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Lancashire Butter Pie

by , featured in Butter: A Celebration
Published by Headline
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You have to hand it to us Northerners, we know how to make the most of a potato. Lancashire’s butter pie has been a staple of the Preston area for centuries. Preston has always had a large Catholic community, and Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays — so in Preston, they eat butter pie. Or, as it is also sometimes known, Catholic pie or Friday pie. Now it is sold throughout pubs and shops, but is most frequently enjoyed as a match day half-time favourite at Preston North End football club. It is, quite simply, a pie filled with potatoes, onion and butter; it has flaky pastry on the base, sides and top, and given the simplicity of its contents, a generous amount of salt and pepper. It is traditionally eaten with braised red cabbage.

Image of Olivia Potts' Lancashire Butter Pie
Photo by Matt Russell


Serves: 6

For the pastry

  • 75 grams butter
  • 75 grams lard
  • 350 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 75 millilitres very cold water

For the filling

  • 3 large potatoes (peeled and cut into slices)
  • 120 grams butter
  • 2 large onions (cut into slices)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg (beaten, to glaze)


Lancashire Butter Pie is a guest recipe by Olivia Potts so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

  1. First, make the pastry. Rub the butter and lard into the flour and salt with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the water, and cut it into the mixture with a knife. Once the dough starts to come together, use your hands to briefly knead the pastry, and make sure there are no dry bits. Wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for an hour.
  2. While the pastry is resting, boil the potato slices for 10 minutes, drain and set to one side. Heat 50g of the butter in a pan and cook the onion slices for about 10 minutes, until soft, but not coloured.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Take two-thirds of the pastry and roll it out into a rectangle the thickness of a pound coin; use this to line a pie dish approximately 20 x 30cm. Layer the potatoes in the base of the pie, followed by the onions, then dot the remaining butter on top. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Roll out the final third of pastry into a rectangle the same size as the pie dish and place on top, using a fork to attach the pastry lid to the rest of the dish.
  4. Brush the lid of the pie with egg wash, and stab a couple or so vent holes in the pastry with a knife. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry lid is firm and golden-brown.

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