Sweeney Todd:The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has finally arrived to a cinema near me and I'm celebrating pie-style. Any Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration is an absolute must-see for me. Throw in Helena Bonham-Carter, Alan Rickman and a switch-blade wielding serial killer and you have the makings of celluloid perfection. And then there is pie. With the tag-line, Never Forgive. Never Forget, it seems that revenge is a dish that is wrapped in pastry, tastes somewhat like pork and is served with a generous flow of gravy.
I could not find a murderous barber at short notice so I filled my pies with the diced flesh of potatoes, a block of cheese grated into little pieces and onions skinned, chopped and sauteed to within an inch of their lives. I may not be able to dispose of any body parts but they certainly tasted good.
Bird's nest hair and corsets are voluntary while baking pies but I must insist you burst into song at least once.
The recipe comes from Tamasin Day-Lewis' Tarts with Tops on.
CHEESE AND ONION PIE
- 285g strong cheddar, coarsely grated
- 30g unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 110g potatoes, peeled, cooked and diced
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tbsp double cream
- a sprig of thyme or a bunch of flat-leaf parsley
- pinch of cayenne
- salt and pepper
- shortcrust pastry made from 340g flour and 170g butter.
- To make the pastry, blitz 340g flour and 170g fridge-cold butter diced into cubes, in a food-processor until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Add ice-cold water a tablespoon at a time through the funnel while the machine is running. When the dough forms into a ball stop the machine and remove the dough. Knead very briefly to make a smooth ball, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
- Preheat the oven to 220 C. Divide the pastry into two balls, keeping one a little larger than the other. Melt the butter in a pan and gently fry the onions until softened and translucent, then leave to cool. Mix the onions in a bowl with the grated cheese, cooked potatoes, eggs, cream, thyme or parsley and the seasoning.
- Roll out the larger ball of pastry and line a shallow, greased 9 inch tart tin. Tip the cheese and onion mixture into the pastry shell. Moisten the edges of the pastry and cover with the rolled out smaller piece of dough. Crimp the edges together carefully to avoid the filling spilling out. You can do this with your fingers or with a fork. Brush beaten egg over the top and bake for 30 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
Serves 6 bloodthirsty barbers.