My-oh-my this pie is so good! Sweet potatoes and soft leeks cooked in velvety cream and white wine sauce topped with cubes of salty halloumi is a combination out of this world. Over and above that, we made a delicious buttery cheddar pastry lattice top that turns it into a real show stopper! We think this Halloumi Pie with Leeks and Sweet Potatoes is the most delicious weekend dinner meal for the family when you have a little bit of extra time to spend in the kitchen!
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The Story of This Savoury Pie
We first tried a variation of this pie, when Seb’s sister and her fiancé cooked this for all of the family. They, in turn, got the recipe from his mother, who had found it on the plains of the internet. Our version is different from the one they cooked, but just in case, we apologise if you’re reading this, thinking: ‘hey, it’s my recipe!’
The original had parmesan pastry and hard goat’s cheese. We’ve swapped them for cheddar pastry and halloumi cheese. Not only cheddar pastry is easier to work with, but it tastes just as good and is cheaper to make. What is more, swapping hard goat’s cheese for halloumi is also a bit more budget-friendly, and much easier to find in the supermarkets (and the texture after cooking is very similar). So that’s how our Sweet Potato, Halloumi & Leek Pie was born!
Make the Cheddar Pastry
Making your own pastry requires a little extra effort, but it’s so worth it. To start, put plain flour and cubed butter in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until there’re no large lumps of butter left and the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Grate your cheddar finely. I use mature cheddar for maximum flavour but avoid very hard crumbly cheddar. I find that very hard cheese makes the pastry difficult to work with. Mix the cheese in with your flour mixture. Then add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of water. Using your hands, bring the mixture together with your hands, but try not to over-knead it. Once you have a ball of pastry, flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand. This will make it easier to roll out later. Wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Making Sweet Potato, Leek and Halloumi Filling
In the meantime, prepare your pie filling. Trim, wash and thickly slice your leeks. Peel and cube your potatoes into 1cm cubes.
Melt the butter in a large wide-based pan and add leeks and sweet potatoes. Mix well to cover the vegetables with butter. Fry on medium heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Then add the mixed herbs and crumble in a stock cube. Mix again.
Pour in dry white wine and 150ml of water and bring to a rapid boil. Carry on cooking until the liquid is reduced by half. Then pour in the cream. Stirring occasionally, keep on boiling until the sauce is of thick cream consistency. Spoon the mixture into a 1.5l pie dish, like this one here.
With pastry-topped pies, it is important to choose the right dish. It has to be just a bit bigger in volume than the amount of filling that you have, otherwise, the pastry will sink in when in the oven.
Drain the halloumi and cut it into 1cm cubes. Then scatter them all over the top of the pie and set them aside to cool while you roll out the pastry for the pie top. Don’t press the halloumi cubes into the filling. Instead, leave them on the surface for the pastry to rest on.
Take the pastry out of the fridge and place on a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a large circle that’s a bit larger than your pie dish. You can stop now and use the pastry to cover the pie dish and press (or crimp) the overhang of the pastry over the rim of the pie dish. Or you can go a step further and create a lattice top. If you choose this option, you will need to roll out your pastry into a slightly bigger circle to be able to cut enough strips.
How to Make a Lattice Pie Top?
- Cut your rolled out pastry into long strips (about 1.5cm wide).
- Cut a large non-stick baking parchment sheet. You have to work quickly and not let the pastry come to room temperature or it will be hard to work with. You may want to sprinkle the parchment paper with a bit of flour if you feel your pastry might stick. Place enough strips horizontally to make up the width of your pie dish, leaving very little space in between them.
- Fold every other one over in half (Photo 1). Place another long piece of strip perpendicular to the horizontal ones (Photo 2). Unfold the folded strips (Photo 3).
- Over the vertical strip, fold over the horizontal strips that haven’t been folded in step 3 (Photo 4). Lay down a second perpendicular strip of dough next to the first strip, with some space between the strips. Unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip (Photo 5).
- Repeat the process until you have a lattice big enough to cover the pie dish (Photos 6-16) with a bit extra to press over the rim and leave overhanging.
Top The Pie With Cheddar Pastry
Carefully pick up the sheet of baking parchment, placing one hand underneath and another one on top to hold the lattice in place. In one swift motion, slide the lattice off of the baking parchment onto the pie. Lightly press the overhang of the lattice over the rim, leaving some pastry overhanging. You can re-roll the excess pastry and use it to cut shapes to decorate your pie further.
Brush the pastry with some milk, and sprinkle with the reserved cheddar. I like to place the pie dish on a baking tray or a large piece of foil to catch any sauce if it overflows in the oven. Bake your Sweet Potato and Halloumi Pie at 190°C Fan for 30-35 minutes until your pie top has browned to your liking. Take this stunner straight to the table and enjoy!
There may be a couple of reasons. Firstly, make sure to chill the pastry before rolling it out and aim to keep it cool. Try freezing your stainless steel rolling pin before rolling the pastry – it really does wonders at keeping the pastry cool.
What is more, you may have used the pie dish that was simply too big. Ideally, you want the dish almost full of filling. The scattered halloumi cubes on top will provide support for pastry that will rest on top and won’t allow it to touch the cream, keeping the pie top relatively dry and preventing it from sinking.
Absolutely! Simply scatter some cheese on top for extra flavour.
Side Dishes for Halloumi Pie
This deliciously creamy savoury pie is filling and extremely decadent, so we would suggest keeping the side dishes on a lighter side. Why not try serving halloumi pie with:
- Fried Tenderstem Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon (Garlic Broccolini)
- Spring Greens with Lemon & Thyme
- Courgette Ribbon Salad (recipe coming soon)
Other Savoury Pie Recipes
We really hope you love this Sweet Potato, Halloumi & Leek Pie recipe! Seb and I have unanimously titled it our favourite pie of all times so far! If you fancy trying more of our homemade pies, have a look at our other delicious recipes:
Creamy Halloumi Pie with Leeks and Sweet Potatoes
For the Pastry:
- 175 g plain flour
- 75 g butter
- 60 g mature cheddar finely grated
- 1 egg yolk + 2 tbsp of water
- 2 tbsp milk for brushing
For the Pie Filling:
- 30 g butter
- 500 g leeks thickly sliced
- 400 g sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 200 g halloumi cubed
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 1 vegetable stock cube + 150ml of water
- 150 ml dry white wine
- 300 ml double cream
To Make the Pastry:
- In a large bowl, put flour and cubed butter and rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Mix in 40g of finely grated cheddar into the flour mixture (reserve the rest for later). Add egg yolk and 2 tbsp of water and briefly knead to bring the mixture together into a ball. Don't over-knead, or else your pastry will be tough.
- Flatten the ball of pastry and wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
For the Pie Filling:
- Whilst the pastry is chilling, prepare your pie filling. Melt the butter in a large wide-based non-stick pan. Then add leeks and sweet potatoes and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add mixed herbs and crumble in a stock cube. Mix well. Then pour in dry white wine and 150ml of water. Bring to the boil and cook on high heat until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Stir in the double cream and keep on cooking until the sauce has thickened. This will take about 5 minutes on high heat. The consistency of the sauce should be that of thick cream.
- Pour the mixture into a 1.5l pie dish. Then scatter the cubes of halloumi on top and set aside whilst you roll out the pastry.
Prepare the Pie Top:
- Preheat the oven to 190°C Fan.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge. On a floured surface, roll the pastry out into a large thin circle or square just larger than the oven dish. You can now make a lattice top following instructions in the text above. Alternatively, simply cover the pie with the rolled out pastry lightly pressing the overhang over the rim of the oven dish to seal. Leave some pastry overhanging and cut off the excess. You can use the pastry leftovers to cut shapes to decorate the pie
- Brush the top with milk and scatter the remaining cheddar on top.
- Place your pie dish on a baking tray or a large sheet of foil in case any sauce overflows. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.