We haven't made many pies lately.
Blame Eleanor's birthday, or Christmas, or the umpteen evil lurgies with which we have been beset, but, one way and another, we haven't been able to keep up Pieday every week.
This will be amended, I promise, and we actually did make a pie-ish thing one week, which I will probably write about soon, but this week I fear you must go without pie*.
In the meantime, however, lest you starve for want of internet-based, child friendly recipes**, I thought I'd share the method behind the potato-skin boats I forgot to serve at the Pirate Party.
Baking potatoes, (one for every two boats, unless they're particularly big or small, in which case you may manage as many as three, or just one).
Cheese (I used a mixture of gruyere and cheddar, the amount depends on the number of potatoes)
Olive oil (the less virgin the better)
Plain tortilla chips
Absolutely No Bacon****
Bake the potatoes.
This is best done the night before (and if you trust your oven you could even turn it right down and leave them there till morning), I just pick out their eyes, rub them with salt*****, and wrap them in foil, then put them in a hot oven for half an hour, then turn it down and leave them there for another hour or two.
I left mine in the oven (turned off) overnight, and they were still warm the next morning.
Forget hand-warmers: next time we go for a long walk in winter I'm going to put baked potatoes in my pockets!
Next morning unwrap the potatoes, cut them into halves (or thirds if they're enormous) and scoop out their innards with a spoon, taking care not to break the skin.
You should end up with a lot of little, boat-like, shells.
Rub the skin with a little oil and place them, skin side up, on a baking tray.
Pop this into a high oven for two or three minutes to crisp the skins up a little.
Now grate the cheese, chop the spring onions, and mix them all together.
Pile this lot into the skins and, about twenty minutes before you're ready to serve, put them into a highish (200 for us) oven for, well, twenty minutes.
To serve, place a small dollop of creme fraiche in the middle of each boat, then insert a tortilla chip, standing up, so that it looks like a sail.
And that's it, really.
To be honest, you don't have to go to all the trouble of making the boats yourself: you could probably just add creme fraiche and tortilla chips to ready-made potato skins and still get something that looks cute and tastes pretty good.
The home-made version is definitely superior however.
And, of course, you don't have to stick to the cheese and spring onion filling, either.
Pretty much anything which works on a baked potato****** will work here: you could use chilli, you could use mushroom stroganoff, you could even -horrors- use bacon.
Likewise you can swap the creme fraiche for proper sour cream, or salsa, or anything else that appeals.
Smoked cheese with jalapeño, and chilli jam sounds rather good right now.
Ok, I'm off to the kitchen
*You did last week too, sorry.
**Also because they were my own idea*** and I'm rather pleased with them.
*** If I look them up on google, they'll be everywhere, won't they?
****Sorry, I get annoyed when an otherwise vegetarian delight is ruined by the addition of pig parts.
You may bacon if you wish.
*****(This helps to prevent them getting soggy, you can rub it off when you unwrap them, if you're worried about salt in food.
******Although I hae me doots about baked beans.