Winter warmer – homity pie

What springs to mind when you read Comfort food? Is it pasta, pizza, porridge or pies? Well for me, it’s generally carb-loaded, well seasoned and served in generous portions.

Now Autumn, with its shorter daylight hours and sub 10 degree temperatures, calls for some serious comfort food.

I buy a deliciously filling homity pie from a local vegetarian restaurant – Wholemeal Cafe – so thought it was about time I made my own.

Homity pie is a proper winter warmer, traditionally made with potato, onions, leeks and parsley encased in a shortcrust pastry and topped with cheese. Wholemeal Cafe also tends to add lashings of garlic – I guess to ward off those winter germs.

So, with a few tweaks to a recipe I found online, I created my own Sweet Potato Homity Pie.


Sweet potato homity pie


Not for the carb-fearful, this pie will keep hunger locked up for hours. The red onions add to the sweetness of the potato and the chilli gives it a warming kick (my garlic substitute for winter germs!). And the pizza-like cheese and tomato topping is the stretchy glue that holds it all together.

I really wanted to try it with vegan cheese, but have yet to find one that meets my cheese criteria. 1. must look like cheese, 2. must melt, 3. must be gooey when melted, 4. must taste like cheddar and not a funky oily combo designed to replace the real thing. Until then, lactose-free cheddar will have to do.

Any dish would be naked without some veg so we ate ours with sliced greens sauteed with onions and sweetcorn.

Greens, spinach, sweetcorn and onions

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own

  • 300g shortcrust pastry
  • 400g sweet potato
  • 400g white potato
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 birds eye chilli
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • Salt to taste

Let’s bake

  • Peel and dice the sweet potato
  • Scrub/wash white potatoes and dice. Leave the skin on
  • Boil the potatoes until tender (approx 15 mins)
  • Line a 24cm dish with shortcrust pastry. Prick the base and sides with a fork. Blind bake at 180 degree centigrade for 8 minutes.
  • Finely chop the onions and chilli, all purpose seasoning and fry until soft
  • Once the potatoes are tender, drain and leave in the pot
  • Add the onion/chilli to the pot with the potatoes and season with salt, pepper, parsley and half the cheese. Expect the potatoes to get fluffy!
  • Spoon potatoes into the dish, top with the remaining cheese and decorate with halved cherry tomatoes
  • Bake at 180 degrees C for 20 minutes.

Best enjoyed hot, but also delicious cold 🙂

What’s your favourite winter warmer?!

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