Sunday, November 16, 2008

Savory Vegetable Pie for Cold November Nights

The soul of fall in flaky crust.

For the crust:
1 cup butter
2 cups wheat flour
cold water

In a large mixing bowl, cut the chilled butter into the flour. Being sure never to let your palms touch the butter, gently mix with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse
grain. (If the butter gets too warm, it will melt before the fat globules properly bind to the flour, resulting in a flat crust.) Periodically dip your fingers in the ice water to keep them cool. Once the butter is well-mixed, pour in the cold water, a little bit at a time, until the dough holds together. Knead into a ball and let rest in the refrigerator.

For the pie:
1 medium winter squash (I used butternut)
1-2 heads garlic, separated into cloves
olive oil
salt and pepper
4 medium leeks
2 shallots
a splash of red wine
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, grated

Cut the squash into small chunks, and throw it in a baking dish with the whole garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast at 450 for 30-40 minutes, until soft.

Slice the leeks thinly. Mince the shallots. Sauté in a little butter until the leeks are translucent and just starting to brown. Add the wine and cook until the pan is dry.

Toss the leeks with the squash and pine nuts. Mix well. Roll out the crust and pour in the vegetable mixture. Top with a thick layer of cheddar cheese. Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes, until the crust is brown and the cheese is bubbling.

Eat warm, with sautéed kale and, if you are inclined, a good brown ale.

This recipes makes two pies. Trust me, you’ll want one the next day.

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