Thursday, 28 April 2011

Vegetable and Mushroom Pie

Talking about pie always brings me back to years and years ago when I ate my first pie. I don't really remember how old I was at that time, around 12-13 y.o. maybe. Well, back then, pie was not a common dish in this country and nobody sold pies. So, the only way to eat pies was to bake it yourself. No no no, I wasn't the one who baked... it was my sister A. She found the recipe from a woman magazine 'Femina' and I remember we enjoy that pie much. In fact it might be the first pie baked in my family. The filling was a litle bit unique and maybe that was why my sister decided to give it a try. It had rice and shrimps filling, and tasted great! Unfortunately, none of us remembered to keep save the recipe.
Several years passed before I have enough courage to bake my first pie. And it was an Apple Pie from Mrs. Fields Cookie Book. Having more confident after baking one, I made another and shared the pies with my neighbours and my friends from work, and they liked it (and even asked for more :)).

Actually, I don't bake many different pies, even though I know we can have almost anything for its filling. Sweet or savoury. One of my favourite is vegetable pie. This time, I decided to add mushrooms that turned out giving very nice flavour to this pie.

Vegetable and Mushroom Pie 

For the crust : 

250 grams of all purpose flour 
150 grams salted butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened 
1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork
1 tbsp of cold milk or cold water 

Put the flour on a big bowl. Make a well in the center, and put the butter and egg in it. Using your finger tips, start from the center slowly incorporate the butter and egg with the flour. 
Add cold milk/water and continue mixing. Be careful not to over-work the dough or it could become tough.Form a thick disc and wrap in clingwrap plastic and put in your fridge for 20-30 minutes. 
At this point, reheat your oven to 180 Celcius degree. 
After 20-30 minutes, take the dough from the fridge and roll out the dough to about 4-5 mm thin, and line a pie dish with it. Prick the base with fork, top with parchment/baking paper and fill it with rice/beans/baking-beans. Bake with the beans for 15 minutes, take out the paper and beans. Brush the egg on the base, the sides and the edges of the crust (keep the left-over egg to brush the decoration on top of the pie), and continue baking for another 10 minutes. This is called as blind baking. 

While the crust is baked, make the filling : 
1 carrot, sliced 2-3 mm 
1 eggplant, cut lengthwise in two and slice 3-4 mm
1 onion, chopped
4 cups of fresh spinach leaves 
4 cups of roughly-chopped portabella mushroom (or any mushroom of your choice) 
3 eggs 
1 cup of heavy cream
salt & pepper
about 150 grams of salted butter 

Keep your oven temperature at 180 Celcius degree.
Separately cook all vegetables, except the spinach, in a frying pan with the butter.
Line the base of the half-baked crust with the fresh spinach, top with cooked carrot, eggplant, onion and mushroom.
Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl and mix it with the heavy cream, season with salt and pepper.
Pour the eggs-cream mixture onto the pie, use the left-over crust dough for decoration, brush with egg and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

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