red onions
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp mixed herbs
400g raw spinach
3 garlic cloves
360g soft goat’s cheese
1 egg to glaze
A pinch of mixed herbs
A 30 cm pie dish
Tip: If you break this recipe down into simple steps it’s pretty easy, and makes a really eye catching centre piece which is all the more impressive when you cut into it to show a rainbow of colour. As with my quiche recipe, it saves a lot of heart ache if you use a loose bottomed tart dish and for those who aren’t experienced with pastry making ready made pastry is a great option.
- Pop the oven on at 180C(350F) and then start making your pastry. Dice the butter into small cubes and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add your egg and stir well to combine until the mass forms a uniform ball. Don’t over work the pastry otherwise it will become crumbly and brittle. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out your pastry to about 3mm thickness. Line your tart tin with it, trimming the edge (but leaving some overhang) and retaining the offcuts to make the lid of your pie later, Roll these offcuts into a ball, and wrap in cling film. Fill the case with baking beans (or a substitute) and pop in the oven while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
- While you wait, peel your sweet potatoes and slice in half, length ways. Slice them into semi circles of about 0.5cm in thickness. Toss these semi circles into a tray with 2 tbsp oil, the cinnamon and rosemary and put this in the oven.
- Peel and slice the red onion. Toss the slices in another tray with 2 tbsp. oil and the salt, pepper and mixed herbs. Place this in the oven as well.
- While you wait for these bits to cook, sauté your spinach along with your grated garlic cloves and olive oil- just allow the leaves to wilt, then leave them to drain in a sieve.
- Slice your goats cheese into 3 mm rounds.
- Roll out a lid for your pie with the remaining pastry on a clean, floured surface. Your onion and sweet potato should now be cooked. Poke them with a fork to test if they are ready- if they are still hard, pop them back in the oven for a further 5 minutes. If they give way and you can easily poke the fork through, they are done. Set these items aside to cool a little.
- Bring your pastry case out of the oven and remove the baking beans.
- Begin layering your ingredients. Begin with the sweet potato, placing the semi circles as tightly together as you can, until all the potato is used up. Layer the onion on top of the potato, followed by the spinach and finally, cover with the goats cheese.
- Using your rolling pin, lift the lid onto your pie, and crimp the edges onto the edges of your pastry case, forming a seal.
- Brush the top with your egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of herbs, finish by jabbing three steam vents in the top, allowing any excess water to escape- this will help to prevent a soggy crust.
- Place back in the oven for another half hour. Use this time to chill out or work on any other accompaniments (it goes really well with mustard mash and peas!)
- Once the pie is golden on top, it is ready to go- Bring it out of the oven and enjoy!