‘Butter pie’ with apples & cheese

‘Butter pie’ with apples & cheese

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(2 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins

Skill level

Moderately easy


Cuts into 10

This hearty potato pie hails from Lancashire and is a little like a giant cheese pasty. Our version contains apples and thyme

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition info

Nutrition per slice

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  • 800g potatoes (we used Desiree), sliced into 5mm rounds
  • 50g unsalted butter, plus 25g (optional)
  • 2 large (not mild) onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • ½ small pack thyme
  • 2 Cox's apples
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 500g all-butter shortcrust pastry, defrosted if frozen
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 175g mature Lancashire cheese, or cheddar, grated or crumbled
  • beaten egg, to glaze
  • pickled cabbage or beets, to serve (optional)

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  1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, then cook the potatoes for 8 mins until just tender but not falling apart. Drain and leave to steam-dry in the colander.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a wide pan. Stir in the onions, seasoning and the thyme, then cover and cook for 8 mins until translucent and turning golden. Peel and slice the apples, toss with the lemon juice, then cook with the onions in the now uncovered pan for 5 mins, stirring often. Mix in the potatoes, then leave to cool. Remove the thyme.
  3. Cut just under two-thirds of the pastry from the block, squash into a round, then roll out on a flour-dusted surface until large enough to line a deep 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin, leaving a little excess overhanging. Fill the pastry case with layers of the potato and apple mix, and all but 1 tbsp of the cheese. Dot with the rest of the butter, if using, and season generously. Brush the overhanging edge of pastry with egg. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and put a baking tray in the oven to heat up.
  4. Shape the remaining pastry into a round, then roll out until just large enough to cover the top of the pie. Press the edges together. Trim the pie by pressing your thumb against the rim of the tin all the way around. Brush with egg, then cut slits to allow steam to escape. Slide the pie onto the hot baking sheet and cook for 1 hr, scattering with the remaining. cheese with 10 mins to go, until the pastry and cheese are golden. Serve warm or eat cold with the pickled cabbage or beets on the side.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2013

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falesia's picture

Not sure what I did wrong but this was quite an effort to eat! The taste of the apples and lemon juice was far too strong and made it quite acid. The girls has one small slice and I had to eat the whole of the rest of it.

By the way, this is *not* what we would call butter pie, up here in north Lancashire. A butter pie has neither cheese not apples in it. This is a Yorkshire or Westmorland version of cheese and onion pie.

belindacaroline's picture
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I've made this pie three times now, and each time adpated it slightly. I found the amount of potato too much, and so now use 650g potato - half white potato and half sweet potato. This gives a nice colour mix and the sweetness of the sweet potato counteracts the sharp apples. I have increased the mature cheddar to 250g. I also add some garlic, black pepper, a pinch of salt and chives (and once used sage instead of chives) as seasoning was definitely lacking in the original recipe. The recipe is very popular with the family and I am pleased with the amendments.

helenrothwell's picture

I made this for the first time yesterday with bought pastry. It was really straightforward to prepare the filling and to arrange it into the case. With no need to blind-bake, the effort was minimal. The only thing that I needed to do differently was to cover with foil about 10 minutes from the end of the baking as the lid was browning a little too much. I also waited for a couple of hours before releasing from the springform tin. I'm glad I did as I worry if wouldn't have held upright when still warm. The flavour was delicious and the slices cut well. As a main meal with a salad or other vegetable side, I think you'd be hard-pressed to get 10 portions out of it (and it slices much more easily when you have a decent wedge). Highly recommended with picalilli and or/beetroot salad.