This vegan cheese, potato, and veggie open pie is inspired by the traditional British 1940s Homity Pie, also known as a Devon Pie.
Each bite is packed with tasty potatoes, onions, and veggies encrusted with a wholesome half and half pastry crust, and finished with sliced tomatoes and a sprinkle of shredded vegan cheese.
This rustic budget-friendly homely pie is the perfect mid-week family dinner and can be prepared in advance for a quick and easy meal.
Chilled slices of this delicious pie makes for the perfect vegan picnic or pack lunch pie, and is a tasty Quiche or flan alternative.
Traditional homity pies or Devon pies do not have a sliced tomato topping but the juicy tomatoes do add extra wholesome deliciousness.
What is a homity pie?
A homity pie is an open pie, as it only has a bottom crust and no top crust, so could technically be called a British savoury tart or flan. The filling mainly consists of simple and humble potatoes, leeks, and cheese.
A homity pie is a meal that is said to be invented by the British land girls in the 1940s during the second world war, and the pie was a rustic, frugal meal that made good use of wholesome veggies and ingredients that were rationed.
As rationing and food shortages were in full flow during the war years, recipes had to be adapted to what was available, which saw many vegetarian and meat-free meals flourish.
The land girls were woman that were part of the Woman's Land Army who took up jobs that were left unoccupied due to the men fighting in the war. Land girls worked on farms tending to crops, harvesting crops, maintaining the land, and doing all the jobs that the men used to do including mechanics, engineering, making bombs and weapons, and driving fire engines and ambulances.
Homity pies are also known as Devon pies, which makes sense as a great proportion of land girls worked in Devonshire farms. Devonshire farms are credited with providing a lot of the food that fed Britain during the lean war years.
As the pie was a make-shift rustic and humble pie filled with easy to access ingredients it was named a homity pie. Although, there is not much information available about the exact definition of homity but many believe it translates to mean homely.
And the British definition of homely according to The Oxford Dictionary means ''a place that is simple but cozy and comfortable'' or in relation to homely food ''simple and good'' while the American definition is ''a person unattractive in appearance''.
The homity pie is certainly cozy and comfortable but may look unattractive to some due to its rustic appearance!
However, its simple pleasant flavours can be jazzed up with your favourite seasonings and other tasty additions, if preferred.
This rustic vegan homity pie is prepared with a half-an-half [plain and wholemeal] pastry crust which is so irresistibly crisp, buttery, and nutty. Vegan Homity pie is a tasty alternative to vegetarian Quiches or savoury flans.
Vegan homity pie
A traditional homity pie is prepared with potatoes, leeks, cheese, pastry and sometimes including onions, However, seeing as the cost of living crisis is in full bloom, I wanted to use simple easy to access ingredients so replaced the leeks for onions.
Leeks are much more expensive on the Scottish island where my family live, with onions being rather much cheaper so it made sense to replace leeks with onions.
Also, some homity pie recipes include apples, but my kids tend not to like fruit in their savoury meals so I have went with frozen mixed veggies which are still relatively inexpensive.
To add extra tastiness and moisture, I added a few sliced salad tomatoes to the top of the homity pie before the vegan cheese is sprinkled over, and this was a good idea as the tomatoes did add to the overall deliciousness.
No soggy bottoms on this vegan homity pie! Despite no need to blind-bake the pastry case. Time is saved as the pie is assembled and baked together with no pre-baking of the pastry crust required.
How to prepare vegan British homity pie
This veggie pie is inspired by the 1940s homity pie and has been adapted for modern times whilst keeping the pies authenticity as far as possible. The half-an-half crust is prepared with plain flour and wholemeal flour which adds a delicious nutty flavour, and a crisp buttery bite.
This humble and simple homity pie is versatile so can be flavoured with any additional flavours you wish to throw at it. Chuck in fresh herbs if available, your favourite seasonings such as mustard, paprika, nutmeg, garlic and lemon seasoning mixes, white wine vinegar, anything you like really.
But don't forget plenty of salt and pepper as this does bring out the veggies natural flavours.
First, cook the potatoes and frozen veggies until soft. Drain and set aside until required or store within the refrigerator if not using for a few hours.
Prepare the pastry by adding the plain and wholemeal flours, baking powder and salt to a mixing bowl.
Drop the vegan margarine into the bowl in chunks.
Rub the margarine into the flour mixture using your finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the water and use a cutlery knife to stir the water through until it begins to clump together.
Press the mixture together into a pastry dough ball.
Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the filling.
Cook the onions and garlic.
Stir through the flour and fresh or dried thyme.
Add the plant milk.
Next stir through the shredded vegan cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Scoop the creamy sauce into a bowl along with the cooked potatoes and veggies.
Next prepare the pie crust by rolling out the pastry into a piece that will fit your pie or flan dish.
Place the pastry over the pie dish.
Trim the pastry edges.
Scoop the filling into the pie dish.
Cover the filling with sliced tomatoes.
Sprinkle the grated vegan cheese over the tomatoes.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden, and the topping is melted and golden.
We enjoyed our homity pie with a side of baked beans.
A nice crisp green salad would have been nice but as our heating is turned off due to high fuel costs, we were not feeling like a salad at that point in time!
Next time we will have the pie with steamed greens as well as the baked beans. For an easy home-made baked beans in tomato sauce recipe do check out our family favourite.
Got some leftover pastry to use up?
Depending on the size of your pie or flan dish you may have some leftover pastry which can be frozen for up to 6 months well wrapped.
Or store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and prepare some tasty home-made pastry breadsticks to go along with a delicious soup or stew. Or dunk the breadsticks into your favourite dip; hummus or salsa are especially nice.
Alternatively for a sweet treat prepare a few wholesome traditional British jam tarts.
To prepare pastry breadsticks:
Roll out the pastry to about ¼ inch thick and about ¾ inch wide and about 6-10 inch in length.
Twist the pastry around into a spiral shape.
Place on a baking tray and sprinkle your choice of seasonings over. I went for salt, pepper, and paprika.
Brush plant milk over the pastry sticks.
Bake at 180 Fan / 200C / 400 Fahrenheit / Gas 6 for about 20 minutes. Alternatively bake using an air fryer.
Store somewhere cool and dry, wrapped in kitchen foil for 1-3 days. Leftover breadsticks can be crisped up, if necessary, within a hot oven or use an air-fryer.
Storage and reheating
Leftover homity pie can be stored within the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or frozen for 3-4 months. Leftover unbaked pastry dough can be stored within the refrigerator for up to 3 days or store in the freezer for up to 6 months, well wrapped.
To reheat homity pie, place on a baking sheet and cover with kitchen foil to avoid browning too much, and reheat in a warm oven until piping hot. Individual slices of homity pie can also be reheated on a baking sheet.
Or microwave for a few minutes until piping hot throughout.
Although, this homity pie is even tastier served chilled for a quick lunch, or for a pack-up/packed lunch or enjoy along with a picnic.
If preferred nutritional yeast flakes makes a wonderful cheese replacement as it just adds so much intense cheesy flavours to dishes. Add 2-3 tablespoons to the pie filling and an extra sprinkling over the top of the tomatoes.
If liked better, replace the wholemeal flour with the same amount of plain flour for an ordinary plain pastry crust.
Use any veggies you wish for this homity pie, including just adding a large sliced leek instead of the veggies. Although do cook the leek along with the onion.
Leftover veggies are perfect for a homity pie, so do make sure to keep any leftovers, freezing them if your not making a pie within the next few days.
To save time and cooking fuel, prepare extra veggies that you are using for a different meal so that you have leftovers ready for the pie.
Yes. Leftover potatoes are ideal for a homity pie. The potatoes can be either mashed, cubed, chunky, etc. It doesn't matter as they will be tasty regardless.
Any variety of potatoes are fine for a homity pie.
As this pie is a humble, simple pie the flavours may need intensifying for some people and the pie can be tailored for any flavours that you prefer.
A few ideas:
* add a teaspoon or two of white wine vinegar or your favourite vinegar to the pie filling after it has cooked and before it is added to the pastry crust.
* a few teaspoons of lemon juice can also provide that tasty acidic hit
* stir a teaspoon of mustard powder through the filling
* a few teaspoons of white miso paste adds extra savoury umami flavours to the filling
* use any fresh or dried herbs you have available, fine sliced sage, thyme, and rosemary leaves are especially nice
* sprinkle a few pinches of nutmeg, paprika, red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper over the finished pie, or any spices you especially like
* any seasoning blend you prefer can be used to stir through the filling such as a lemon-pepper or lemon-garlic mix
* add a few teaspoons of garlic or/and onion powder to the creamy onion mix to intensify the onion and garlic flavours
* for a curry flavour stir through a few teaspoons of curry powder through the filling
* add a few tablespoons of chutney such as a tomato or onion one, through the filling or spread it over the top of the filling before the tomato slices are added. If using curry powder a mango chutney is a nice flavour addition that compliments the curry flavours.
* a layer of hummus/hummus or salsa, spread over the filling is a nice addition adding a flavour boost
* stir a few handfuls of spinach leaves through the filling for a wholesome green veggie addition
* a sprinkle of sliced chives or spring/green onions added over the filled pie, before the tomatoes and cheese topping, adds extra yumminess
Homity pie is tasty on its own but for a more substantial meal here's a few suggestions:
* crisp green salad
* steamed green veggies
* a few vegan sausages
* sweet potato chips/wedges/fries
* traditional easy Waldorf salad
* baked beans in a tomato sauce
* Boston baked beans
* traditional British mushy peas
A dollop of tomato ketchup, brown sauce, chutney, vegan mayonnaise or creme fraiche are also tasty accompaniments, as are pickles such as onions, beetroot or cabbage.
Or serve along with a budget-friendly tasty soup:
* easy tomato soup
* carrot and cumin soup
* curried parsnip soup
* old-fashioned cream of swede [rutabaga] soup
Once chilled this vegan homity pie is much easier to slice into smaller pieces that are perfect for quick lunches, picnics and pack-lunches. The pie slices are hardy enough to be picked up and eaten by hand.
Serve a slice of pie on its own or with salads, pickles, pickled beetroot or onions, chutneys, coleslaws, hummus, guacamole, salsa, a dollop of vegan mayonnaise or creme fraiche. So tasty.
Vegan British Homity Pie [1940s WW2 era inspired recipe]
- saucepans [to precook potatoes and veggies if required/can use leftovers]
- Mixing bowls
- Rolling pin
- cutlery knife [to mix pastry and trim pastry edges]
- 8 inch pie or flan dish [about 1-2 inch deep] [use an enamel pie dish if available, can be an inch or so smaller or larger]
- 150 grams plain flour [or all-purpose flour]
- 150 grams wholemeal flour [or whole-wheat flour]
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 140 grams vegan margarine [such as Stork baking spread] [use a little extra to grease the pie dish]
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil [or vegan butter or any vegetable oil, or replace with ½ cup of veggie stock/broth]
- 250 grams onion [1 large sliced into thin long pieces]
- 4 garlic cloves [fine diced]
- 500 grams potatoes [chopped into 1-2 inch sized chunks and cooked until just soft then drained, leftover cooked potatoes are perfect]
- 250 grams frozen mixed veggies [cooked and drained, according to package instructions]
- 2 teaspoon dried thyme [or a few sprigs of fresh thyme: use the little leaves]
- 2 teaspoon plain flour [or all-purpose flour]
- 200 mililitres oat milk [or your usual milk]
Add after filling cooked:
- 50 grams vegan cheese [grated/shredded, or 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes]
- 150 grams tomatoes [2 salad tomatoes thin sliced]
- 60 grams vegan cheese [grated or replace with a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes]
Prepare the pastry:
- Add the plain and wholemeal flour to a mixing bowl. Tip in the baking powder and salt, stir to combine. There is no need to sift the flours.150 grams plain flour, 150 grams wholemeal flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Break the margarine into chunks and drop into the bowl. Using your fingertips rub the margarine into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.140 grams vegan margarine
- Add 6 tablespoons of cold water and using a cutlery knife stir the water into the flour for 1-2 minutes until it begins to clump together. Press the mixture together against the side of the bowl and then bring it all together into a ball of dough.
- If the dough is too dry work in a few drops of extra water until it comes together into a kneadable ball. If the dough is too wet sprinkle extra flour over.
- Knead the dough for a few moments using the palms of your hands to press the dough together whilst you hold the dough ball.Place into the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- [Meanwhile if you haven't already cooked your potatoes and vegetables then do so now and once cooked, drain and pop them into a mixing bowl until required. If doing this step in advance, place the cooked potatoes and veggies into the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Leftover veggies and potatoes are ideal]
Prepare the pie filling:
- Heat the oil in a non-stick fry pan or skillet. Alternatively if using ½ cup of veggie stock/broth then bring it to a gentle boil.1 tablespoon olive oil
- Add the sliced onions and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If the onions gain some colour it doesn't matter. Tip in the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes. Stir frequently and turn the heat to low if necessary. [If using veggie broth instead of oil add a little extra if required to prevent the onions from sticking or becoming too dry.]250 grams onion, 4 garlic cloves
- Next add the flour and dried or fresh thyme leaves. Stir and cook for 1 minute.2 teaspoon plain flour, 2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Slowly add the milk, stirring each time, and once all is added cook for an extra minute.200 mililitres oat milk
- Stir through the vegan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.50 grams vegan cheese
- Scoop the cooked onion mixture into the bowl that the potatoes and veggies are in. Stir well and season with extra salt and pepper to taste.500 grams potatoes, 250 grams frozen mixed veggies
Assemble the pie:
- Preheat the oven to 180 Fan / 200C / 400 Fahrenheit / Gas 6.
- Grease your pie or flan dish with vegan margarine.
- Place the chilled dough onto a floured board and roll it out into a shape that will fit your dish, the dough will be about ¼ inch thick. Roll enough so that it overlaps over the sides of the dish.
- Whilst rolling if the pastry looks like it is cracking just press the sides of the rolled pastry in a little, and push the cracks together using your fingers on the surface of the pastry, and it will be fine. Turn the pastry around a few times as you roll to ensure it is not sticking to the surface.
- Using your rolling pin drape the pastry over it and carefully pick the rolling pin up and push the pie dish under the pastry. Drape the pastry into the dish and press it into the pie dish covering the rim as well so that the pastry hangs over the sides a little.Using a knife go around the edge to trim the excess pastry away. Patch up any broken bits of the pastry case with pieces of excess pastry.
- [If your preparing the pastry and pie dish in advance then store the pastry lined dish in the refrigerator until ready to fill and bake.]
- Scoop the pie filling into the pastry. [the pie filling does not have to be completely cool before it goes into the pastry but do let it cool a little so its not boiling hot going into the pastry.
- Top the pie filling with sliced tomatoes [although if preferred omit these] and season the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Next sprinkle the vegan cheese over the tomatoes.150 grams tomatoes, 60 grams vegan cheese
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pasty looks crisp and brown, and the topping is melted and golden.
- Leave for a 5-10 minutes to settle before slicing. The pie will slice much easier into smaller pieces when chilled.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not an exact calculation as ingredients can vary.
- Store leftover pie for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Or freeze for 3-4 months.
- Use leftover potatoes and veggies for a quicker pie.
- Unbaked pastry can be frozen for up to 6 months.
- Leftover unbaked pastry can be used to prepare pastry breadsticks. See the recipe notes above the recipe for an easy method.
- Or use the leftover pastry to prepare a few easy jam tarts.
- Any variety of potatoes are fine for a homity pie. I used red skinned potatoes and only peeled any bad bits off, retaining most of the nutritious skin.
- Stork baking spread was used for the pastry.
- Violife smoked flavour block cheese was used for the recipe.
- Enamel pie dishes are best for cooking pies as the material helps conduct the heat evenly whilst cooking the pastry, so use an enamel dish if possible. Although metal pie or flan dishes are also fine, as are glass pie and flan dishes.
- For extra flavour additions to the pie filling have a look at the recipe notes above.
- Just baked pies can be difficult to slice whilst very hot so do leave for 5-10 minutes before attempting to slice. A sharp cutting knife makes the job so much easier!
- Once cool and chilled this homity pie is easy to slice into 8 pieces perfect for picnics and pack lunches.
- As flavours intensify overnight, perhaps bake the pie one day in advance, remove from the dish once chilled and slice into portions. Enjoy reheated or chilled.
Prepared this tasty vegan British homity pie?
Do let us know how you got on by dropping us a comment below and clicking on the star ratings above.
Thanks so much! Jacq x
Love vegan pies with cheese?
Hungry for more delicious meal ideas and recipes?
Do have a look at one of our visitors favourite pies this old-school British dinners inspired cheese, potato and onion pie.
Its a sure-fire family favourite!
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