Old School Cheese and Onion Pie is a decadent savoury dinner idea for cheddar and gruyere lovers.
Inspired by classic French and Swiss pastries, Old School Cheese and Onion Pie features a buttery crust and creamy onion and cheese filling.
The decadent pie features loads of onions, cheese, butter and craft beer. Since the soft and savoury pie is high in carbs and fat, serve a slice alongside a crunchy, juicy and acidic salad or soup.
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Travel to Switzerland by Baking Old School Cheese and Onion Pie
I love traveling to Europe! I’ve had the opportunity to visit Switzerland four times to sample the best Swiss dishes, which are served everywhere from cute local restaurants to luxurious Michelin starred dining rooms. I’ve explored the best Swiss Chocolate Shops and learned to make traditional Tartiflette Reblochon at home.
Over the years I’ve written numerous stories on popular Swiss travel destinations such as Geneva, Lugano, Gruyere, Montreux, Lausanne, Bern, Andermatt, Zermatt, Basel, Burgenstock, Lucerne, Zurich, Interlaken and St. Gallen.
Best Cheese For Swiss Pie
Once you’ve perfected this recipe we encourage you to get creative with the cheeses you incorporate in your homemade pie. It’s important to understand what cheeses work best to ensure your savoury Swiss pie has a well incorporated creamy interior.
Can’t find gruyere or cheddar cheese at the grocery store or want to get creative by incorporating a few other cheeses in the recipe? Use hard aged cheeses as they mix and incorporate well. Avoid fresh cheeses like mozzarella, ricotta or mascarpone as they will not combine properly.
You could also use another popular Swiss cheese such as Emmental, famous for its ability to melt in fondue. Parmigiano Reggiano, Manchego, Mimolette, Raclette, Jarlslberg and Gouda could also work nicely.
Switzerland is best known for its Gruyere and Emmental cheese varieties as they are common ingredients in Swiss Cheese Fondue. When traveling to Switzerland you quickly learn to appreciate the abundance of cheeses produced here. Enjoy a taste of Appenzeller, Sbrinz, Scharfe Maxx, Tilsit, Bündner Bergkäse and Vacherin to find a new favourite!
Visit Switzerland’s Cheese Farms
My favourite trip to Switzerland was a French themed adventure that took me from Geneva to Gruyere. The itinerary ended in the small town of Gruyere, famous for producing Gruyere cheese. There’s also the haunting HR Giger Museum, which is dedicated to the creative genius behind Aliens. It’s one of the most magical holiday destinations for lovers of film and cheese!
If you’re a Gruyere cheese fan I highly recommend planning a weekend getaway to Gruyere in Switzerland. You can stay at an agriturismo on a family-run cheese farm. Guests also have an opportunity to visit a fun Gruyere Cheese Museum and dine at famous Swiss Fondue restaurants.
My Family Loves Old School Cheese and Onion Pie
It’s no secret that my family is obsessed with cheese and caramelized onions.
The fridge in my parents kitchen typically has 10-15 cheeses keeping cool at any given time. My family’s favourite cheeses are cheddar and gruyere, but you’ll always find a selection of cream cheeses, blue cheeses, soft rind cheeses and Italian varieties such as parmesan, pecorino and asiago.
My father is obsessed with caramelized onions. He typically makes them with sweet vidalia onions, butter, sherry and thyme. We have two shelves in the fridge filled with condiment jars. Dad always receives caramelized onion preserves as gifts at Christmas. He slathers the sweet onions on cheese toast or scoops into homemade pasta sauces.
When I prepared this Old School Cheese and Onion Pie for my parents I knew it would make them drool. For cheese and caramelized onion lovers, each slice offers beauty and bliss!
Tips For Baking Old School Cheese and Onion Pie
Baking is a science so be sure to measure all of your ingredients accurately and sift the dry ingredients. We also suggest keeping an eye on the skillet, there’s nothing more sad than a pan full of burnt onions!
We suggest using a greased springform pan, the type typically used to make cheesecake, as it makes it easier to slice and serve. You could also use a traditional pie plate.
We’ve used 6 large Spanish cooking onions in this recipe but you could certainly substitute for a mixture of sweet vidalia onions and shallots. We often make this pie when we have an excessive amount of onions loitering in the fridge. It’s a great way to use up onions before they spoil.
If you’re a pastry novice you’ll love this recipe as it’s less temperamental than a traditional pie crust. In our instructions we suggest rolling out the dough and then pressing it into the bottom of the pan and up the sides so it holds the filling. When pressing out the dough ensure that the thickness is relatively uniform so it cooks and crisps up evenly in the oven.
When serving the pie, let it rest for a few minutes to ensure each slice holds its form and doesn’t fall apart before landing on the plate.
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What To Serve with Old School Cheese and Onion Pie
Old School Cheese and Onion Pie has a high fat and carb content so it’s nice to contrast the flavours with fresh, juicy and acidic ingredients.
Some of our favourite soup and salad recipes include Spicy Tikka Masala Turkey Barley Soup, Piri Piri Carrot and Sweet Pepper Soup with Bulgar, Kale, Leek, Bean, Orzo and Pumpkin Soup with Pecan Pesto, Vegan Chinese Cucumber Salad, Cajun Spicy Chorizo Corn Salad, Cherry Pecan Kale Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette, Carrot and Tahini Salad with Crispy Cumin Chickpeas and Pistachios and Fennel, Apple, Celery and Roasted Hazelnut Salad.
Storing Swiss Pie
Sometimes we double the recipe when we’re making pie so we can store the unbaked crust and filling to enjoy as an easy dinner in a few weeks. This particular pie crust recipe has a high butter content and its filling is moist and creamy. We do not suggest freezing the uncooked pie to bake at a later date as when it thaws it droops and becomes mushy.
After baking this Old School Cheese and Onion Pie you might have leftovers, hooray! We suggest storing the room temperature slices in Ziplock bags or Tupperware and enjoy within a week.
When looking to reheat leftover pie, avoid using a microwave as it will make the pie mushy and soft. Instead, place a slice of leftover pie on a baking sheet and reheat in a 400 F oven or toaster until the crust is crunchy and interior is bubbling.
Best Old School Cheese and Onion Pie Recipe
Old School Cheese and Onion Pie
- springform pan
- French knife
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- Rolling pin
- mixing bowl
Old School Cheese and Onion Pie Filling
- 1/4 cup Unsalted butter
- 6 Cooking onions sliced
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 3/4 cup Beer Pale Ale or IPA
- 1 lb Gruyere cheese grated
- 0.5 lb Cheddar cheese grated
- 2 Eggs
- 5 tbsp Sour cream
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 cups All purpose flour
- 1 tbsp Dried mustard powder
- 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 cup Unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup Milk
- 1 Egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk
Old School Cheese and Onion Pie Filling
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add sliced onion, salt, and pepper and stir to coat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour in the beer, stir well, and raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring until the onions are soft, around 8 minutes. Set aside to cool or cover and chill in the refrigerator.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the cooled onions, cheeses, eggs, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce and mustard until combined. Set aside filling to make pastry dough.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a springform pan or casserole dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, mustard powder, and kosher salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour and set aside.
- Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Gently bring the milk and butter to a gentle simmer. Pour the hot liquid into the flour well. Use a rubber spatula to mix together until a shaggy dough forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
- Divide dough in two. While the dough is still hot, roll each piece between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap to the size of the base of your pan. Place one of the rounds of dough into the prepared pan. Starting at the centre of the dough press outward, gently working the dough outward and up the sides of the pan.
- Scrape the filling into the crust and position the second crust over the filling, trimming the excess away and pinching the seams where the bottom and top crusts meet together.
- Brush the top crust with the egg wash and use a sharp knife to cut three vent holes. Place your pie crust on a cookie sheet and bake for 60 to 70 minutes. The Onion and Cheese Pie is done baking once the exterior is a glossy brown and filling bubbles.
- Allow the pie to cool until warm or room temperature before slicing. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with a fresh salad.
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