Considering the title, I guess I should put in some sort of pun connecting pie with π. Alas, I’m not a mathematician, so no pun here. Sorry.
About a week ago I decided to try something new. I was told said something would be a daunting task, which takes so much practice most foodies give up.
Pastry! [cue dramatic music]
I had never done pastry before and kept hearing horrible tales of how it could all go wrong. To add to the pressure, I had someone over for dinner. The takeout menu was ready like a team of paramedics at a screamo concert.
The recipe I used was based on a savoury pumpkin tart recipe from a fellow wordpresser, here. Let it be known that by “based on” I mean the only part I actually truly followed was the pastry bit. Being the student that I am, I had run out of many ingredients (or never really had them) and found myself improvising.
What didn’t I have? Thyme, olives, onions, cheese and pumpkin. What is that you say? I can’t do it? Shun the non-believer! There are things that can be used instead of other things. For starters, I never intended on using pumpkin; I had half a butternut squash in the fridge that was dying to be baked. Secondly, I had a leak, which is kind of like onions (well, it is to me!) and, paired with celery, was very much able to bring in that sour-bitter taste to the mix (without the tears!). I had no way of substituting the olives or the cheese. You can’t substitute olives or cheese (though béchamel was made, just in case)
So I caramelised the leak and celery, oven baked the butternut squash and began forking the butter & flour.
Let me tell you something: blind baking is scary!
It all eventually came together into one beautiful sight.
Since I had some leftover pastry, I just criss-crossed it on top for purely aesthetic effect and slid it into the oven.
Verdict: delicious as it was, I had oversugared the caramelised leak. This made the pie a bit sickly, but over all amazing.
Given that I had béchamel left over, I decided to make another tart. This one would have ragù sauce and be layered with vegetable mash and topped off with cheese. Basically, it would be a lasagna with one bottom layer of pastry instead of multiple pasta sheets.
Bad for the body, good for the soul.
I would have taken a picture of the cross-section, but that didn’t turn out so nice. Still delicious, though. I’d post a recipe had I not improvised it all.