Lentil, Cheese, and Onion Puff Pie

March 18, 2020 Updated: March 18, 2020

This pie is an appreciation of the cheese and onion pasties of my Devonshire childhood holidays, but this one has the addition of nutty lentils, sweet squash, and sneaks in a bit of tangy sauerkraut. Eat while it’s hot, and the cheese is oozing.

Serves 6

  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large onions, finely sliced
  • 1 cup dry hard cider
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can beluga lentils, drained and rinsed (or you can use cooked lentils in a pouch)
  • 9 ounces aged Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 generous cup sauerkraut
  • Ready-rolled puff pastry sheet, about 11 1/2 ounces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. You’ll need a ceramic or metal dish roughly 8 x 12 inches (or a 9–10-inch circular dish).

Toss the squash with the oil, pepper flakes, and nigella seeds, tip onto a baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes or until golden and soft, but still holding its shape. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the onions and a pinch of salt, then fry over low heat for 20 minutes, until soft and tinged golden.

Add the cider, bring to a boil, then rapidly simmer for 2 minutes. Next, add the flour, and stir to combine, then simmer for another 2 minutes. Pour in the stock, and boil for a few minutes until thickened. Turn off the heat, and add the lentils, cheese, squash mixture, and sauerkraut, then season.

Add the filling to your dish, and lay the pastry sheet over the top. Press onto the dish edge, trim away any excess, then poke a couple of holes in the pastry lid with a knife, and brush with the beaten egg. Place on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes, until well-puffed and bubbling.

Eat (almost) immediately, while the filling is still fondue-like.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “Take One Can: 80 Delicious Meals From the Pantry” by Lola Milne. Published by Kyle Books.