Sunday, April 22, 2007

Spinach Pie
















I'm very enthusiastic about the pie I made last week- Nigella's spinach, ricotta and bulgur pie. I managed to throw it together at the end of a hard day and that alone was a good thing. The pie was fantastic. Very thick and filling yet the taste was not heavy as with many other pies. I really loved what the lemon rind added to the pie. Just a hint of lemoniness to lift up the flavor.

I had some cold for lunch the next day and it was quite the treat!

Here's the recipe:

For the pastry:

250g/9oz Plain Flour
125g/4.5oz cold unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes
2 egg yolks
2tbsp ice water
1 heaped tsp salt
1tbsp sugar

Put the flour and butter in a dish, and put the dish in your freezer for 10 minutes. Stir together the yolks, salt and water in a cup, and put the cup in the fridge.
When the time is up, tip the flour and butter into a food processor, add the sugar and pulse to combine, it will look somewhere between sand and porridge oats. Pour in the egg yolk mixture and pulse till it looks like it's on the verge of coming together (stop just short of it binding). You may need to add more water. Turn the dough out and mash together with your hands. Once it is all bound together, cut it in two, wrap in cling film, and let rest in the fridge (generally about half an hour, but will keep in there for a couple of days I think). If you are using it for two batches, cut in two evenly. If you are making a springform cake tin pie, then cut one piece slightly larger then the other (one for the base, one for the top).

For the filling: (NOTE: This is my version, for the original check Nigella's "How To Be A Domestic Goddess".

50g bulgur
1 tsp bouillon grains
1 450g pack of frozen spinach, thawed
250g ricotta
2 spring onions, chopped
grated rind of one small lemon
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
sprinkle of dried thyme
2 eggs
3 tbsp parmesean
2 tbsps bread crumbs

Make pastry and preheat oven to 200C. Put baking sheet in the oven.
Add bouillon to bulgur and cover. Let it swell for 10-15 minutes. Drain spinach. Mash spring onion, lemon rind, cayenne, thyme, spinach and ricotta, stir in the eggs, parmesean, bulgur and salt and pepper. Use the slightly larger piece of pastry to line the tin. Sprinkle with crumbs, fill and use smaller piece of pastry for the top. Roll in the edges, makes some holes for the steam to escape and brush with a little egg yolk. Bake 10 minutes at 200C and then lower temperature to 180C and bake a further 40-45 minutes. Nigella says it's nice if you let it stand for 25 minutes. We couldn't wait that long.