Pi(e) Day Observed; I hope you ate some today

March 14, 2015 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

I am happy to say Miss Partner and I did not miss out on the joys of Pi(e) day this year. In this post, I shall share with you some of my favorite pie making things.

Filling mixed in pan saves dishes. Background is pie shell lined with Brie!

Filling mixed in pan reduces dishes. Background is pie shell lined with Brie!

First: crust. I don’t like to waste anything, as many of you know. One thing being bacon fat, or as I like to call it, “white gold.” (Sous Chef Dave G. at the restaurant where I serve tables likes to use *** gold to refer to sauces they make there; the cheese fonduta is yellow gold; the red wine reduction is red gold; balsamic reduction is black gold. I like Dave, so I emulate him). I substitute white gold for the shortening or butter in the crust. My favorite pie crust procedure is from the Hoosier Mama Book of Pie, which is my Pie Bible. I used to struggle with crusts, but this book revealed the way to make it flakey and perfect every time!  I went ahead and made double crust recipe to freeze one for another time and the edges cut off make a smaller size for dessert.

It's all coming together.

It’s all coming together.

Now filling. Pie is round and involves pi, but I need to make is more pi. Like with 3.14 cheeses. Right now in the fridge we have asiago (our pizza sauce cheese), brie (Isigny Ste. Mere), and stilton (which I love, but Miss Partner not so much). The remainder of the filling is going to be a riff on spanakopita; saute onion, mix with power greens, an egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and yogurt (or other sour and creamy item like sour cream) and throw in par-baked shell.

Half filled pie to show layers of goodness.

Half filled pie to show layers of goodness.

Now dessert. Miss Partner and I have a tradition of getting a Lynn’s Ooo-la-la-berry Pie (olallieberry). We used to get the large version, because we didn’t know there was a more manageable, treat-sized 4″ version! I saved the pan so I could save our waistlines and practice making these smaller version pies. I still have some mince meat (made with butter, but I do want to try suet some day). I’m out of ice cream so to balance the tart of the mince meat, I decided to add a layer of goat cheese to the bottom of the small par-baked crust, like this recipe for a fig and goat cheese tart, but the layers of filling reversed (this recipe says savory, but when it turned out sweet when I made it sans arugula side, and honestly, you could go dessert or side dish with this one. Especially with bacon crust. Yeah, bacon; people are putting it in all kinds of desserts now so why not).

I forgot to take pictures of finished product, but you get the idea. I can tell you that Miss Partner and I were tempted to eat the whole pie, despite the presence of blue-veined cheese. It paired very well with Barfandel 2010 from Lone Madrone Winery.

Crust

  • 1 cup organic unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup organic wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup rendered bacon fat (like after you bake or cook your bacon)
  • a few shakes of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup or more if needed apple cider (or water and tbsp apple cider vinegar, as aforementioned pie book suggests)

(The concise procedure; if you are into it as much as I am you should get the pie book.) Put all into the pie plate you are going to use, but not the cider. Cut together coarsely so some pea size globs of fat persist. Add cider and bring shaggy dough together, working as little as possible. Divide in half, form disks and refrigerate 20 minutes to an hour wrapped in plastic wrap. Flour surface, roll to quarter inch thickness, and apply to pie dish. Cut the edges and reserve them for the small pie plate. Par-bake one crust for 8 minutes in 400 degree oven. Wrap other in plastic wrap and store in freezer for next time.

Power greens and cheese filling

  • half onion, chopped to half inch or smaller
  • dashes of salt, pepper, and nutmeg
  • 10 oz power greens (baby kale, spinach, arugula, etc.)3 tbsp yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 2 eggs (but one will do if you only have one)
  • 6 oz brie, sliced
  • 2 oz stilton
  • 2 oz asiago
  1. Line pie crust with brie.
  2. Saute onion in butter (high temperature) or olive oil (medium heat). When soft, add power greens until wilting. Turn off heat. Then add the rest, breaking the eggs and mix. Your eggs might start cooking, and this is fine. Throw mixture over the brie and even it out with your spatula. Sprinkle a bit more asiago over the top if you saved some.
  3. Bake 30 minutes in 400 F degree oven. Allow to cool a few minutes, unless you like having your mouth burned.

Sweet-ish pie filling

  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup mince meat

It’s a four inch pie shell, remember? Goat cheese is crumbly, so distribute as evenly as possible with your spoon. Use a different spoon to distribute mince meat over the top. Lick spoons, because. Bake with other pie for 30 minutes at 400 F. Yup. It’s that easy.

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