A traditional British potato, leek, onion & cheese pie. It is a classic vegetarian dish made famous by the Cranks vegetarian restaurants in the 1960s. This version however is lidded (the traditional version is open) & uses a crispy hot-water pastry case (because I like that).
This recipe makes enough to fit a 7" (18 cm) diameter cake thin. Serves 4 as a hearty meal alone or 8 as a main feature if used with other courses.
The usual pronunciation of 'homity' is like "HOMM-itt-ee" (IPA: "ˈhɒmɪtː").
The herbs, spices and salty ingredients in the filling are just suggestions and can be replaced with what you have to hand & like. It probably needs at least one herb and something salty though.
|Cheese (e.g. cheddar)||100 g|
|Black pepper seed (ground)||1 tsp|
|Mustard seed (ground)||1/2 tsp|
|Monosodium glutamate or vegetarian stock cube/powder||1 tsp|
|Dried sage powder||1 heaped tsp|
|Pastry||Plain flour||450 g|
|Plant based lard-substitute shortening (e.g. Trex)||100 g|
|Glaze||Plant based lard-substitute shortening (e.g. Trex)||1 tsp|
|Rosewater (or water)||1 tsp|
Replace thje cheese with a cheese substitute (or miss it out & replace it with something totally different as cheese substitutes are, at the time of writing, very poor in flavour anyway) & the milk with a milk substitute (e.g. soya milk).
Standard 7" (18 cm) diameter, 4" (10cm) high cake tin (preferably with removable sides); baking tray; saucepan for parboiling potatoes; mixing bowl for making the filling; rolling pin; rolling board; container for melting glaze in; brush for glaze (but could use a tissue).
Filling: 950 kcal.Pastry: 2,400 kcal (1,530 kcal from the flour). Total: 3,400 kcal.
As traditional in old British food, flour is the main source of energy followed by animal (but substitute in this case) fat, not the filling.
Homity pie is traditional but was popularised by Cranks vegetarian restaurants in the 1960s & later their cookbooks.
When I first came to make one for a significantly vegetarian event in 2018, I chose the pastry to be the hot water pastry of the real meat mince pie (rather ironic!) I had made based on the recipe from the National Trust website as of 2017/12/11. That was simply because I really liked that crunchy pastry. I also used the cooking times & basic pie structure from that recipe including the (not traditional for homity pie) lid as I liked that pastry so much. However I replaced the lard in that pastry recipe with butter as lard is not vegetarian (& reduced the added water slightly as butter contains more water than lard). The resulting pastry had some added butter flavour but was more greasy.
(That National Trust recipe has been since removed & is not even at Archive.org but there is a copy in the British Library's national collection as the National Trust is considered nationally important (National Trust's real mince pie recipe in the British Library's web archive, warning: not vegetarian by far!). Incidentally, this website was archived in the British Library's national collection too back in days when it only archived selected national interest sites!)
The filling I based on typical ingredients from various web sources in typical ratios plus what I had to hand that seemed fitting (hence the mustard seed, MSG & sage) with total amount experimentally chosen to fill the pie. As it had an untraditional lid, the cheese no longer had to be look good on top as traditional, so I mixed it in.
In 2020 I made a vegan version for a friend. Unfortunately vegan cheese at that time was not good but was the least poor substitute for the real cheese so that was what I used. Trex vegetarian shortening I found in local supermarket when looking for a butter substitute & it turned out to be a perfect replacement for lard, better than butter. Then typed up the first version of this on 2020/02/26, just 2 weeks before COVID lockdown in the UK.