I’ve got the Thanksgiving fall bug bite! It has been pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin at my home since last month! I mean this US tradition is really contagious or maybe because of my numerous travels to the USA I have been infected with this culture way below the equator in my sunshiny island. My husband might argue with that and say it’s my addiction to look at food network or any US cooking show. The fact is that it’s pumpkin season in the US with Thanksgiving swiftly approaching! I thought why don’t I try a pumpkin pie recipe to have a little fall flavors down under too….
Everybody needs a great pie crust recipe! This one is a flavorful pie crust that only has all butter that makes it great for savory or sweet fillings! I posted another pie crust in another blog post that consists of lard and butter which is equally great as any pie base! This one is really simple and very hard to mess up. This is so versatile that you can use it for any dessert or meal such a as my pumpkin pie, or spinach and mushroom quiche or even your favorite pot pie! It is easy to make and can be stored in plastic wrap or a zip lock bag in the freezer until you are ready to use it. Try it for your next pie crust!…
Quiche is traditionally made with eggs as its main binding base and is very diverse in it contents. However, this is my egg-less, yes I said EGG-LESS quiche! The first time I made this recipe I started making my traditional spinach quiche and then I realized that I had no eggs! So what to do with the filling I had already started? Well this egg-less quiche was born! And boy was I happy! It is so delicious and a great break from the eggs in the traditional quiche. It also is meatless which is great for vegetarians, however, bacon, chicken or ham could be added to this recipe with the salt adjusted of course. When this quiche is in the oven it will fragrant inside and outside your house! Your neighbors might even invite themselves over! When I had this in the oven baking, my husband walked into the house excited by the smell of this dish and said to me “whatever is in the oven is smelling really good!” He even wanted to know what were the ingredients when he tasted it! It is really a simple dish to prepare for yourself, family, friends or any special guest! Go right ahead and treat yourself to this special quiche! Yum!
Spinach and Mushroom Quiche
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
10 oz spinach
1 can 4 oz chopped mushrooms
4 oz fat free cream cheese cubed
1 cup cheddar cheddar cheese cubed
1/2 cup white onion finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic finely chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated
1 9″ Pie crust
Begin by washing the spinach leaves and set aside to drain. Drain the can of mushrooms and also set aside. In a non-stick pan on medium heat, add olive oil and margarine. Saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add mushrooms and spinach to the onion and garlic. Add salt and black pepper. When spinach has wilted half way, add the cream cheese and the cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheeses dissolve into the spinach and mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook for 4-7 more minutes or until most of the water has evaporated. In a pre-baked pie crust, pour in the spinach and mushroom filling and spread evenly. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese. Bake quiche for 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool, slice and serve.
Pie crust is usually intimidating to make on your own at first. The most important thing is to overcome this fear by making it! It is so simple, once you start making it, you would never go back to buying when you realize how easy it is to make! There is nothing like homemade! A few points to note when making pie crust is that the margarine and shortening need to be straight out the refrigerator and the water needs to be iced cold. This is so that the shortening and butter are kept cold by the water and do not melt into the flour but form little pockets that melt in between the layers and puff up during the baking process to make the crust flaky. Using the prongs of the fork is also important to make air escape so that it releases and not make the entire crust swell as this will happen. The colder the crust the better it will bake up. Over-kneading is also a no no in making your own pie crust as the heat from your hands will contribute to the quick thawing of the margarine and shortening and we do not want this. Once the steps in the recipe are followed with these points in mind you should have a fabulous savory pie crust ready for any filling! Enjoy!
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yields: One 9″ Pastry crust
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold shortening cubed
1/4 cup cold margarine cubed plus 1/2 tbsp melted
1/2 cup cold water
Combine the flour, salt, shortening and margarine. Use either a pastry cutter or a food processor to incorporate the shortening and butter into the flour as quickly as possible. It should look like bread crumbs. Slowly add water to mixture and mix. Knead and form dough into a ball. Do not over-knead. Slightly flatten, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 15 minutes or more once time permits. The pie crust can stay in the freezer overnight or longer. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out slightly flattened dough to approximately 14″ in diameter or as thin as not to burst when lifting. Place rolled out dough into pie dish or tart pan. Fit properly to bottom ends of the dish and then trim excess dough to the top of dish using a kitchen shears or by running a knife on the edge of the dish. Using a fork, gently score pie crust with the prongs. Brush scored pie crust with melted butter and bake for 10 minutes. It is now a pre-baked pie crust ready for any savory filling.
Note: It is optional before baking that the prepared pie crust can be refrigerated in the freezer for 15-30 minutes again.