Still thinking of pie. I love pie. Not just desserty pies either, all pies: chicken-pot, shepherds, fish pie. And tarts too - tarts are just topless pies, in my book. Like pizza. Mmmm, pizza. It's perilously close to dinner time right now...
So, I have this book, published in 2003, by Tamasin Day-Lewis (yes, that Day-Lewis: sister to Daniel-I'll-never-forget-him-shirtless-withhisblackhairstreaming-LastoftheMohicans-Day-Lewis (sigh)) called, racily: Tarts With Tops On. It's about pie. Last week I was scrounging around the fridge, as I so often do, looking for something to make for dinner, feeling uninspired, when I remembered this book. Flipped through it and realized I had the ingredients I needed to make Cheddar Cheese and Onion Pie (found on page 44). Except, as you know, I can never leave any recipe alone. Plus I had to use up the last of the kale, celery and apples I'd purchased at the farmer's market before they became appropriate only for the compost pile. So, if you're interested in the original recipe, buy the book.
But if you're interested in what I made for dinner, well, here it is:
Pie crust: (I didn't love this crust, still a bit too dry, still on the search for the best crust...)
3 cups of all purpose flour (I've been using King Arthur, but I'm beginning to think that I need a more southernly produced flour - Wondra maybe? -- which has less proteins because it's from a warmer climate - see Shirly O. Courriher who writes about the science of cooking)
pinch or 2 of sea salt
3/4 cup of unsalted very cold butter cut up into small cubes
several tlbs of condensed milk (because I never have cream, but I always have cans of this stuff)
beaten egg yolk for glazing the crust
Insides: VERY YUMMY - this turned out great. I think it was the celery.
1 Tblsp of unsalted butter
1Tblsp of olive oil
1/2 large white onion (or 2 leeks, or whatever oniony thing you have)
2 stalks of celery cut into a large dice
3 apples cut into a large dice
3 large leaves of Kale, center stem stripped, and julienned
1/2 cups of shredded cheddar
2 eggs lightly beaten
4 Tblsp of condensed milk
a sprig of thyme
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425. Sift the flour and sea salt together into the bowl of the food processor. (Or into a big bowl). While the bowl is running, drop in the butter. When all this is combined and the flour and butter looks like crumbs. (In a bowl, just rub it between your palms to incorporate.) Add the milk, tablespoon by tablespoon until the dough comes together. Roll the dough out onto the counter, shape it into 2 balls and stick them in the refrigerator for 45 min or longer.
Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet, then gently cook onion, celery, kale until soft. Let cool. Toss into a bowl with the apples, cheese, eggs, thyme, salt and pepper.
Roll 1 ball of dough out and gently place in 9" pie plate. Tip the onion, cheese mixture into crust. Roll out second ball of dough and gently place it on top, pinching the crust in a decorative way (if you can). Brush the crust with egg. Slice little steam slits.
Bake for 30 or so minutes - until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling.
Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
This was remarkably yummy - I think the addition of celery and the apples just made it sing.
Here's pictures of the process: