The Delicious Magazine website has a neat looking recipe for a Limoges style potato pie. The basis of it is simple enough – a flat, crimped, two sheet pastry affair of layered potatoes with herbs and shallots. But what got my attention was the liquid filling. A kind of savoury herb custard is poured into the pie midway through cooking. Egg yolks, beaten into warmed cream, go in through a hole in the top crust.
I assume this sets partially through the cooking time but remains a little most, adding a light gravy to a pie that could otherwise be a little dry. A quick Google hasn’t yielded much insight into this particular technique, but the pie sounded splendid, and I thought I’d give it a go.
Of course, I couldn’t help but tinker. My partner suggested “something with potatoes and leeks” for dinner, I’m mildly obsessed with chorizo, and I straight-up forgot the liquid filling was meant to go in part way through. So this is not the Delicious Magazine Limoges-style potato pie. It’s a kind of confused spicy homage.
I’ll re-do the Limoges pie properly in the week.
- Puff pastry*
- Potatoes (4 or 5 medium)
- Leeks (about 3)
- Flat leaf parsley
- Cream (about 200 ml, in this case lacto-free)
- 3 eggs
*or you could make dairy-free/lactose-free rich shortcrust. The boyfriend isn’t sufficiently lactose-intolerant that puff pastry is out of the question, but it’s easily substituted here.
Finely slice the potatoes – around the thickness of a £1 coin, perhaps a little thicker. Simmer them in salted water for a couple of minutes, until cooked but firm. Then “refresh with cold water” – which basically means plunge them into some to stop them cooking further. Drain, and lay them out to dry a little on a tea towel. This is kind of important, as you don’t want the filling to be too sloppy and watery.
Slice the leeks, chorizo, and garlic. Chop the herbs. Slowly fry off the leeks until largely softened and add the chorizo and garlic towards the end to sweat a little. Don’t massively cook the chorizo – just let it start to release some oil and change texture slightly.
Roll out the pastry into two sheets: one to line a pie dish, one for the lid. Line the pie dish.
Separate three eggs. Beat the whites – we’ll use these to brush the pastry. Reserve the yolks, we’ll use them in a moment.
Layer the pie with slices of potato, then the leek and chorizo mixture, and so on. Sprinkle in plenty of the chopped parsley as you go. Warm the cream a little, but not to the boil. Let it cool, and gently beat in the egg yolks. Be careful that the eggs don’t set and curdle the mixture. This a lot like a custard, or the gravy of a waterzooi.
Pour the mixture into the pie.
Use the egg white to brush the edges of lid and pie, then apply one to the other and seal. Brush the whole thing with egg white, and stick it in the oven. It probably wants to be around 200c for 20-30 minutes.
It turns out a lovely golden brown, and retains enough moisture not to be overly stodgy. Although I suspect if I’d remembered to follow the recipe to the letter, it would have had a rich tasty sauce, rather than a (rich, tasty) light moistness. Some of the egg and cream mix had set in places, over the longer cooking time.
It’s rich. The potato and leek flavour is what you’d expect, with the leeks helping to keep it all moist, and a light note of spice and deep savoury from the chorizo works its way through the whole thing.
I’ll definitely be doing this again, and trying it with the mid-point sauce addition.
Slices of streaky bacon would work just as well as the chorizo, as might shreds of slow-cooked pork, re-fried with the leeks. Or you could keep it veggie by just knocking out the meat, or replacing it with wilted spinach. Thinking about it, fennel or chard stems might have a place here too.
We ate this with wilted spinach tossed through with pesto and what remained of the pot of cream.