Had you been standing in my kitchen when I made this, you would have witnessed my joyous, ‘Ode to Pastry’ as expressed through dance!
In the past, gluten free pastry has made me hope, made me weep with disappointment and inevitably, crumble all over the place! Not this pastry! Flexible, strong and delicious! An added bonus is that you will get an awesome arm workout as you roll the pastry to fit the pie dish – bonus! Hand me another slice!
The greens came from my in-laws garden. For years I’ve called the leafy green ‘grass’ as this is what it was always explained to me as whenever we sat around the family table and the boiled greens with lemon, olive oil and salt made their way to me. I have always loved it. Turns out it’s chicory. You can use whatever leafy green available to you.
I’ve not held back when it comes to the herb flavours; I like a pie with punch! If the thought of a cup of dill puts you off, use less, or replace with your favourite herb instead..
Straight from the oven, the pie was a smash hit with the grown man and small boy of the house. We managed 2 dinners from one pie and I enjoyed the rest, cold, over the next couple of days. The pastry held up well, even when cold, and never once crumbled at the mere hint of a touch!
If gluten free isn’t an issue for you, you could use shop bought shortcrust pastry or your favourite pastry recipe.
I’d love to know what you think if you make this; leave a comment and let me know!
(makes 1 x 24cm pie)
1 kg fresh leafy greens (I used chicory, but you could use spinach, silverbeet, rocket or a combination)
1 cup of loosely packed chopped fresh dill
1 cup loosely packed chopped fresh mint
3 whole spring onions – white and green parts finely chopped
3 eggs – beaten
200g pack Fetta cheese
50g ricotta cheese
60g Parmesan cheese – grated
3 T olive oil
salt & pepper to taste.
2 1/4 cups Well and Good GF plain flour
1 tsp Xantham gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
140g unsalted butter – chilled and cut into 2cm cubes
3/4 cup water – iced.
Put the flour, gum, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine, (this will ensure there are no clumps of baking powder mucking up the texture later)
Add the chilled butter and pulse until they break up into smaller cubes and are covered in flour . You don’t want to go overboard and really crumb them into the flour; big-ish chunks is fine.
With the machine running, slowly add half the chilled water. Pulse a few times until the mix just comes together. Add a scant T or so at a time if more is needed. You want it just coming together, not smooth and balled.
Divide the mix in two and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze while you prepare the filling (or a minimum of 30 minutes)
Trim the woody stalks from the greens and chop any very large leaves.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, plunge in the greens and boil them for 10 minutes.
*Remember, it seems like a huge amount of greens, but this much cooks down to……….
Allow to cool and drain really, really well. Seriously, take the time. Otherwise your pie will be soggy. I squeezed and squeezed this ball of green, then wrapped it in some kitchen towel and repeated the process.
In a LARGE bowl, combine the dill, mint, cooked greens, spring onions, eggs, cheeses, olive oil and seasonings.
Mix really well.
Pop aside while you get the arm workout of your life preparing the pastry crust!
Working with one ball of dough (leave the other in the freezer), place it between two big sheets of baking paper and dust with a little extra flour.
Using a large rolling pin, start the process by gently pressing down across the dough to relax it and start the rolling. (Like a pastry massage! But it actually helps prevent it cracking later!)
Working slowly, use a firm pressure to roll the dough to a rough rectangular shape.
Fold over the rough edges to create a more uniform shape.
Continue to roll now, concentrating on rolling out a circular shape a little bigger than your pie dish. If the edges are cracking and uneven, continue to fold them over and then resume.
When the first one is done, place it in the fridge while you roll the second ball of dough.
Gently lift the baking paper from the pastry and lay it across your oiled dish. Press it into the base gently, leaving the overhang.
Look! Stretchy, smooth, not a crack or crumble in sight!
Pour the filling into the pie base and even out with a spatula.
Gently place the lid on and seal up the edges and decorate as you like.
Brush with a beaten egg and bake in a pre-heated 180 degree oven for around 45 minutes to an hour, until the pastry is golden and hot!
Lovely served hot, warm or even cold!
Filling recipe is a MamaBake original
Pastry recipe, with thanks, from here.