Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Beet pie, a recipe

I don't normally post recipes. Most of my day-to-day cooking is too ad hoc to bother recreating here, never mind that there are plenty of blogs devoted to food already. Last night, however, Andrew enjoyed my beet pie offering so much that he thought I should write it up. So, I halted dinner long enough to take a couple of pictures of my plate, and now I'm taking a few minutes out of my day to record my process.

Andrea's Beet Pie:

I make my own pastry, but you don't have to by any means. I like the deluxe butter recipe from Joy of Cooking. The only change I make is that rather than the 2 1/4 cups (or is it 2 1/2...) of flour called for, I prefer to only use a scant 2 cups. I always found in Edmonton (where it's very dry) that using the entire amount of flour called for in pastry recipes ended in a dry crumbly mess. I've continued to skimp on the flour quantities here in the Boston area and it seems to have made no difference--i.e. I have delicious, flaky crusts.

Pie Filling:
1 onion
1-2 tablespoon of oil (I used olive oil)
1 cup of oatmeal
1/2 cup of almonds (scant)
3 oz of Parmesan cheese (that was all I had left)
1 lb of beets (I used Chicago beets, which I picked up at the farmers market because I didn't think I'd ever had them before--turns out they're white and red stripped in the middle. I'm sure it doesn't matter what kind of beets you use.)
3 cloves of garlic
1 handful of fresh herbs (chopped)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of mustard
salt (Sorry, I don't really measure this, I just pour a small mound in my hand, then dump it in.)
pepper (I also don't measure this, I just sprinkle in the pepper until it looks good...this is why I don't write recipes.)


For the crust: If you're going to make your pie shell yourself, you need to do this well in advance. I actually made 2 shells on Saturday (that's what the Joy of Cooking recipe makes, the other was turned into the base for lamb pie--delicious) kept the unused disk of pastry in the fridge until yesterday, rolled it out, then stored it in the freezer until all of my filling was prepared. If you're using a pre-made pie shell, follow the directions for preparation it comes with.

For the filling:
Preheat the oven to 375F.

1) Preheat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat while you chop the onion to your preference of dice (I'm not terribly particular about my vegetable chopping).
2) Saute the onion, occasionally stirring or tossing until it turns golden brown. If you're adept at multi-tasking in the kitchen you can continue with the following steps while this happens (which is what I do).
3) Pulse the oatmeal and almonds together in a food processor until you achieve a breadcrumb-like consistency (you can also use breadcrumbs instead of doing this).
4) Remove the oatmeal and almonds from the food processor, place 1 cup of it in a mixing bowl, while saving the remainder 1/2 cup for topping the pie.
5) Either with the shredding attachment for your food processor, or a hand grater, grate the Parmesan cheese.
6) Place half of the cheese in the mixing bowl, retaining the other half for the topping.
7) Shred/grate the beets (this is so much easier when you have a food processor).
8) Add the beets to your mixing bowl.
9) Add your sauteed onions, and all of the remaining ingredients (garlic, herbs, eggs, mustard, salt and pepper) to the mixing bowl.
10) Stir until everything is combined and spoon it into your pie shell (which you should only just be removing from the freezer).
11) Mix together your left over oatmeal, almonds, and cheese. Feel free to add some more herbs and spices to this if you like.
12) Drizzle 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the topping to help make it clump together like a crumble topping on a desert pie, then spread it over the pie.
13) Bake for...oh...this is the tricky part. I started the pie in the oven for 20 minutes, then Andrew messaged me to say that he was running late so I turned off the heat and let the pie sit (in the oven)...then 15 or so minutes later Andrew message me to say he was on his way, at which point I turned the oven back on again and cooked the pie for another 10 or 15.
So...I'd *guess* at a continuous heat of 375F you should cook the pie for 35 to 45 minutes.


For 1/8 of a pie: Calories: 526; Fat: 37 grams; Fiber: 3 grams; Carbs: 37 grams; Protein: 14 grams.



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