Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Potato Leek Pie

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We have potato leek soup all the time. I've made numerous versions of it by adding different vegetables. It's time to change it up. So when I read a cheese potato slab pie recipe recently, I thought, why not make a potato leek pie?

This recipe is adapted from the original cheese potato slab pie recipe that you can find here. I made fairly significant changes so my pie is different (and vegetarian). For the pie crust, you'll need:
  • 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of cold butter
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of cold vegetable shortening
  • up to 4 tablespoons of ice water
  • heavy cream for brushing
Add flour, sugar and salt to a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add butter. Pulse until the butter becomes granulated. Add shortening. Pulse until mixture has wet sand consistency. While pulsing, add ice water gradually. Add just enough so the dough barely comes together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour, or better yet, overnight.

I chose to use a combination of butter and shortening for the crumbly texture that shortening provides and the butter taste. If you like your dough more flaky, you can replace some or all of the shortening for butter.

After chilling, remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide dough into two. Roll out one piece to a 12-inch square. Press the dough into an 8 x 8 baking dish. Roll out the other piece and set aside.

For the filling, you'll need:
  • 1 pound of baby Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thin (1/8 inch for me)
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 3 shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 cup of Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt to taste
Saute shallots in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until slightly browned on the edges. Add leeks. Stir and cook for another 2 to 5 minutes, or until the leeks are softened. Season with salt. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, sprinkle Gruyere cheese onto the bottom of the baking dish lined with dough. Add leek and shallots mixture. Spread the mixture out evenly.

Saute potato slices in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil for 5 minutes. Season with salt. The potatoes are not fully cooked at this point. Add the potatoes into the baking dish. Spread it evenly.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Cover the pie with the remaining dough. Press the two pieces of dough together and pinch the edges. Make 4 slits in the center to allow steam to escape. Bake pie in oven for 30 minutes. Remove and brush with heavy cream. Reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes. I served mine with some Romaine lettuce in red wine vinegar dressing.

The pie has that classic potato leek flavor, which I love. The flaky crust and the creamy potatoes really make this a winning dish. It is a bit time consuming to prepare, but if you mix your dough a day in advance, the pie can be put together fairly quickly. Overall, a classic delicious and hearty dish for a cold rainy day.

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