It is now meteorological autumn in northern Europe, and to celebrate this auspicious occasion, I thought I would present something hearty and comforting: Tourte Limousine.
Tourte Limousine is an attractive recipe from the Limoges region of France: a potato pie, where sliced potatoes are seasoned with melted butter, and when the pie is almost cooked, a mixture of egg, cream and herbs are carefully poured in through a hole in the top. This is not for the faint-hearted, either cooking or eating!
You can make this one of two ways: in shortcrust pastry in a flan ring, or free standing with ready-made puff pastry.
I like to serve Tourte Limousine hot with Courgettes and Tomatoes. It will reheat pretty well, and is also delicious cold with salad. If you eat it cold, you will probably need to sprinkle it with extra salt.
Time: preparation 45 minutes, baking 45 minutes
Good with: Courgettes and Tomatoes, Salad
500g puff pastry
750g new potatoes – larger ones will save you time in slicing
2 garlic cloves
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
100ml double cream
100ml single cream
4 free-range egg yolks
1 tbsp mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon
Puff pastry method:
- Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Meanwhile, chop the shallots and garlic finely.
- Divide the pastry in two, and roll out two disks, one 25cm and the other 28cm. Dust with flour and cover.
- Slice the potatoes thinly, using a mandolin, food processor with a slicing attachment, or by hand. They should be about 2mm thick.
- Drop the sliced potatoes into the boiling water, and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain again, and dry between 2 clean tea towels.
- Add the potatoes to a large bowl along with the shallots, garlic, nutmeg, salt and half the cream. Mix carefully so as not to break up the potatoes.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan
- Carefully place 1/3 of the potato mix on the smaller pastry disk so that it forms a neat mound, leaving a 3 cm border found the edge.
- Drizzle witha1/3 of the melted butter. Repeat twice.
- Mix the cream and egg yolks together. Brush a little of this mixture around the edge of the pastry. Lay the second larger disk of pastry over the top of the potato and press the edges together well to seal. Crimp the edges to form an attractive crust.
- Score the top with the back of a knife to form 8 equal segments.
- Brush the top with more egg and cream mixture.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 160°C and bake for a further 10 minutes. (Cover the pie with a loose sheet of foil if it seems brown enough.)
- Meanwhile, chop the herbs and add to the egg and cream mixture with a little salt and pepper.
- Cut out a 3 cm circle from the centre of the pie. Make a small gap between the potatoes and the underside of the pastry lid, using the handle of a teaspoon if necessary. Slowly pour in the egg and cream mixture. Replace the pastry circle.
- Return the pie to the oven, cover with foil, and bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes, then slice into wedges to serve.
Shortcrust pastry method:
- Make the pastry – see Shortcrust Pastry.
- Flour a flan ring. Roll out 2/3 of the pastry, and line the flan ring.
- Roll out the remaining pastry.
- Proceed as above, filling the pie, but ignoring the 3 cm border instruction!
- Brush the top of the pastry with egg mix, lay the remaining pastry on top, and crimp the edges.
Variations on Tourte Limousine:
Use 500g potatoes, and layer with 250 g of cooked spinach (with as much of the water squeezed out as possible.)
Samosa pie – fill the pie with Samosa mixture – see Samosas.
Mixed root vegetables: replace 350 g of potatoes with thinly sliced root vegetables such as sweet potato, swede, turnip and parsnip. You could also add thinly sliced pumpkin or butternut squash.