Friday, July 7
Spinach and Goat Cheese Pie (with some leeks for good measure)
Last night my cousin Alison (Hi Al!) came over for dinner. I've been craving spinach and goat cheese pie, which I haven't made since back in the Venice Beach days, but which was always a big hit with Bryan. As I was gathering ingredients I found some beautiful leeks which, while not technically in the original Greens recipe, could not be passed up. I also forgot to get the milk and cream I needed so I substituted low fat soy milk for the milk and took a second trip to the market for the cream.
Last night it was just the right amount of richness to feel decadent without being to heavy in the heat. I served it with a light salad and berries and ice cream followed for desert. Alison brought the berries and a divine French Rose that she carried back from Nice. Perfect. I told her I'd give her the recipe before she left but of course we forgot, so here it is.
SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE PIE
1 recipe tart dough (see below)
I bag spinach
2 bunches scallions (if the guy in the produce section looks at you funny when you ask for scallions, say green onions instead)
1 large leek or 2 small leeks
2 Tbsp Butter
1 or 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
pinch of dried marjoram, or more if fresh
at least 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
5 oz goat cheese (I like chevre)
1 cup milk (or soy milk)
1 cup cream
Nutmeg to taste
Prepare the tart dough and partially prebake it (again see below)
Trim the roots and most of the greens off the scallions and leek. Wash thoroughly and thinly slice. Melt the butter in a wide skillet and add the scallions, garlic, leek, marjoram and parsley. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Beat the eggs and egg yolks with half the cheese until fairly smooth. Add the milk and cream, nutmeg, 1/2 tsp salt and some pepper. Mix.
Preheat the oven to 375. Lay the spinach on the bottom of the partially baked crust and crumble the remaining cheese on top. Add the custard, then bake the pie until it is set and lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes. Let it rest 10 minutes at least before serving.
As you can see, we hated it.
Now for the Tart Dough. You could technically buy a premade crust but I believe they taste better from scratch, even if they don't look as pretty.
1 1/2 cup white flour
3/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 1/4 Tbsp crisco
3-4 Tbsp ice water
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, then add the butter and shortening. I like to use my clean hands to work the fat and flour together until evenly distributed. Add cold water and lightly work it into the flour. Gather the dough into a ball and sprinkle with a few drops of water to gather any remaining dough. Cover with wax paper and form into a disc. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or freeze for later use).
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured working surface with a floured rolling pin until 1/8 inch thick. This is where I always screw it up because mine tends to want to not turn into a pretty circle. I make it as best I can, place it in a pie pan and perform surgery on the chunks that got left behind (this is the - it might not be pretty - part).
To partially prebake the crust, first freeze until the crust is quite firm. Then preheat the oven to 425F. Set the frozen tart directly into the oven and cook until it has a set appearance and is just beginning to change color, about 8-10 minutes. If any air bubbles occur, pop with a knife as it's cooking.
Fill with goodies like spinach and goat cheese and bake away!