Tag Archives: pie

Pear pie with cake filling

What is one to do with too much time on one’s hands and some very ripe pears plus a roll of shortcrust pastry that desperately needs to be used up in the fridge? That’s right, turn them into pear pie. The sliced pears (you could use apples or other fruit as well)  give this pie a refined look while really, it’s so easy to make.

Ingredients:

one roll of ready-made shortcrust pastry (quite easy to make yourself as well, if you have time! I have a recipe here, or use one of Martha Stewart’s)
185 gr soft butter
185 gr sugar
3 eggs (preferably at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
185 gr self-rising flour (or regular flour + baking powder)
4 ripe pears (I used Durondeau, but any kind will do)

1 pie plate (+/- 25 cm)

pear pie with cake filling

How to:

Take the shortcrust pastry out of the fridge, let it rest for a little bit, roll out or spread out and line the pie plate with the dough. If it’s home made, use butter and flour first to prevent sticking. Using a fork, poke some holes in the pastry.

Combine  butter and sugar in a large bowl. Use an electric whisk or stand mixer to beat them together until white and airy, don’t stop too soon. Add in the vanilla extract and eggs one by one and keep beating until combined.

Sieve the flour into the bowl and combine, don’t mix for too long this time, to prevent the dough from getting too ‘heavy’. Pour the dough into the prepared pie plate and distribute evenly with a spoon or spatula.

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Peel the pears, cut into four quarters, remove the core and slice lengthwise. Arrange the pear slices in a circle, pressing them into the cake dough. Start with one circle on the outside and then move on to the inside. I arranged the inner circle in the other direction for aesthetic reasons, though I doubt there’s a big difference in the end product. You may have to shift the outer circle a bit to fit in the inner one, depending on the size of the pie plate and the slices. When ready, pop into the oven for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean of the cake center of the pie. The baking time may depend on your oven and on the juiciness of the pears. If it turns too dark, cover with some foil.

Let the pie cool on a rack, in its plate. Enjoy!

 

Spinach and rice pie

We used to eat this spinach and rice pie every now and then at home, I’ve always loved this recipe. I recently tried it in my own kitchen for the first time and – without tooting my own horn too much – it turned out quite splendidly! I believe one of the secrets to get such a beautifully baked pie is using a metal pie form instead of a porcelain one. Oh, did I mention that this is quite a healthy recipe? Give it a try!

Ingredients for 6-8 servings (depends on how hungry you are, and if you’re serving anything else like salad with the pie)

1 big onion, chopped finely
1 kg of fresh or frozen spinach, roughly chopped
2 or 3 chopped garlic cloves, to taste
butter and olive oil
hot vegetable stock
150 grams of (basmati) rice
4 eggs
150 grams of parmezan cheese, grated (or other tasty hard cheese)
breadcrumbs
grated nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste
a metal pie form, about 26-28 cm diameter

Spinach and rice pie

How to:

Put a large casserole on medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil or butter. Fruit the onion until it’s soft and starting to become brown. Add the garlic and fry a little while with the onion. Add the spinach, you can do this in smaller bits at a time, as fresh spinach can be quite large. Stir-fry with the onion and garlic and add grated nutmeg, peper and salt. When the spinach has shrunk completely (or the frozen spinach has thawed), add the rice and keep on stir-frying a bit. Now add the vegetable stock in small portions. Be careful with quantities: my spinach released quite a lot of water, so I ended up having to scoop out liquid becaue I added too much vegetable stock at once. You want the rice to cook but not completely, there needs to be enough liquid left to cook the rice but too much will get you a soggy pie. When the rice is halfway done, take the casserole off the fire and let it cool a little. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Then add eggs and parmesan, and more nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste. The mixture should be quite gooey and contain plenty of liquid.

Butter the bottom and sides of your pie form and add breadcrumbs, whirl them around so every part of the form is covered in breadcrumbs and add the spinach mixture. Divide the spinach evenly and smooth over with a spoon. Cover with another layer of breadcrumbs (just scatter them from the box or with a spoon over the spinach until completely covered, it’s okay if the breadcrumbs soak up some of the liquid). Bake the pie for +/- one hour in a 180 degrees oven, if it becomes too brown you can cover with a layer of tinfoil. Enjoy!

Spinach and rice pie

Divine pecan pie

Pecans are by far my favorite nuts, unfortunately the American classic of pecan pie hasn’t really made it big across the Atlantic. Time to change that! This is a slightly modified version of Martha Stewart’s pecan pie recipe, with a pastry crust from Jeroen Meus. I didn’t weigh out all the ingredients, so use this rule: 1 cup = 250 ml.

Ingredients:

for the crust:

250 gr baking flour
125 gr cold butter, in small cubes
90 gr icing sugar
30 gr ground almonds
1 egg
a pinch of salt

for the filling:

4 large eggs at room temperature
250 ml maple syrup or golden syrup (or 200 ml maple syrup + 50  ml Belgian kandijsiroop)
85 ml brown sugar and 60 ml white sugar
60 gr butter, melted
3 cups pecan nuts
2 tablespoons of brown rum
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Divine pecan pie

How to

Start with the crust, as it needs cooling. Sieve the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl, add the ground almonds and salt. Add the butter and rub with between your fingers or use a pastry cutter, until all is mixed and you have a collection of crumbs. Add the egg, knead into a homogeneous mass (avoid handling the dough for too long) and shape into a ball. Wrap in plastic foil and let the ball cool in the fridge for at laeast 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Before use, roll out the dough onto a flour-dusted surface until it’s large enough to fit a rimmed pie plate, mine was about 25 cm. Test by holding the pie plate over the rolled-out dough, it needs to be larger to fit the sides. Butter the pie plate and transfer the dough. Don’t worry if it breaks up a little, you can ‘paste’ it back together once it’s in the plate. Set this in the fridge until the filling is done (to my surprise, Martha Stewart didn’t recommend blind baking first, so I didn’t do this and it turned out fine).

Make sure your eggs are at room temperature, not straight from the fridge or they might clash with the melted butter. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla, rum and salt together. Mix in the pecan nuts. Pour the filling into the cold pie crust and pop into the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the filling is solid, it can still be a little jiggly in the middle. Keep an eye on the pie in the oven: my pecans started to turn quite dark after a while so I turned down the heat to 170 and covered the pie with aluminum foil to prevent it from burning.

Let the pie cool in its plate. Enjoy!

 

Rhubarb pie

Rhubarb is in season! It’s not that common in the supermarket, but fortunately my parents have it in the garden every year and they brought me some of this pink-and-green gold. This rhubarb pie recipe is pure nostalgia for me – I could smell the pies from my childhood as I was peeling away at the stalks. There’s nothing quite like the sour-sweet smell of this fresh fruit! Rhubarb can be quite different in taste (from sweet to sour) and color (from green to very pink). The kind we have is quite sour, so I used a lot of sugar – use according to the kind you have. You could also substitute with another firm fruit like apples or pears.

This recipe is originally from a cute little cookbook by two ladies called Liesbeth and Bie. I had to recreate it from memory, since I don’t have the cookbook and couldn’t find the recipe online. Usually improvising ratios is a ‘no go zone’ for desserts, but I relied on the usual quiche ratios and just added in sugar and flour from memory. You can do a ‘lazy version’ and replace the homemade crust by a storebought one. Enjoy this wonderful pie!

Rhubarb pie

Ingredients

For the crust:

155 grams all-purpose flour
90 grams cold butter, in cubes
60 grams fine sugar
2 egg yolks (save the egg whites)

For the filling:

500 grams of rhubarb, peeled and diced
250 ml cream
3 eggs
3 or 4 heaped tablespoons of sugar
1 heaped tablespoon of flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or more if you really love cinnamon)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

powdered sugar, for dusting

1 pie tin of about 25 cm diameter
dry beans, or rice, or lentils for blind baking weight

Start with the crust. Sieve the flour, then add in the butter cubes. Rub with your fingers until you have a crumbly mixture and mix in the sugar. Add the egg yolks and, using a fork or knife, bring to a more or less consistent dough. Because this gets pretty crumbly, I use a shortcut to avoid the traditional mess when trying to make a ball: spread out a sheet of plastic wrapping foil. Fold your batter into a ball as good as it gets, then transfer to foil. Add the rest of the crumbly stuff and form into a ball using the plastic foil to press it all together. Let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Put the ball between two sheets of baking paper, beat into a disklike shape and roll out until it’s a bit larger than your tin. Grease the tin, dust with flour and transfer the crust to the tin. Put a baking sheet on top with beans or rice as weights, put in the oven for 10 minutes (this is called blind baking, it makes your crust crunchier). Remove the baking weight and brush egg white over the crust (this prevents your fluid batter from seeping into the crust later). Bake for 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, dice the rhubarb and prepare the filling by mixing all the ingredients except the rhubarb in a bowl. Spread the rhubarb out over the baked crust, sprinkle with some more sugar and then add the liquid cream mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until firm. Let it cool down a bit before serving and dust with powdered sugar. Also great with some vanilla ice cream!