The Crazy Kitchen: Wartime Woolton Pie with a Modern Twist

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Tuesday 5 May 2015

Wartime Woolton Pie with a Modern Twist

To mark the 70th anniversary of VE day (8th May) the Potato Council are bringing Potato Pete back to life through wartime recipes that have been given a modern makeover. Potato Pete was created to encourage Brits to 'Dig for Victory' and grow their own vegetables during the war when foods were rationed. One such wartime recipe that uses a plentiful supply of homegrown vegetables was the Woolton Pie; a filling & nutritious pie of root vegetables with a potato and wheatmeal crust.

 photo woolton_zpsgci0uw8d.jpg

Potatoes are the original superfood, with research showing children get more Vitamin C, B1, B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium from potatoes than from the 5 superfoods; beetroot, bananas, nuts, broccoli and avocado combined.

Average intakes of potassium, iodine, folate and vitamin B6 are more than 10% higher in adults who regularly consume more potatoes rather than alternative carbohydrates such as pasta or rice. The average intakes of potassium, folate, vitamin A and vitamin B6 are also more than 6% higher in children who consume potatoes regularly.*
  • *In 2011 Potato Council worked with nutritionists who analysed original data files from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS), a programme of surveys designed to assess the diet, nutrient intake and nutritional status of children and adults in the UK. Data was categorised according to whether adults and children ate more potatoes than alternative carbohydrates (rice/pasta) over the 4 days of the NDNS survey 

I decided to make a modern version of the Woolton pie by pimping the vegetable filling up a bit with garlic, white wine and cream, and topping with a flaky pastry crust made with butter, which would have been a luxury with wartime rationing. Of course, if you want to make this healthier you can add half fat creme fraiche instead of double cream, and reduced fat cream cheese.

The pie was delicious, and probably a million miles away from the somewhat bland pie of the 1940's. We ate it for lunch at the weekend, and it would make a great accompaniment to a Sunday joint.

Wartime Woolton Pie with a Modern Twist

Wartime Woolton Pie with a Modern Twist - serves 4-5

1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
25g butter
1 tbsp Marmite
tbsp fresh thyme
400g potatoes, peeled & diced (I used Vales Sovereign variety which are firm and smooth and hold together well in a pie)
250g swede, peeled & diced
250g carrots, peeled & diced
300g cauliflower
300ml white wine
150ml double cream (for a healthier dish substitute with half fat creme fraiche)
black pepper
1 egg, beaten

250g plain flour
pinch of salt
2 tsp fresh thyme
150g cream cheese
150g cold butter, diced
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a low heat
  • Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute
  • Add the butter, marmite & thyme and stir until the butter has melted
  • Add the potatoes, swede & carrots and fry for 2 minutes whilst stirring
  • Add the cauliflower and white wine
  • Stir everything together and place the lid on and simmer for approx 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender
  • Make the pastry by combining everything in a food mixer until it just comes together
  • Roll the pastry out to just larger than your pie dish
  • Remove vegetables from the heat & stir in the double cream and season with black pepper to taste
  • Add the vegetables to you pie dish and cover with the pastry (I don't bother trimming to size and instead just tuck the edges in)
  • Brush generously with beaten egg
  • Bake in a preheated 200C oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown

Wartime Woolton Pie with a Modern Twist Wartime Woolton Pie with a Modern Twist Wartime Woolton Pie with a Modern Twist Wartime Woolton Pie with a Modern Twist Wartime Woolton Pie with a Modern Twist

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This recipe has been commissioned by The Potato Council

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