Ham and cheese picnic pie recipe

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This makes a nice firm pie, perfect for carting about, and is delicious warm or cold. It is based on a flan made by the lovely Anna, my friend Nick Lee’s mum, in the Swiss Alps. We ate it on New Year’s Day.

  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a knob of butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 14 oz (400 g) shortcrust pastry, made with 180 g (6½oz) plain flour and 100 g (3½oz) butter
  • 9 oz (250 g) piece of ham in a thick slice
  • 3 eggs and 1 extra egg yolk
  • 1¾ fl oz (50 ml) double cream
  • 10 oz (300 g) Emmental cheese, grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7). In a large pan heat the oil and butter. Add the onion and gently fry it for 5 minutes. Add the leeks and fry them for 10 minutes or until they are soft.
  2. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a floured board, to a thickness of about 3 mm / ⅛in. Grease a 27 cm (11 in) flan tin and line it with the pastry. Prick the base with a fork about 15 times, and then cover it with foil. Place it in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and then bake for a further 5 minutes until golden. Remove the pie case from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. Chop the ham into 1 cm (½ in) cubes and set aside. Beat the eggs and cream together, and mix in the cheese, leeks and onion, and ham. Season the mixture with salt and plenty of pepper. Pour it into the baked pastry case.
  4. Roll out the rest of the pastry into a disc big enough to cover the pie. Lay the disc over the pie dish and trim to fit, decorating the top with any excess pastry. Cut a small hole in the top to let steam escape. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and cover with foil. Bake for a further 10 minutes. Allow the pie to cool slightly before turning it onto a plate. To do this, cover the top of the pie with a plate, flip it over, lift off the flan tin and then flip it carefully back onto another plate.

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