Creamy Mushroom & Leek Pie with ‘ruff puff’ pastry


Creamy Mushroom & Leek Pie

For the ‘ruff puff’ pastry:
• 250g strong plain flour
• 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 250g frozen butter
• Roughly 150ml cold water

For the creamy mustard sauce:
• 40g butter
• 40g plain flour
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 pint of milk or ½ pint of milk and ½ pint stock
• 2 tablespoons white wine
• Freshly ground pepper
• 100g strong cheddar (I used vintage Gouda which was divine!)

For the filling:
• 3 banana shallots – roughly chopped
• 1 large leek – chopped
• 350g mixed mushrooms – I’m using a mix of local woodland mushrooms and baby portobello
• 1 sprig of rosemary
• 1 sprig of thyme
• Fresh chives
• Salt and pepper
• Olive oil and butter

Words by:
Dominic Franks
Featured in:
October 2023

Dominic Franks shares one of his favourite seasonal recipes for a comforting autumnal savoury vegetable pie.

It’s quite possible that October is my favourite month. The summer (if you can call that a summer) is finally over and the promise of autumn leaves, long wintery walks and snuggling by a warm fire is heavy in the air.

Of course this also means fabulously warming comfort food – and the humble pie is the king of comfort food. This Creamy Mushroom & Leek Pie is a celebration of seasonal food, packed with woodland mushrooms and leeks and rich and luscious cheesy cream sauce.

I’m also advocating making your own puff pastry. I know that can seem a little daunting but this ‘ruff puff’ is so simple with very little faff and ultimately extremely delicious.

• Start with the pastry… sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Using a large grater, grate the butter into the bowl and rub it loosely into the flour. You need to see bits of butter.

• Make a well in the bowl and pour in about two-thirds of the cold water, mixing until you have a firm rough dough, adding extra water if needed. Flatten the dough out onto some cling-film and leave to rest for 20 minutes in the fridge.

• Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently and form into a smooth rectangle. Roll the dough in one direction only, until three times the width (about 20 x 50cm). It should look marbled with butter.

• Fold the top third down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that. Give the dough a quarter turn (to the left or right) and roll out again to three times the length. Fold as before, cover with cling-film and chill for another 20 mins before repeating (I place mine in the freezer between each rolling session).

It’s now ready to use and can be kept in the fridge for three days, or the freezer for up to a month.

• Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and butter a 20cm round pie dish.

• To make the pie filling, gently heat some olive oil and a little butter in a large pan, sauté the onions for about three minutes until they begin to soften, then pop in the leeks and sauté gently for roughly 5 mins until they soften. Add the mushrooms and fresh herbs, stir and pop the lid on for six minutes. The mushrooms should release all their water and soften quickly, then remove the lid, turn up the heat a little, add some salt and plenty of black pepper and sauté until the mushrooms take on the lovely golden colour and all the liquid has evaporated. Set aside until you’ve made the mustard sauce.

• Make the sauce by melting the butter gently in a small pan. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the flour to a smooth but thick paste, then add a dash of the milk/stock and stir into a paste.

• Place the pan back on a gentle heat and slowly add a little milk at a time, stirring well between additions – if it looks like it may become lumpy, take the pan off the heat and stir until smooth. Continue this way until all the milk is gone and you have a nicely thick sauce.

• Stir the mustard into the sauce along with the wine – let it bubble away very gently on the heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the cheese.

• Set the sauce aside for a few moments, then pour it over the vegetables and mix it all together – set aside.

• Take your pastry out of the fridge and divide it into two even pieces. Dust your surface with flour and roll out one piece for the base of the pie and lay it into the pie dish – I like my pie crust nice and thick – trim the edges and pour in the vegetable and sauce filling, then roll out the second piece of pastry and cut it into rough squares. Lay the squares randomly onto the top of the pie, overlapping in places until the whole pie top is covered.

• Brush with a little beaten egg and bake for 30 mins or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
Eat and of course, enjoy!

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