This would make a great centrepiece for a celebratory meal, perhaps alongside a hot ham, with spiced red cabbage. You could also have it served at room temperature with a mustardy winter salad for a fantastic supper or weekend lunch.
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes
For the pastry
- 200g plain flour + extra for dusting
- 100g rye flour (or wholemeal)
- A pinch of salt
- 175g butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
For the filling
- 2 large potatoes (I used Maris Pipers)
- 300ml double cream
- 75g butter
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 4-5 sprigs of thyme
- First make the pastry. Put the flours in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub the flour and butter together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Keep going until it’s a pretty even, sandy texture. Add half the beaten eggs and work gently through the dough, then add a little ice cold water. Be careful – you won’t need much to bring the dough together; it should form a slightly tacky dough. Shape it into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for half an hour.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Use a mandoline or a very sharp knife to slice the potatoes super finely. You want them as fine as possible so they don’t take ages to cook.
- Heat the cream, butter, garlic and nutmeg in a small saucepan with a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat until the butter is melted and the cream is almost coming to the boil. Then turn off the heat and add the potatoes to the pan, stirring until they are all coated in the cream. Leave to one side while you deal with the pastry.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface to a round of roughly 40cm diameter. Transfer it to a large baking sheet lined with parchment. Don’t worry about rough edges; it’s supposed to be rustic.
- Use tongs to lift the potatoes out of the cream and pile them in the centre of the pastry. Pour over a little extra cream, but you don’t want too much liquid in the pan, so hold some back if you have excess, reheat it later and serve it as extra sauce.
- Fold the borders of the pastry up and over the filling. They shouldn’t cover the filling completely, just the outer edges. Don’t worry about overlapping. Brush the pastry with the remaining beaten egg, tuck sprigs of thyme in the top and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the pastry and the tops of the potatoes are golden brown.