This should probably should be called a ‘Vitalite’ Pie really if we’re being totally descriptive. But margarine pie just doesn’t have to same ring to it, especially if you’ve spent the second half of your life living in and around central lancashire. The butter pie is an odd phenomenon. It seems to be found only in Preston and its districts. Venture further than say, Chorley and it is nowhere to be found and people stare at you with their mouths open repeating ‘butter pie?? A pie full of butter?’ and making disgusted faces.
It is not merely a pastry case filled with a golden block of churned bovine mammary fluid but potatoes lovingly par-boiled and seasoned then layered with softened onion and flecks of butter (or vitalite if you’re vegan) in the most versatile food carrier of the north west of England, the pie.
Traditionally eaten on Friday due to the history of Catholicism in the area when no meat was supposed to be taken it remains the staple of any good chippy tea and ever since i became vegan i have craved one. So i made it. And it was brilliant!
The only recipe i could find is repeated on the internet many times over. Its simple and has the ingredients as described above plus what is needed for the pastry. Which i bought. If making pastry is far too time consuming for Jamie Oliver then i’m not gonna bother when Jus-roll is waving at me from the refridgerated cabinet in the supermarket although I have included the recipe for the pastry if you feel the urge to be authentic.
FOR THE PASTRY
8 ounces Plain Flour
2 ounces vegan margarine (i use Vitalite)
2 ounces shortening (Trex is vegan)
1 pinch of salt
3 large potatoes
1 large onion
2 ounces margarine cut into thin flakes
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and stir in the margarine and Trex, using your fingertips, rub in the marg until it resembles fine crumbs, then drizzle in just enough cold water to make the pastry form a ball, leave in the fridge to rest for ½ an hour.
Meanwhile, peel the 3 large potatoes and 1 onion, cut the potato into thick slices and the onion in to half rings, next parboil the potatoes until they are just soft but still holding their shape. Sweat the onions off in a little marg until soft.
Drain the potatoes and layer into a pie dish the potatoes, onions, and marg flakes, into which you have rolled out a bottom layer of pastry, season with salt and pepper and top off with the top layer of pastry.
Bake at 180 degrees for approx ½ hour until golden, serve immediately with your preferred condiment.
Serve and Enjoy!