Irish potato pie

March 17th is Saint Patrick’s day 🍀 and for the event, I made a potato pie. The humble potato has a special place in Irish hearts and kitchens. However, unlike the traditional Irish potato pie, this one has no bacon in it. It’s also made upside down, as in the French Tarte Tatin way.

Tarte Tatin, famously known for a caramelized apple pie baked upside down, was accidentally discovered in 1880 at the Hotel Tatin in France. This week, I made the pie the same way, but without apples, butter and sugar. Instead, I made it with potatoes, leeks, échalotes, cheese, oat cream, balsamic vinegar and herbs.

In this version, the échalotes and leeks are sautéed on low heat for a good eight minutes and then caramelized in balsamic vinegar. The potato mixture is placed on the bottom of the pan and the puff pastry is arranged on top with the edges tucked into the sides of the pan. The result is a savoury, caramalized and tender-sweet potato pie with a golden crust.

I thank my sister Marlise McCormick, a talented and creative musician, choreographer and cook, for inspiring me to come up with this delicious recipe for Saint Patrick’s Day!

Bon appétit!

Taitneamh a bhaint as do chuid béile! (Enjoy your meal!) 🍀🍀

Savoury Potato Tarte Tatin


  • Olive oil, 3 tablespoons (tbsps)
  • 300 grams small-size potatoes with peels, rinsed and scrubbed
  • 1 garlic bud, quartered
  • 2 leeks (white and green parts)
  • 12-14 whole échalotes, peeled
  • 2 (tbsps) balsamic vinegar
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon (tsp) thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh dill weed
  • Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup hard cheese like Gruyère or Comté or a vegan cheese, grated
  • 3 tbsps oat cream or natural Greek yoghurt
  • 1 puff pastry pie dough sheet (store-bought or homemade)


Oven: 180°C or 350 °F

Prepare a non-stick 9 inch pie pan or a ceramic Tatin pan with a little olive oil. Set aside.

Slice potatoes into thin rounds, about ¼ inch thick.

Chop leeks into ½ to ¾ inch slices and rinse them under running water in a sieve.

Put a small amount of salted water in a big pot and bring to the boil. Place potato slices with garlic in a vegetable steamer. Cover and steam potatoes above water level for ten minutes, not more. Remove and arrange them on a paper towel to dry (discard the garlic). Set aside.

Heat up the oil in a large skillet, lower the heat and sauté the leeks and échalotes for 8 minutes until soft. Then, add the balsamic vinegar, thyme, dill weed, salt and pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes to caramalize the échalotes and leeks.


Remove skillet from heat and with spatula add the potatoes a few at a time and gently turn them in the caramalized leeks and échalotes until coated and mixed.

With spatula, place the potato, leek and échalote mixture in the bottom of the pie pan and gently level out and pat the ingredients so that they are firmly arranged.

In a small bowl, combine the grated cheese with the 3 tbsps oat cream (or yoghurt) and gently mix with a fork. Spread this on top of the potato mixture and allow to seep through. Don’t put too much cheese or cream as you don’t want to end up with a pie that is too wet.

Place the pastry shell on top and tuck the edges into the sides of the pan.

Bake on middle rack for 25-30 minutes or until pastry is golden.

Take out of oven and let the pie cool for 10-15 minutes. Loosen sides with spatula or a dull flat knife. Invert the pie on a plate.

Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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