Monday, September 27, 2010

The "Best" vegetable pies ever!

Last week I drove past a sign that proclaimed, "Estate Sale". I am required by forces of nature to stop at estate sales, and did so. The lady whose estate was being sold had a number of nice pyrex glass baking dishes, including some 8 inch pie plates. Thinking that an 8 inch pie must be less fattening than a 9 inch pie, I bought the 2 8-inch pie plates.

It's not allowed to buy a pie plate without baking a pie, so I promptly did so. In fact, I made two. These are variations on a theme, vegetable pies with a cream-of-something based sauce.

This is the pie crust recipe here. I've made a change that I like. I add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to the mix. I think this makes for a fluffier crust, something to do with the effect of the citric acid on the olive oil while baking. In fact, it starts to rise before it goes into the oven. As it happened, this made enough crust for both 8-inch pies.

I washed and sliced the cauliflower, placing chunks in the pie crust. Then I added about 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms, sauteed in olive oil, and 1/2 medium onion, also sauteed in olive oil. That saute really brings out the flavor. Then, placed chunks of sliced garlic throughout the pie, and peppered it with pepper (duh).

Similar for the broccoli pie, except I didn't saute the mushrooms. Instead of garlic, I placed sun dried tomato slices through-out the pie. This pie also contains sauteed onion, about the same amount as the cauliflower pie. Then I peppered it with pepper, too.

Now each gets the sauce. No particular reason for which one got which sauce. FOr the cauliflower pie, I mixed one can of condensed cream of mushroom soup (low calorie) with 1/2 cup of water and one egg, then poured into the pie plate. ALMOST too much, but it did fit. For the broccoli pie, I did the same thing, except using cream of potato soup. I did that because that's what I had on hand. This was too much for this pie, so I spooned out enough to keep it from over-flowing, and placed the extra amount in a small covered dish, sprinkling bread crumbs on top. Basically, a mini casserole.

They both look the same now. I covered the edges with foil, as usual. I keep using the same foil for edges until it crumples. Waste not want not. Then baked 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Did not remove the foil from the edges, I don't think that's needed.

You can tell it's done because the crust has browned slightly, and there is filling bubbling up through crevices. I let it cool, and ate a slice. These were both really, really good. The sun dried tomatoes added a great flavor to the broccoli pie, and by using sauteed mushrooms and onions, the cauliflower pie had a rich, complex flavor. I ate much of the broccoli pie cold, but I liked the cauliflower pie better hot.

These are like a pot pie, but I like them a lot better. Plus, I can select what goes into them, and I think these are healthier due to the olive oil crust, and the fresh vegetables.

What came from the yard? Just the eggs and onions. If I have enough peaches or apples, maybe a fruit pie is next.

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