‘Good House Keeping Cookery Book’ from 1985 provides me again with another amazing pie. I admit it is one of the least favourite pie of mine. I don’t like some of the vegetables, but I know it is very healthy and good. And vegetarian. I made it once for the sake of someone dear and it was a success, as always. I almost wish to make it again, as I write about it for the second time (first time being in Romanian). I imagine a mother and a father and 2-3 kids, around the table and a hot dish pie in the middle of it, steaming, plus boiled French beans and Brussels sprouts or stir-fried spring beans, to serve. A…
Wholemeal Vegetable Pie
3 medium leeks, trimmed
275 g (10 oz) swede, peeled
225 g (8 oz) turnip, peeled
4 medium carrots, peeled
100 g (4 oz) butter
225 g (8 oz) large flat mushrooms, sliced
25 g (1 oz) plain flour
300 ml (1/2 pint) vegetable stock
175 g (6 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, chives, thyme, marjoram) or 10 ml (2 tsp) dried herbs
Cut the leeks into 2,5 cm (1 inch) lengths, then wash well under cold running water to remove any grit. Cut the swede, turnip and carrots into small bite-sized chunks.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the prepared vegetables and fry over moderate heat for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle in the flour and cook gently, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Gradually blend in the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese, herbs, salt and pepper to taste. pour into a 1.1 litre (2 pint) pie dish and allow to cool for about 1 hour.
Roll put the pastry on a floured surface. Cut out a thin strip long enough to go around the rim of the pie dish. Moisten the rim with water and place the strip of pastry on the rim.
Roll out the remaining pastry to cover the pie. Moisten the strip of pastry on the rim of the dish, place the lid on top, trim off any excess pastry and press to seal.
Knock up and flute or crimp the edge. Decorate the top with any pastry trimmings. If you want to eat this as a ready meal, later, freeze it. If not, brush with beaten egg. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Bake the pie in the oven at 190°C, 375°F, mark 5 for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Serve hot, with vegetables.
Am I not lucky? Of course I am. I thought about a recipe and I couldn’t find it at home. But somebody up there really loves me. And it is not chance that brought me the recipe I wanted. I guess what I wish for comes true. Sooner or later. I really love cooking so this wish came true, as I wanted it with all my heart and for a long time. At least I haven’t bumped into it at Christmas! 😉
This is another English pie, made with digestive biscuits for a new twist. Originally it is made with shortcrust pastry but… if you are tired or not in the mood for too much cooking, cut straight to the biscuits. Lemon is another fruit that deserves a recipe too. In Romania it is seen as a flavoury thing in other sweets but I am glad to discover new ways of cooking it entirely. Plus, it makes your mouth water. I know I love it, the sour taste of lemon with the sweetness of the meringue. One more thing before I write down the recipe: it was taken and tested soo many times from ”Original Card from Delicious Meals Made Easy”, Group 11, Sweet Pies & Tarts
Lemon Meringue Pie
Preparation time: 20 min plus chilling Cooking time: 40 min
Makes 8 slices
225 g (8 oz) digestive biscuits, crushed
50 g (2 oz) butter, melted (please do not use margarine, you deserve the real thing)
juice and finely grated rind of 3 large lemons
4 tablespoons cornflour (you can use plain flour as replacement)
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar (or icing sugar or granulated one if you don’t have or can’t find caster sugar)
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
100 (4 oz) caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 170 °C/ 325 °F/ gas 3. Put the crushed biscuits in a mixing bowl. Add melted butter and mix well with a wooden spoon. Firmly press the biscuit mixture into base and up the side of a 23 cm (9 in) flan dish.
For the filling, mix together the lemon juice, rind and cornflour in a large bowl. Bring 450 ml (3/4 pint) water to the boil in a pan. Stir enough of the water into the cornflour mixture to make a smooth paste.
Return mixture to pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring, until thickened. Stir in caster sugar. Cool slightly, then beat in egg yolks. Pour onto base.
For the meringue, put the egg whites in a clean bowl. Whisk with an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Whisk in two-thirds of the sugar, a little at a time, until stiff peaks form. Fold in the remaining sugar and vanilla essence.
Spread meringue over filling. Swirl surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool, then chill until required.
Am decis sa scriu separat reteta de aluat de la quiche Lorraine pentru ca e mai usor de folosit atunci cand doresti sa faci si alte retete care il cer. Aluatul zic. El se foloseste la placinte cu mere, cu fructe de padure, placinta de legume, tarte de lamaie, si alte tarte, etc. Nu stiu exact de ce, dar traducerea de aluat fraged merge mai bine in romana, decat sa ii spun aluat shortcrust, cu toata ca nu este acelasi lucru nici ca ingrediente nici ca modalitate de coacere. Dar in fine, alta traducere nu am. Imi place genul asta de aluat pentru ca e gras, simti untul din el. Mama spune ca e prea gras, dar asta e savoarea lui. 🙂 Sa trec la reteta.
Aluat fraged (sau shortcrust)
175 g faina alba sau integrala
un varf de cutit de sare
75 g unt (80-82 grasime, altfel nu garantez ca iese bine, dar poate ma insel)
cca 4-6 linguri apa rece
Prepara aluatul. Stiu ca este putin de munca, numai ca merita. Amesteca faina si sarea intr-un bol. Taie untul in bucati mici si adauga-l la mestecul de faina.
Folosind ambele maini (hei, copile, chiar te vei murdari cu aluat, dar ce fericita/ fericit vei fi si ce piele fina vei avea dupa, nici nu ai idee), freaca intre degete bucatile de unt cu faina pana cand totul capata aspect de pesmet fin.
Adauga apa imprastiind-o peste aluat si amesteca cu o lingura sau cu un cutit de tort pana cand aluatul incepe sa se adune in bucati mari.
Cu o mana aduna bucatile si framanta aluatul cateva secunde. Aluatul acesta poate fi folosit imediat dar se recomanda sa il lasi sa se “odihneasca” cca 30 de minute in frigider, la rece, sau chiar maxim doua zile cu conditia sa il tii intr-o folie de plastic.
Pe suprafata de lucru, imprastie putina faina si cu un facalet intinde aluatul sa ia forma rotunda, intr-o singura directie, intorcand de cateva ori daca e nevoie. Grosimea ideala ar fi de 3 mm. Nu trage sau intinde aluatul. Cand il lasi la cuptor, temperatura normala pentru el este de 200-220°C, 400-425 °F, nr. 6-7 la cuptorul cu gaz.
“Baking blind” cum ar zice englezii sau coacere fara umplutura, este procesul de coacere fara umplutura (stiu ca ma repet, bare with me) care se realizeaza atunci cand continutul acestei placinte nu trebuie copt sau necesita doar putin timp de coacere. Intai pune aluatul cu grija intr-o forma de placinta . Inteapa aluatul asezat in forma cu o furculita apoi adauga o bucata de foaie de copt taiata pe masura, pe care sa pui niste boabe de fasole crude, paste uscate sau orez. Coace intai aluatul la temperatura de mai sus pentru 10-15 minute, apoi indeparteaza foaia si fasolea si mai lasa-l la cuptor inca 5 minute sa se faca crocant. Apoi scoate-l si lasa-l sa se raceasca inainte de a-l indeparta din forma lui sau nu. (Boabele de fasole le poti refolosi).
Pentru forme mici de placinta este suficient sa intepi aluatul cu o furculita inainte de a il pune la cuptor. Formele acestea de aluat pot fi pastrate cateva zile intr-un recipient bine sigilat.
Do you know that when I say Quiche Lorraine, I always think of how similar it is to pizza? Well, it has eggs, bacon, cheese so don’t you feel the same? Ok, ok, I know that a quiche is a quiche but I can’t stop thinking. Beware of my thinking.
I love quiche and I have made it many times. What I like about it is that one can make it with a lot of different ingredients and it still remains delicious. I put more ingredients so you can choose and make it according to your own taste. My recipe is taken from a book I keep mentioning here: “Good Housekeeping Cookery Book” 1985, a book I think I would love to have in my kitchen. I dream of having a corner with my favorite cookbooks and recipes, but until then I keep them in my room.
Let’s go to France again, eat something quite traditional with a dry white wine, I think, and enjoy ourselves. First in the kitchen and with dear ones around.
75-100 g (3-4 oz) Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced (from my experience, cheese is never enough so I put more like 150 g of cheese; if you don’t have Gruyère, try cheddar or any other cheese )
2 eggs, beaten
150 ml (5 fl oz) single cream or milk
coriander, dill, parsley, basil and other, as you like it (optional)
tomatoes, sliced (optional)
broccoli, mushrooms (optional)
sweet pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
For the pastry, please check out the recipe in Pastries section. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20.5 cm (8 inch) plain flan ring placed on a baking sheet. Bake blind in the oven at 200°C, 400°F, mark 6 for 10-15 minutes, until set.
Scatter the bacon over the pastry base and top with the cheese.
Beat together the eggs, cream and seasoning and pour into the pastry case.
Bake in the oven at 200°C, 400°F, mark 6 for about 30 minutes, until well risen and golden. Serve hot or cold.
There are some basic recipes that you can’t do without, and shortcrust pastry is one of them. It is also fun to make and easy. Try it. You will need this for all kind of recipes so take note. The source of inspiration is this book again: “Good Housekeeping Cookbook ” 1992. The pastry can be used for quiche lorraine, wholemeal vegetable pie, lemon meringue pie and many others.
175 g (6 oz) plain white or wholemeal flour
pinch of salt
75 g (3 oz) butter
3-5 tbsp cold water
Mix the flour and salt together in a bowel. Cut the fat into small pieces and add it to the flour.
Using both hands, rub the fat into the flour between finger and thumb tips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. (I love this part!)
Add the water, sprinkling it evenly over the surface. Stir it in with a round-bladed knife until the mixture begins to stick together in large lumps.
With one hand, collect the mixture together and knead lightly for a few seconds to give a firm, smooth dough. The pastry can be used straight away, but is better allowed to “rest” for about 30 minutes. It can also be wrapped in cling film and kept in the refrigerator for a day or two.
To roll out: sprinkle a very little flour on a working surface and the rolling-pin, not on the pastry, and roll out the dough evenly in one direction only, turning it occasionally. The ideal thickness is usually about 0.3 cm (1/8 inch). Do not pull or stretch the pastry. When cooking shortcrust pastry, the usual oven temperature is 200-220°C (400-425 °F), mark 6-7.
Baking blind is the process of baking a pastry case without the filling – essential if the filling is to be uncooked or if it only requires a short cooking time. First shape the pastry into the baking tin. Prick the pastry base with a fork. For large cases, cut a round of greaseproof paper rather larger than the tin. Use this to line the pastry and weight it down with some dried beans, pasta or rice. Alternatively, screw up a piece of foil and use that to line the base of the pastry case.
Bake the pastry at the temperature given in the recipe for 10-15 minutes, then remove the baking beans and paper or foil lining and return the tin to the oven for a further 5 minutes to crisp the pastry. Leave the baked case to cool and shrink slightly before removing it from the tin. (The baking beans can be kept for use again). For small cases, it is usually sufficient to prick the pastry well with a fork before baking.
Baked unfilled pastry can be kept for a few days in an airtight container.