Saturday, 2 April 2011

Silverbeet and spinach pie

 I set out to make spanakopita, but didn’t have filo or pastry or feta or sesame seeds, so sort of made this up from bits and pieces of sources, mainly Stephanie Alexander’s Crustless Spinach Pie in Kitchen–Garden Companion. Here it is, in its stages. It’s like lasagna, I should tell you first – it seems straightforward enough, yet by the time it’s in the oven you realise you just spent most of Saturday afternoon in the kitchen. Still, it’s a good slice-up-and-freeze-the leftovers option.

First thing I did was ditch the crustless aspect, referring to the flan pastry in Michel Roux’s Pastry. How can a pie be allowed to lack a crust?

500g plain flour
250g cold butter, chopped into bits
2 teaspoons castor sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
80mL combined water and iceblock

Put all ingredients except the water in the KitchenAid, and combine with a dough hook on slow speed until grainy-looking. Slowly add the ice water until it all clumps together. Scrunch it all together in the mixing bowl a bit, and divide in half. Shape the halves into flattish discs, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Sorry if I just tricked you into making a double quantity – it’s true that only one disc is needed for this here recipe, but why not make another for future reference with no more trouble? It’ll keep in the fridge for a few days, or freeze against the winter. It can be used for most pie situations that call for a nice rich buttery crust.

After it’s chilled and rested, roll out on a floured board and line a greased pie dish. Stab it with a fork and line with foil before pouring in pie beads or split peas and blind-bake for 20 minutes at 180 C. Remove the baking weights and bake for another five minutes. Set aside to cool.

2 onions, chopped
several cloves garlic, chopped
bunch silverbeet, leaves shredded (save stalks for a gratin or soup)
bunch spinach, leaves shredded
Soften onions and garlic in a little olive oil over a medium heat, add silverbeet and cover for 5 minutes until wilted a bit. Add spinach and stir until it’s all cooked. Leave to cool. Add dill. A little dried mint is another good addition I didn’t think of until now.

500g ricotta, give or take
3 eggs
grated nutmeg
salt and pepper

[gratuitous unmoulded ricotta shot, thank you for your patience]

Mash all this together in a bowl as thoroughly or roughly as you like (personally I like to come across the odd chunk of ricotta when slicing the pie) and combine with the greens. Pour into the prepared pastry case. Sprinkle over:

chopped kalamata olives
lightly toasted pinenuts
grated parmesan [whatever quantities you feel like for all these]

Cook at 180 C for about half an hour until there are browned bits on top.

No comments:

Post a Comment