When I was invited to a friend's post-Christmas pie tasting party, I responded that I would bring one sweet pie and one savory pie. The discussions began around our dining room table: What makes a pie a pie?
Sensibly, Riley said, "A pie has no frosting." True.
Jake declared, "It's the crust." Okay.
And my sweet, Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf asserted, "A pie has a crust...and is low to the ground." Huh. "You know, a cake can be tall; a pie is short."
Employing all three of those criteria - no frosting, a crust, and low to the ground - a galette can qualify as a pie. So, I decided to make a veggie galette for my savory 'pie' offering.
I had a caprese tart in mind, but one of the things I love about caprese is its freshness. That didn't lend itself to a cooked tart. I settled on a veggie tart with a caprese topping. And since our hostess is mostly gluten-free, I went that route for my pâte brisée .
Pâte Brisée is a pastry dough/crust that has a rich flavor and a crisp, flaky texture. It is ideal for both sweet and savory pies, tarts, and quiches. Learn to make it. Stat. You won't regret adding it to your culinary repertoire.
2-1/2 C gluten-free flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 C finely ground cashews
1 C butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
6 to 8 T ice water
I don't have a food processor, so I use a pastry blender and do it all by hand. Place the flour, ground cashews, and cold butter in a large bowl. Use the patry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add one egg and ice water 1 T at a time, until mixture just begins to clump together. If you squeeze some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and cut again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough. Once the dough comes together into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
For the filling...
2 C collard greens, chiffonaded
2 C baby spinach
2 C oven-roasted grape tomatoes
1/2 C grated pecorino Romano
2 cloves crushed garlic
Roll out the Pâte Brisée between two pieces of parchment paper, making a rustic 15-inch circle, adding more flour, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Transfer the crust to a baking sheet with the parchment or baking mat in place.
For the topping...
Stir together ciliegie and fresh tomatoes, both halved, fresh basil chiffonaded, and a pinch of fleur de sel and a splash of olive oil.
And pie or not, this was delicious...and a hit at the party!