Have you ever read the Cranks Bible? Don’t worry, I’m not getting all religious on you – it’s a vegetarian cookbook full of really interesting and original recipes. The kind of cookbook that you’ll ‘ooh!’ your way through as you turn down the corner of every single page. This autumn, Cranks are bringing out a brand new edition, with all new recipes, including a few by Michelin-starred chef Richard Corrigan (remember him from the Great British Menu?).
If a new veggie cookbook wasn’t exciting enough (I go seriously crazy for new recipe books, even though I have approximately a million of them), Cranks are even offering you (yes, you!) the chance to get one of your very own recipes in the new book! All you need to do is share your recipe (title, ingredients, instructions, cooking time) on the Cranks Facebook page, and they’ll choose their favourite to include in the book. You only have until 5th April (that’s next Sunday!) to get your entries in, so get cooking! You can find out more about the competition here, or if you’ve already got an idea, you can submit your recipe here.
One of the most popular recipes from the original Cranks Bible is their homity pie, and Cranks challenged me to put my own spin on the recipe – hence, homity pie bites! I was so chuffed with last month’s little apple pie bites that I decided to shrink the homity pie down too. These pie bites are not quite bitesize – more like two or three bites, depending on the size of your mouth and whether or not you’re in polite company – but they’re super cute, and great for an occasion where a normal pie is just not quite posh enough.
If you don’t know, homity pie is basically a cheesy leek and potato pie. It’s a traditional British recipe – we sure did know how to make the most of things during the war. Since the filling of these little pie bites is on the stodgy side (which isn’t a bad thing – I love me a bit of stodge), I went light on the pastry, and just used a couple of sheets of filo. It’s much thinner and lighter than, say, shortcrust or puff pastry, and much lower in fat too.
So eat away! And don’t forget to submit your recipe for a chance to appear in the new Cranks cookbook!
- 750 g potatoes ~5 medium potatoes
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 medium leek quartered lengthwise then sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 80 g cheddar cheese ~1 cup grated, grated
- Small bunch fresh parsley chopped
- Black pepper
- ~4 large sheets filo pastry
- Butter or spray oil for greasing
Cut the potatoes into chunks - the exact size doesn’t matter, but try to cut them evenly. I left mine unpeeled. Once chopped, add them to a pan of water, and boil for around 15 minutes, or until completely soft.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add the chopped leek and minced garlic. Cook over a medium heat for around 5 minutes, until soft and fragrant.
When the potatoes are cooked, mash them thoroughly, and add the butter, grated cheese, parsley, and cooked leeks. Mix thoroughly until the cheese and butter have melted through the hot potatoes. Season generously.
Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
Cut the filo pastry into squares that measure approximately 3 inches (I was able to get 12 squares out of each sheet of pastry, so cut 48 squares altogether, which was enough for 24 homity pie bites).
Grease two cupcake trays with butter or oil, and press one square of filo into one of the cups. Spray the pastry lightly with oil, then place a second piece of pastry on top, at a different angle to the first. Gently press the pastry into the cup. Repeat with the other cups until all the pastry squares have been used up.
Divide the potato mixture between the pastry cups. Lift the corners of the pastry, and gently press them together on top of the filling to create a pocket. Spray once more with oil, then place in the oven and bake for around 25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy (check that they’re crispy underneath too!).