Sporadically, recurrently, quite infrequently and absolutely never twice in one week, I have been known to cheat.
Oh don’t look at me like that, it’s NOT what you are thinking.
I mean it.
In this particular instance, the cheating I am referring to involves a pie crust. The “pre-made” kind. I know I know, you can take me out back and give me 50 lashes with a wet lasagna noodle – but that won’t change the fact that sometimes, one must take shortcuts when time is of the essence.
Like yesterday, for our Non-Easter dinner. I was pressed for time due to an 11 mile bike ride and 3.2 mile walk. Which, by the way, I learned is equivalent to a 5K. Which is, in fact, still much much shorter than a half marathon (13.1).
And they say I can’t do math. 🙂
So about the pie…and dinner….I had it all down – calculated the short shopping trip, prep time, cook times…I was on it. And made it all happen in record time thanks to a little help.
Spinach and Parmesan Pie – adapted from Emeril Lagasse
The original recipe is actually a double crusted pie, baked in a springform pan. But I used a deep dish frozen crust and it worked just fine. And leftovers are excellent the next day.
8 ounces flour (about 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
4 ounces (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tbs. solid vegetable shortening
3 tbs. ice water
Parmesan and Spinach Pie:
1 tsp unsalted butter
3 tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 pounds spinach, rinsed, blanched, and finely chopped
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
1 tbs. melted unsalted butter
For the crust: Into a large bowl, sift the flour. Add the butter pieces and shortening and work them into the flour by hand until the dough starts to come together and form small pea shapes. Work the ice water into the dough 1 tablespoon at a time with your fingers until it just comes together, being careful not to over mix. Form the crust into a disk shape, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.Brush the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan with the butter and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.To make the filling, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the spinach and pepper, mix well, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the eggs and cheese, and mix well. Let cool.Divide the dough into 2 portions, one about 2/3 and the other 1/3 of the dough. Roll each portion on a lightly floured surface into a thin round. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Fill with the cooled spinach mixture, and top with the smaller round of dough, pressing firmly to seal the filling. With a sharp knife, cut slits into the top crust and brush with the melted butter. Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is set, about 40 minutes.Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.