Cauliflower cheese pie

Photo: Simon Lambert
Photo: Simon Lambert
This pie is another one of my ‘‘what-to-eat?’’ meals. Cauliflower cheese is always a favourite, but it also makes a wonderful comforting pie. It has a simple shortcrust pastry, which really does make all the difference to the end result.

Cauliflower cheese pie

Serves 8

Ingredients

Pastry
225g flour, extra for dusting
100g butter, cold and diced
pinch salt
iced water

Filling
1 medium cauliflower
75g butter
75g flour
1 litre milk
1 tsp mustard
120g tasty cheddar, grated
20g Parmesan cheese
salt and cracked white pepper
1 egg, for glazing

Method
Begin by making the pastry. Put the flour in a large bowl, add the diced butter and salt and rub the butter through the flour with your fingertips until it forms a coarse breadcrumb texture.

Add the iced cold water tablespoon by tablespoon, mixing the dough between each addition until the dough comes together in a ball.

Turn out on to your bench and briefly bring it all together, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the filling

Melt the butter in a large heavy-based pot. Add the flour and mix well. Cook out for a few minutes over a moderate heat. Gradually stir in the milk so you get a thick, lump-free glossy sauce. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer.

Cut up the cauliflower, including the outside leaves and stalk, into medium-sized pieces. Add to the sauce, along with the mustard and lightly season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook gently, stirring occasionally until the cauliflower is tender.

Add the tasty and Parmesan cheese and stir to melt through.

Pour into a deep-sided oven dish and allow to cool.

Heat the oven to 200degC while you roll the dough.

Lightly dust your workbench with a little flour and roll the pastry to fit your oven dish.

Beat the egg and lightly brush the inside rim of your dish. Lay over the pastry and press it firmly on to the egg mixture. Trim off any excess pastry. Glaze with remaining egg, and pierce a couple of holes into the lid of the pastry.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp.

Enjoy.

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