30 January, 2012

Operation Domestic Goddess : Supper Onion Pie

Just out of the oven
I love onions and I love pie, but never had it occurred to me to make an onion pie.  I was flipping through How to Be a Domestic Goddess the other day, hoping to find some inspiration for the coming week's meals.  I don't know if it was because the weather has turned decidedly cold and we just want comfort food, or because there was a very lonely pile of onions in our cupboard, but  the "Supper Onion Pie" recipe jumped out at me and I decided to give it a try. 

It's very easy to make and, while the ingredients are simple, the flavor combinations are wonderfully savory and satisfying.  I loved the idea of baking sharp cheddar cheese and strong English mustard into the crust -- but I actually would include even more if I were to make it again, because the specified amount wasn't very easily detected in the finished product. 

Bon Appetit!
This is a great idea for a vegetarian entree, but would also make a great side dish with a hearty carnivore's dinner.  I also think it might be tasty with a fried egg at breakfast...hmmm, leftovers ideas...











Nigella Lawson's Supper Onion Pie
For the filling/topping:
4 medium red onions
1 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
3-4 sprigs of thyme, de-stalked, or 1/2 t. dried thyme
150g strong Cheddar cheese or Gruyere, grated

For the scone dough:
250g plain flour
1 scant t. baking powder
1 t. salt
100 ml milk
40g butter, melted
1 scant t. English mustard
1 large egg, beaten

cast-iron skillt or pie dish, buttered

     Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.  Peel the onions, halve them, then cut each half into 4 segments.   Heat the oil and butter in the pan, then add the onions and cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, for about 30 minutes; they should be soft and tinged with color.  Season with salt and pepper, and add the thyme.  Turn into a pie dish, and scatter 50g of the cheese over the waiting onions.  Leave while you get on with the dough topping.
     Put the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl with the remaining cheese.  Pour the milk into a measuring jug, add the melted butter, mustard and egg, mix well and then pour onto the flour mixture in the bowl.  Mix to a dough using a fork, a wooden spoon or your hands; it should be quite sticky.  Then tip it out onto a work surface and press into a circle about the size of the pie dish.  Transfer it to the dish, pressing it to seal the edges.
     Put it in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn down to 180C/gas mark 4 and give it another 10 minutes, by which time the dough should be golden and crisp on top.  Let it stand for a couple of minutes, then cover with a large plate and turn upside-down so the plate's beneath and the pie dish on top.  Place on a flat surface and remove the dish. 

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