James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie Recipe

James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 45 Mins Cook Time: 45 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 30 Mins

James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie is a comforting and classic dish, known for its simple yet satisfying combination of sharp, melted cheese and sweet, caramelized onions, all encased in a golden, flaky pastry. This recipe is a testament to the beloved flavors of traditional home cooking, offering a warm, hearty slice of nostalgia.

In this article, I will show you how to make this cheese and onion pie recipe step by step, with tips and tricks from James Martin himself.

Let’s get started!

What is James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie?

James Martin cheese and onion pie is a savory pie made with a shortcrust pastry crust, a creamy cheese and onion filling, and a cheesy topping. It is a traditional dish from the north of England, and it is easy to make at home with simple ingredients. James Martin is a famous British chef who has shared his version of this classic recipe on his website and TV shows.

This pie serves 4-6 people and takes about 90 minutes to prepare, making it perfect for a relaxed cooking day or a special meal.

Other Popular Recipes

Why You Love this Recipe

Here are the compelling reasons you’ll find this cheese and onion pie recipe irresistible:

  • Taste Sensation: The blend of creamy, savory cheese with sweet, tender onions encased in a light, buttery pastry offers a delightful taste. A golden cheese topping adds an irresistible touch of indulgence to the overall flavor.
  • Comfort in Every Bite: Ideal for chilly evenings, this pie is a comforting embrace in edible form. Its heartiness satisfies the soul, making it a perfect meal to enjoy with loved ones.
  • Simplicity at Its Best: This recipe is user-friendly, requiring minimal culinary skills. Whether you opt for store-bought pastry or decide to make your own, the straightforward steps ensure a hassle-free cooking experience. The filling preparation is just as easy, involving basic cooking techniques.

Ingredients Needed to Make James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie

James Martin’s cheese and onion pie recipe is easy to follow, and it only requires a few ingredients.

You will need:

  • 500 g of ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • 25 g of butter
  • 3 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp of plain flour
  • 300 ml of milk
  • 150 g of mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten, for glazing

Instructions to Make to Make James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie

Here are the steps to make this cheese and onion pie recipe:

Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Grease the Pie Dish

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.
  • Grease a 20 cm pie dish with some butter or cooking spray, and set it aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Pastry Crust

  • Roll out two-thirds of the ready-made shortcrust pastry on a lightly floured surface, until it is about 3 mm thick and large enough to cover the pie dish.
  • Carefully lift the pastry and place it over the pie dish, pressing it gently into the corners and sides.
  • Trim the excess pastry with a knife, and prick the base of the pastry with a fork, to prevent it from puffing up during baking.
  • Refrigerate the pastry-lined pie dish until needed, and keep the remaining pastry for later.

Step 3: Cook the Onions

  • Melt 25 g of butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat.
  • Add 3 large onions, peeled and sliced, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft and golden, but not browned.
  • Sprinkle 2 tbsp of plain flour over the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, to make a roux.

Step 4: Make the Cheese Sauce

  • Gradually whisk in 300 ml of milk, stirring constantly, until you have a smooth and thick sauce. You may need to adjust the heat to avoid burning or boiling the sauce.
  • Stir in 75 g of mature cheddar cheese, grated, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. You can also add some spices, such as nutmeg, mace, or pepper, if you like.
  • Remove the cheese sauce from the heat and let it cool slightly.

Step 5: Fill the Pie

  • Spoon the cheese and onion mixture over the pastry base and spread it evenly, leaving some space around the edges of the pastry.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 75 g of cheese on top of the filling, to make a cheesy topping.

Step 6: Cover the Pie

  • Roll out the remaining pastry on a lightly floured surface, until it is about 3 mm thick and large enough to cover the pie.
  • Carefully lift the pastry and place it over the filling, pressing the edges together with the bottom pastry, to seal the pie.
  • Trim the excess pastry with a knife, and cut a small hole in the center of the pastry lid, to let the steam escape during baking.
  • Brush the pastry with a beaten egg, to give it a nice golden and glossy finish.

Step 7: Bake the Pie

  • Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp, and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Let the pie rest for 10 minutes before serving, to allow the filling to set and the pastry to cool slightly.
  • Enjoy your cheese and onion pie with a salad, some chips, or your favorite veggies.

What Do I Serve With James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie?

Pair your cheese and onion pie with the following sides to create a well-rounded meal:

  • Salad: A light, crisp salad is the perfect accompaniment to offset the pie’s richness. Mix and match greens like lettuce, spinach, or arugula with colorful vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. Finish with a dressing of your choice, from a zesty vinaigrette to a rich creamy option.
  • Chips: For a classic British touch, serve your pie with a side of chips or fries. Slice potatoes and roast them until golden for a healthier take, or indulge with traditional fried chips. Add a side of ketchup, mayonnaise, or even a rich gravy to dip.
  • Vegetables: Enhance your meal with a selection of cooked or roasted vegetables. Choices like peas, carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower add nutrition and variety. Season with herbs, butter, salt, and pepper, or drizzle with a cheese sauce for extra flavor. Whether you opt for fresh or frozen, vegetables make a wholesome addition to this hearty pie.
Cheese and Onion Pie Recipe James Martin
James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie

Expert Tips to Make Perfect James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie

Here are James Martin’s pro tips to elevate your pie-making game, ensuring a delicious outcome every time.

  • Choice of Cheese: A cheese with excellent melting properties and a robust flavor is key. Mature cheddar is a classic choice, but don’t shy away from trying Lancashire, Wensleydale, or blue cheese for a different flavor profile.
  • Onion Cooking Technique: Cook onions slowly and gently until they are soft and golden, avoiding browning. This method enhances their sweetness, contributing to a more flavorful filling.
  • Pie Assembly: Be mindful not to overfill your pie. A good balance between pastry and filling ensures a crisp crust and prevents leakage. Seal the edges well and create a vent on top to allow steam to escape.
  • Baking Perfection: Brush the pastry with beaten egg for a golden sheen and consider a sprinkle of cheese for extra flavor and texture. Post-baking, let the pie rest for about 10 minutes to settle the filling for perfect slices.

Variations of James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie

Exploring variations of the classic cheese and onion pie allows for creativity in the kitchen, offering a delightful twist to the traditional recipe.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Bacon and Cheese Pie: Introduce a smoky dimension by adding bacon, ham, or pancetta. Whether cooked with the onions or separately, it provides a meaty contrast to the creamy filling.
  • Leek and Cheese Pie: For a milder, sweeter variation, incorporate sliced leeks. They add a subtle onion-like flavor while contributing a fresh, green element to the dish.
  • Mushroom and Cheese Pie: Adding mushrooms brings an earthy flavor that complements the cheese and onion. Different mushroom varieties can add distinct flavors and textures.
  • Mustard and Cheese Pie: A spoonful of mustard can significantly enhance the pie’s taste. It introduces a tangy element that cuts through the richness of the cheese and onion.
  • Potato and Cheese Pie: For a heartier version, include sliced or mashed potatoes. They absorb the flavors while adding substance to the dish.
  • Suet Crust Variation: Switching to a suet crust introduces a different texture to the pastry, making it lighter and fluffier, thus enriching the pie’s overall feel.

James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie Recipe

How do I store James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie Leftovers?

Proper storage of cheese and onion pie leftovers ensures that you can enjoy the dish for days to come with the same delicious taste and texture. Whether you choose to refrigerate or freeze the pie, the key is to keep it airtight and properly labeled.

  1. Refrigeration: After the pie cools completely, wrap it securely in cling film or foil, or place it in an airtight container. Label and date the container for easy identification. For added convenience, consider cutting the pie into individual portions before storing.
  2. Freezing: To extend the shelf life of your pie, wrap the cooled pie in cling film and foil and place it in a freezer-safe container. Ensure it’s well-wrapped to prevent freezer burn and label it with the date. Like refrigeration, consider portioning the pie for easy future reheating.

How do I reheat James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie Leftovers?

Reheating your cheese and onion pie correctly is crucial to enjoying its full flavor and texture. Whether you’re using an oven, microwave, or stovetop, each method has its benefits.

  • Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Unwrap the pie and place it on a baking sheet. Loosely cover it with foil to prevent burning and bake for 25-30 minutes or until it’s hot and the pastry is crisp. Consider adding a sprinkle of cheese on top for extra richness.
  • Microwave Method: For a quick reheating option, place the pie on a microwave-safe plate and loosely cover it with a damp paper towel to keep the moisture in. Heat for 2-3 minutes or until it’s hot throughout. Add a sprinkle of cheese on top before heating for a melty finish.
  • Stovetop Method: If you don’t have access to an oven or prefer not to use a microwave, cut the pie into slices and heat them in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Cover the pan with a lid to trap heat and moisture, flipping halfway through for even warming. Sprinkle some cheese on top for a crispy, cheesy crust.

Nutrition value per serving (based on 6 servings):

  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sodium: 500 mg
  • Calcium: 300 mg
  • Iron: 2 mg

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about cheese and onion pie, and their answers:

What is Cheese and Onion Pie?

Cheese and onion pie is a traditional dish from the north of England, especially Lancashire and Yorkshire. It consists of a pastry crust filled with cheese and onion, and sometimes potato, egg, or bacon. It is usually baked in the oven until the pastry is crisp and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Cheese and onion pie is a popular dish in pubs, cafes, and homes across the UK. It is often eaten as a main course, with a side of salad, chips, or mushy peas. It can also be eaten cold as a snack or a picnic food.

Can I make James Martin Cheese and Onion Pie ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare this pie ahead of time. Assemble the pie and refrigerate it before baking, or bake it completely and reheat it when you’re ready to serve. If refrigerated pre-baked, it’s best consumed within 24 hours. For longer storage, you might want to bake, cool, and then freeze the pie.

What is the difference between cheese and onion pie and cheese and onion quiche?

Cheese and onion pie and cheese and onion quiche are both savory dishes made with cheese and onion, but they have different crusts and fillings. Cheese and onion pie has a pastry crust and a cheese and onion sauce filling, while cheese and onion quiche have a pastry crust and a cheese and onion custard filling, made with eggs and cream.

How do you cut cheese and onion pie?

Cheese and onion pie can be cut into wedges, slices, or squares, depending on the shape and size of your pie dish. You can use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the pie, but make sure to let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting, to avoid the filling from spilling out.

Can I add meat to my cheese and onion pie?

Yes, you can customize your pie by adding meats such as bacon, ham, or pancetta. Cook the meat thoroughly before incorporating it into the cheese and onion mixture to add a smoky, savory depth to the dish.

Final Words

Cheese and onion pie is a delicious and comforting dish that you can make at home with simple ingredients and easy steps. It is a great way to enjoy the classic combination of cheese and onion and to impress your family and friends with your baking skills. You can also customize the pie to your liking, by adding different cheeses, meats, or veggies to the filling.

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make cheese and onion pie with James Martin’s recipe. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading, and happy cooking! 😊

Related Recipes to Try

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *