Recipes from our chefs - sweet potato, spinach & goats' cheese pie

At all our UK country houses food plays a central part. Meals are varied and tasty, with a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Here our chefs take the opportunity to share some of their creations with delicious recipes from the HF kitchens for you to try at home.

Below, João from Derwent Bank in the Northern Lake District gives us his take on a vegetarian sweet potato, spinach and goats' cheese pie – it's a long recipe but it's well worth the hard work. Follow the recipe below and give his dish a go.

Sweet potato, spinach & goats' cheese pie

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Ingredients 

For the pastry

300grams plain flour sifted
75 grams butter at room temperature cut into chunks
75 grams margarine
Pinch salt
2-3 tablespoons of cold water

For the filling 

25 grams butter
25 grams plain flour
1 onion diced
1 clove garlic chopped
300ml hot milk
2 medium sweet potatoes diced and cooked
250 grams spinach washed and chopped
200 grams diced goats’ cheese

METHOD

First, make the pastry

1. Into a large bowl add the flour butter and margarine and rub in with your hands until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

2. Stir in a pinch of salt, then add the water and mix to a firm dough.

3. Knead the dough briefly and gently on a floured surface.

4. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hour. 

Then make the pie filling

1. Melt the butter in a pan and add the onions and the garlic, cook gently for 2 minutes, and add the flour.

2. Stir continuously until a paste forms and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.

3. Add the hot milk gradually (the milk has to be hot otherwise the sauce becomes lumpy) and continue stirring until you get a smooth sauce, cook gently for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens, season to taste.

4. Add the sweet potato, spinach and goats' cheese into a bowl and pour the sauce over, mix it well together and season to taste.

5. Roll out the pastry so its large enough to cover a pie dish big enough for 4 people.

6. Spray the dish with baking spray or wash with melted butter and line it with the pastry; trim the excess pastry. This excess pastry can be used to cover the top of the pie.

7. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the lined pie dish.

8. Roll the excess pastry big enough to cover the top of the pie.

9. Brush the edges of the pie with egg wash or cold water and place the rolled pastry on top.

10. Press the edges together with your fingers or a fork.

11. Brush the pie with egg wash and bake for 40 minutes at 180 C or until the pastry is golden. Enjoy!

Want to try João's Food in person?

Derwent Bank, Northern Lake District

Pull up a chair

Close to Keswick and situated slap bang on the shore of Derwentwater, with the glassy lake on one side and the razor-edged ridges and humpbacked fells of the Lake District on the other, beautiful Derwent Bank has been entrancing walkers since 1785. And after a fine days walking, refuel with superb local food from Joao and his team in the kitchen.
Take me there

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