Homity Pie – Recipe No 134


Here it is… the promised Homity Pie recipe! Let me tell you, it’s totally delicious, TOTALLY!

Homity Pie is an open topped pie said to have first been made by Land-Girls during WW2 and supposedly to have originated in the West Country.

It’s REALLY difficult finding the original recipe as there are so many bastardised versions hanging around on the internet, so after having researched for hours (yes I am a food nerd) and comparing recipes with rationing, the below recipe is likely the closest version to it’s origins taking into account the scarcity of eggs and onions.

You HAVE to make this. It’s delicious and so easily portable when cold, that it makes it perfect to take on a picnic!


Homity Pie

  • 4 largeish potatoes
  • 2 largeish leeks
  • 1 eating apple, cored and chopped into small cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
  • 1 egg
  • butter or margarine (generous)
  • 4-6 oz cheese (use more if you have lots to spare)
  • fresh or dried thyme (to your own taste)
  • salt and pepper (to your own taste)
  • Shortcrust pastry made with 6 oz flour and 3 oz fat


  1. Make the shortcrust pastry using plain flour (we used half strong wholemeal and half white) and 3 oz fat (I used 1/2 veg shortening and 1/2 hard margarine). Rub fat into flour to make breadcrumbs and then bind together with a little water to make a pliable dough.
  2. Roll the dough out into a greased pie dish, mine measured about 10″ x 6″ and place it into oven on 200 c for about 10 minutes or so to half cook.
  3. Leave skins on your potatoes and chop into chunky cubes, place in boiling water and simmer until tender
  4. Chop up leeks and garlic and saute in a pan gently (with butter or marg) until cooked. Add in plenty of thyme and the chopped apple and toss
  5. Drain potatoes then add to pan of leeks, 1 whisked egg, add more butter or marg and 2oz of the grated cheese and loosely mix, add in lots of salt and pepper until it tastes good!
  6. Dollop mixture into the pie dish on top of the pastry, then top with 4 oz of cheese (or more if you have more available in your cheese ration as it completes the pie beautifully), a sprinkle more of thyme and pepper
  7. Cook in oven at 220C until the top is browned
  8. Remove and leave to cool a bit before serving

Makes about 8 portions

Total cost: £2.50

“This post is part of Twinkl’s VE Day Campaign, and is featured in their Best Wartime Recipes to Celebrate VE Day from Home post”


32 thoughts on “Homity Pie – Recipe No 134

  1. I can’t eat cheese, so I make these in individual pie bowls [traditional oval Mason and Cash from a CS] I top HIS with cheese, and MINE with breadcrumbs. If short of cheese, he gets half-and-half cheese/crumb topping! Blessings xx

    • When I was vegan and didn’t eat cheese, I found dried nutritional yeast sprinkled on food added a cheesy taste, this might also be good mixed with your breadcrumbs… sounds like a good idea using the breadcrumbs xx

  2. Oh wow, that sounds fabulous. Kind of like a quiche with almost no egg. It has been getting too warm to contemplate heavier meals like this but I like the idea of having it cold and it’s not hot enough here yet to make the idea of turning on the oven unbearable. Must give this a try.

  3. Carolyn, any thoughts about possible egg substitution? I am vegan and don’t do eggs. The cheese is no problem as I have Daiyaa great cheese substitute.

    • Hey Kaaren…having been vegan myself until fairly recently (now veggie with vegan days LOL) I think this recipe would work well without the egg anyway. I used to use ground flaxseed mixed with a little warm water then mixed into dishes as a replacement for egg although aesthetically it perhaps isn’t great because of leaving little brown dots LOL! I agree- Daiya was the best cheese substitute I found too and even some extra nutritional yeast mixed in with the potato or sprinkled on the top with the Daiya would be nice… xxxx

  4. My mum started making this when I went vegetarian 12 years ago or so! It’s now known affectionately as Poverty Pie to my parents and godmother, although I must admit to having loathed it due to the bits of onion that always used to lurk in it (I used to find cooked onion revolting). I don’t eat cheese these days, but Poverty Pie is still made regularly – I think my mum’s recipe is a plainer one, with just potato, an onion, a bit of cheese and milk and parsley and pastry on top. Funny how these things pop up out of nowhere!

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  6. First time here and so glad to find this authentic recipe – thanks for doing the hard work searching for it! I’m going to try this for tea tonight. Only thing I wonder, would leaving the apple out be a problem? I’m not too keen on fruit in savoury dishes – but I’m willing to give it a go if it makes all the difference.

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  8. Homity pie, totally yum! made it for dinner tonight. I am a British ex- pat living in Tasmania, was brought up on this kind of food early post war years , mum was a good plain cook who knew how to stretch the budget. Can anyone help with a recipe an old aunt once gave me? “Wartime apple tart” from memory it was pastry lined plate, thinly sliced Apple layered on top baked till tender then I think a mixture of custard powder sugar, water, boiled and placed on top. Love your blog, working my way through recipes, many thanks.

  9. Made this and everyone loved it! Making again tonight but with a twist, using the potato/leek and cheese mix as topping for a shepherds pie made with lentils, its in the oven niw and I can’t wait!

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  13. Made this for the second time for lunch today-it was wonderful! Mom loves it as much as I do. I prepared it last night and ran it through the microwave for about five minutes – came out wonderfully! I did add some roasted garlic and a splash of milk this time. Really good!

  14. Sounds like something I’d like to try!

    But I’ve searched online and can’t find the meaning of that interesting-sounding word “homity.” Any ideas?

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  18. Carolyn, did I miss where the apple is put in? Does it go in last, or does it get mixed in with the veg before baking? Thanks so much for all your efforts and these lovely recipes! 🙂

  19. Carolyn, did I miss where the apple is put in? Does it get mixed in just before baking? Thanks so much for all your efforts and these lovely recipes! 🙂

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