Homemade Pie with Spinach, Champignons and Tomatoes

Homemade Savoury Pie with Spinach, Champignons and Tomatoes

Ingredients

Pie Crust (makes 2)
2 deciliters of water
1 tea-spoon of salt
50 grams of graham flour
350 grams of plain flour
150 grams of butter (room temperature)

Egg batter
1 deciliter of coffee cream (9%)
1 1/2 decilitres of milk
6 eggs
Salt and Pepper
1 pinch of Cayenne pepper

Filling
Cooked ham
Frozen spinach
Champignons
1 good handful of chives
3 tomatoes
Mozzarella cheese

Making homemade Savoury Pie

Set your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Add flour and butter to a bowl and use your hands to crumble in the butter, until you have a bread crumb like mixture. Add salt, and water and use your hands to knead the dough until its gathered. You can let the dough rest in the fridge for an hour, to make it easier to roll out, but I found it just as easy to roll out straight away. Part the dough into two halves and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough on a floury surface. Fit the dough to the pie forms. If some of the dough goes outside the form just press it to the sides of the form. Put the pie tins in the fridge while you make your fillings.

Make the egg batter first, by adding all the ingredients to a bowl, mixing well. Later you will pour the batter over the fillings. My choice of fillings really depended on what I had in the fridge at the time. Now, I’m not to sure of the quantity, but you get an idea as you start to adding you fillings to the pie form. Any leftovers, will fit well in an omelet (check our my Farmer’s Omelet recipe) or in a wok or a fry up (check out my Vietnamese Fried Rice recipe).

I sliced my fillings, tomatoes, champignons and ham and finely chopped the chives. I added the frozen spinach to a casserole, to defrost. When the spinach was defrosted I mixed in chives, ham and champignons. I parted the filling between the two pie forms, laying tomato slices on top, and sprinkling with cheese. In the end I poured over the egg batter. The pie forms go in the oven, middle shelf, for about 35 minutes. You can always wiggle the tin, to see if the egg has set.

Be sure to try out different fillings, potatoes, bacon, whatever comes to mind. And if you have some great tips let me know.

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Raspberry Pie with a Citrus Twist

Raspberry Pie with a Citrus Twist

Ingredients

1 crusty pastry dough
600 grams of frozen raspberries
Zest of one lemon
Seeds of one vanilla pod
2 table-spoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
ca. 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar
ca. 1 tablespoon of corn starch

Making Raspberry Pie

Put the oven onto 220 degrees Celsius and leave a baking tray on the bottom shelf.  Now, I have already posted my apple pie recipe and that is where you will find the description on how to make the crust. Follow the link and prepare the dough, and return to this post when your dough is ready-made. I have found that you do not have to keep the dough in the fridge to make it easier to handle. After I had made the two balls I rolled out one for the pie form and the other for the lid.  I used a 25 centimeter in diameter pie tin and rolled out the dough pieces accordingly.

Now for the filling. You’ll notice that I did not use a lot of sugar in the filling and I also didn’t pre-cook it as I wanted the raspberries to keep as much shape as possible. I basically just mixed all the ingredients and let it cook together in the oven. I found that the amount of starch was perfect as the filling was not too loose or too firm. I would recommend giving it a taste making it taste as sweet as your taste buds tell you. You can also pre-cook the filling to be sure that the berries have the sweetness you are after. Mine still had a sour zing to it :).  However you chose to do it, continue by adding the filling to the bottom pie crust, laying the other layer of dough on top. Press the edges that go over the tin down into the other dough edges forming a crust. I used a fork to create a pattern around the edges, pressing the fork down on the edges. The result visible in the picture above.

Take out a sharp knife and make 4 cuts 2 centimeters from the middle, like a cross evenly spaced leaving space in the middle.  Bake the pie on the bottom shelf for 30 minutes. Cover the edges of the pie with aluminum foil and leave in for another 15-20 minutes. The pie is ready when the liquid begins to boil up in the slits or over the edges. (I recommend having a piece of baking paper underneath the pie, so that none of the liquid finds it way to the floor of your oven).

Take the pie out of the oven and leave it to set.

Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice, hot or cold, this is delicious!

The Ultimate Crusty Apple Pie

The Ultimate Crusty Apple Pie

Ingredients

Crunchy Pie Crust
350 grams of plain flour
1 teaspoon of salt
30 grams of sugar
226 grams of butter  (cold)
0,5 deciliter ice water

Apple filling
About 850 grams of apple slices
50 grams of sugar
55 grams of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
28 grams of butter
15 grams of Corn flour

Making the Ultimate Crusty Apple Pie

Before I begin the explanation there is one thing need mentioning. Butter dough needs to go fast and the instructions really should be followed to the letter to get the best result possible. If you are lucky enough to have a food processor this is an easy treat, I don’t so manual labour it was.

Preparing for the dough you need to keep the butter in the fridge, pour a glass of water and add some ice cubes (also keep in the fridge). Measure up your flour, salt and sugar and mix it well in a bowl. Take out the butter and measure it up quickly. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mix. Crumble the mass with your fingers until the consistency likens coarse sand. Take out your ice water and measure it out, add a little at a time with one hand while using the other to start shaping the dough. Use just enough hand power to gather it all together.When the dough is one piece cut it in half, roll the halves into balls, flatten them, and wrap them in cling foil. In the fridge they go for at least one hour.

Tip: If you think this takes to long you can always make the dough the day before and just leave it out a bit longer when you want to handle it. I had the dough in the fridge for about 3 hours and only needed to warm it slightly with my hands before I could start using the rolling-pin.

Peel and cut the apples into boat-like slices and lay them aside. In a big bowl gather together the rest ingredients, soft butter this time and mix it well, add the apples and make sure the slices are all covered. Leave the apples for 30-45 minutes so that the lemon juice and sugar can help drain some liquid out of the apples.

While your apples are draining the hour should be up, and you can get back to making the crust. Put the oven onto 220 degrees Celsius and leave a baking tray on the bottom shelf. I used a 25 centimeter in diameter pie tin and rolled out one of the dough pieces accordingly (keep the other one in the fridge). Remember to use a well flowered surface, putting flour under the dough so as not to have it sticking to the surface or your rolling-pin. Try to get the dough as even as possible and lift it carefully into the pie tin, flatten it into the tin, keeping your hands light so as not to puncture the dough. Cut the excess dough around the edges. Put cling film on the pie tin again and put it back in the fridge. Don’t let the excess dough go to waste instead you can roll it out again making it into leaves or other decoration, refrigerate this as well. Take out the second dough and make it into a round like the first one, add it onto a baking paper and cover it in cling foil, in the fridge it goes.

Now that the apples have been left to lose some of their liquid  add them to a sift and add the juice into a saucepan. Put the pan over the heat and let the juice simmer until it becomes thicker and caramel like. Add the caramel to the apples, mixing well. Make sure the oven has preheated, take out the pie tin and add the apple caramel syrup mix.

Retrieve the pie lid from the fridge and fold it over the apples carefully, trying not to puncture it. It is important you take it from the fridge first when you need it as it is easier to handle. Press the edges that go over the tin down into the other dough edges forming a crust. Take out the rest dough that you have shaped into leaves or other decoration and place them lightly but firmly around the rim.  Take out a sharp knife and make 4 cuts 2 centimeters from the middle, like a cross evenly spaced leaving space in the middle (so as not to crack open I believe).

Bake the pie on the bottom shelf for 30 minutes. Cover the edges of the pie with aluminum foil and leave in for another 15-20 minutes. The pie is ready when the liquid begins to boil up in the slits or over the edges. (I recommend having a piece of baking paper underneath the pie, so that none of the liquid finds it way to the floor of your oven).

Take the pie out of the oven and leave it to set. I left it over night and served it next day as a work lunch treat. Tasted brilliantly cold, but I would say it would be just as good slightly warmed and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I read somewhere that apple pie can be kept for 2-3 days in room-temperature, but the question is will it last that long :)

Good luck!

p.s. I have always wanted to make a pie since I saw Disney’s Snow White on VHS :)