Homity Pie

Homity Pie is a traditional English dish popularised by Cranks vegetarian restaurant in the 60s. It’s a delicious and hearty open topped pie made with potatoes, onions, cheese, spinach and cream.

You could make lots of subs – leeks for onions, chard for spinach (or even broccoli or cauliflower), add herbs if you fancy or even wild garlic leaves for a spring seasonal twist. I like to make my pastry half wholemeal, half plain – but feel free to make all plain. You can also mix up the cheese – Stilton makes a mighty fine sub (though use less) or choose any hard cheese.

Homity Pie was my best seller on my Fressh food stall – but made in mini individual pies topped with Hereford Hop cheese. I often wonder how many thousand I hand crafted over the years!. A combination of the pandemic and new Growing Local and Southside project committments put an end to the stall, but I’m very much looking forward to catering again for future Growing Local events.

We made several big Homity Pies at last Saturday’s Big Spring Eat – using wild garlic foraged by Pat at a secret location just outside Hereford! 


Serves 8-10

For the Pastry:

125g plain flour

125g wholemeal flour

160g butter

1 free range egg, lightly beaten

1 pinch each of salt and pepper


900g floury potatoes

3 large onions

30g butter

1 tbsp olive oil

250g chard or spinach leaves

225g Cheddar cheese, grated – plus 125g for the topping

150ml double cream

salt and pepper


  1. Make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour, salt and pepper – until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Bind together with the egg and a tiny splash of water (add more water until the pastry comes together). Wrap and leave to cool in the fridge for around 30 minutes. 
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes into 1-2cm cubes. Cook in boiling salted water for 8 minutes until just tender. Drain.
  3. Whilst the potatoes are boiling, cut the onions in half and slice finely. Cook them in the butter and oil on a gentle heat until they are really soft and sweet, a minimum of 20 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile wash the chard or spinach leaves really well. Drain and pat dry. Finely slice any thick stems (of the chard if using) and finely shred the leaves. Add the stems to the onions for 3 minutes then stir through the leaves until wilted. 
  5. Mix together the potatoes with the onions and chard/spinach, cream, grated Cheddar and season generously with salt and pepper. 
  6. Heat your oven to 200c/180c fan. Line a high sided 20cm round loose-bottomed tin with the pastry. 
  7. Spoon the pie filling into the pastry. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese bubbling and browned.

Delicious served warm or cold (it’s much easier to slice when cooler) with a salad or veggies.