Thursday, October 2, 2014

RECIPE: Savory Apple Pie

This is the ultimate picnic dish.  It can be made ahead, eaten warm or cold. Versions exist in Italy and Nice, and whether you make it with chard or spinach or kale, it is always delicious.  If the thought of an apple, veggie, cheese, nut pie sounds weird to you, do yourself a favor and try it at least once. Trust me!

Difficulty Level: Advanced

3 cups unbleached flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
scant 1 Tbs salt

By hand: dump everything in a bowl and with the tips of your fingers, start working everything into each other until it all comes together into a shaggy ball

By food processor: pulse all the ingredients together until they come together into a shaggy ball.

Shape into a ball, cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature for 2 hours

4 large apples (nothing too mushy: Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smiths, Honeycrisps, all work well)
3 Tbs raisins
2 Tbs dark rum (optional. You can use hot water too)
1 Cup cooked and thoroughly drained chopped greens (spinach, swiss chard, and kale all work well. Make sure to really cook them though. Totally wilted and very tender).
4 Tbs pine nuts
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 to 1/2 lb of a mild cheese, diced (young Gouda, mild Cheddar, mozzarella all work well)
2 beaten eggs
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbs of red currant jelly, room temperature and stirred with a fork to loosed it up a bit
3 additional Tbs confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 375 and butter a 9 inch springform pan or a 10 inch pie plate. Set aside.

Peel the apples and cut 2 into small cubes.  Place raisins and rum (or water) in a small pan and bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the greens, raisins and their liquid, apple cubes, pine nuts, sugar, cheese, eggs, and lemon zest. Slice the remaining 2 apples, set aside.

Divide the pastry with one piece being about a third of the size of the larger piece.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough as thin as you can into two circles.

Place the larger circle in the prepared mold, covering the bottom and coming up the sides. Prick all over with a fork. Spread the currant jelly all over the bottom. Add the filling. Cover with the reserved apple slices (a concentric circle pattern looks nice and works well) and then with the remaining dough. Pinch the bottom and top crust edges together and trim off any excess. Prick the top crust with a fork and bake for 30 - 40 minutes until golden. Remove from oven, place on a rack to cool, and just before serving, dust with remaining 3 Tbs confectioner's sugar

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