Cheese tourtière

by Celia Brooks

A veggie spin on a Christmas speciality from Quebec


For the pastry:
270g strong white flour
150g chilled butter, cubed
2 eggs
4 tbsp plain yoghurt

For the filling:
200g feta cheese or Graceburn, drained and crumbled into chunks (drained weight)
400g aged gouda, grated
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 egg

For the glaze:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk


To make the pastry, place the flour, butter and ½ tsp salt in a food processor. Whizz until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Alternatively, work through with your fingertips until a crumbly mixture results.

Add the eggs and yoghurt and process until a dough forms. Do not over-process. The dough may seem very soft. Scoop it out onto a piece of clingfilm and shape into a ball, making a smooth and even mass. Wrap it up in the clingfilm and chill for 1 hour or more.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the dough in half and use a well-floured rolling pin to roll out on a floured surface into two 28-30cm circles.

To make the filling, in a large mixing bowl combine the two cheeses, the fennel seeds and the egg and stir until thoroughly mixed. Line a large baking sheet with non-stick paper and oil lightly. Place one dough circle on the sheet. Mound the filling on top, leaving a border around the edge. Place the other dough circle on top of the filling and fold the bottom layer’s edges over the top layer’s edges and press to seal, making an attractive pattern if you like. (This can be done by twisting the dough, or by pressing with the end of a fork.)

Mix the egg yolk and milk and brush all over the tourtière. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 mins. If the glaze seems to be turning too dark during cooking, you may need to drape a piece of foil over the top for the duration. Serve hot or warm, cut into wedges.

Recipe: Celia Brooks