This is the final recipe from the Cévennes region following on from
Spatchcocked Guinea Fowl with Rosemary and Pancetta
Pork , Kale & Chestnut Stew
These recipes were provided by the author Rosy Thornton to complement her new fictional work Tapestry of Love. The book is set in a mountainous French national park where agriculture remains and tourism vie as the two permitted industries.
Biannually shepherds of sheep and goats engage in the ancient process of transhumance, the seasonal movement of livestock from higher pastures in summer and low pastures in winter .
To sustain them on process which can take several days the traditional shepherd food is the local equivalent of the tin miners Cornish Pasty – the tourte cévenole, a pastry case filled with poatoes, onions, herbs and sour cream.
I used leeks rather than onions since we have a surfeit at present. It was a lovely pie , like potato dauphinoise in a pastry case. I guess you could add bacon or anchovies but it was really lovely as a vegetarian dish .
The pie is best served cold ( it certainly slices more easily) and according to Rosy better for being kept a day or so before eating so it is in my boyfriends packed lunch .
A wonderful start to an autumn of pie making and a great way to close my weekend of eating from the Cévennes.
For more information on Tapestry of Love and Rosy Thornton , you can visit her website http://rosythornton.com/
Tourte Cévenole ( Potato Leek and Herb Pie)
1 packet puff pastry
2 large leeks
4 cloves garlic peel and finely chop
200g fromage frais
½ pint full fat milk
a good handful of fresh thyme leaves stripped from stems
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Line a deep pie or cake pan (at least 2½ inches deep) with half of the puff pastry.
- Peel and slice very finely the potatoes and leeks.
- Mix the thyme , garlic, salt pepper together
- Place layer of potatoes in the pastry case , spring over the thyme garlic salt and pepper
- Add a layer of leeks Rinse the thyme and strip the leaves from the stems. Place a layer of leeks , dot the surface with soft cheese atoes in the bottom of the pastry case, and season with salt and pepper.
- Repeate the process with layers of potatoe and leeks
- Pour over the milk and cover with the remainder of the pastry squeezing the edges together
- Brush with milk Then repeat the process, starting with another layer of potatoes, and layer the filling up until the pastry case is full, ending with a layer of potatoes. Pour over the milk.
- Bake at 180°C for 1-1½ hours, until the potatoes feel soft through when pierced with a knife.