I was thrilled to be invited to join in Yinzerella’s Pieathalon this year – pie recipes are shared, tested and blogged about in a cool international challenge. In the virtual names in the hat type thing, I was allocated the French Onion Pie.
The brief was to nominate a sweet or savoury recipe, with the word PIE in its name and published before 1985. I rifled through my books but didn’t really find anything that fitted the bill, so I popped over to my ma and pa’s and borrowed A Good Housekeeping Cookery Compendium. This was apparently given to my mother by my father on the occasion of their engagement in 1955. Bet that went down well… I chose a steak and mushroom pie, which looked very promising indeed. I can’t wait to hear how the cook who got my recipe fared!
My dish came from Better Homes and Gardens: Recipes for Entertaining. I had to turn to Google to find a recipe for French Fried Onions in the UK, as it’s not easy to get hold of the ready made ones in the UK. There are many recipes available and they are all pretty similar.
I considered following the book’s instructions for pastry, but having experimented with many ways of making pastry over the years, I have found my favourite – it tastes great and has never let me down. It’s from Richard Bertinet’s Pastry – it involves butter instead of shortening and an egg as well as water. It’s lovely – what can I say. I just hope I don’t get drummed out of future Pieathalons…
I followed the rest of the recipe – although US and UK measures are different and I never quite understand them, so there was a little guesswork on quantities. But the headline is: Homemade French Fried Onions are Delicious!!! Make more than you need, you will eat a lot of them during the creation of your pie, unless you have a will of actual iron. They’re easy too – slice your onions, soak them in milk for around five minutes, drain them and coat them in seasoned flour. Fry in batches (assuming you’ve followed my advice and made loads) until they are crispy and starting to brown. I used sunflower oil. Drain on kitchen paper. Mine wasn’t quite as orderly as the one in the book, but I like a rustic feel to my cooking.
Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers was coming over anyway for a planning session for our next supper club and we invited our chum Catherine too. The pie went down very well – I love an onion tart and this twist with the French fried onions was excellent. I served them with a tomato and red onion salad – lovely heritage tomatoes from Borough Market in London, so they just needed a little seasoning and some olive oil. We also had a beetroot and toasted walnut salad and a teeny tiny potato salad, as there were some Jersey Royals left over from the night before. And quite a lot of wine.
I do love a pie!
Check out the other pies on these blogs: