All The Pie.

I am a very bad blogger. We may as well face facts.

I’ve been baking up a storm, and have been continuing to make (and eat) a pie a week. But I don’t always feel moved to write about them. Or I find myself strapped for time. There are a million excuses. But also? Maybe I don’t want to tell every detail about every pie right here as it happens. Maybe I want to make some of them again, perfect the recipes, take note of measurements and weights. Maybe I don’t, but maybe I do. Maybe this would make a good cookbook. Maybe I want to play with this project a little, curate it a little better rather than just tossing it all onto the internet as soon as I’ve thrown some food together.

But the truth is, this was always meant to be a personal challenge of making one pie a week for one year. My grandmother never intended it to be a blogging project. She wouldn’t even have known what a blog was.

I only have eight more pies to make. Eight! That seems crazy to me, this year has flown by so quickly. I’m not sure how I will tell you about the last eight pies. But I don’t want to leave you hanging on the past 15 either, so I’m going to give you a little round-up here. This is the kind of thing that would probably be better suited to Tumblr, but oh well.

Apple Pie: a classic pie, beloved by many. I don’t like apple pie at all, I don’t get it, I don’t like it even a little bit, even when it’s made well.

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Pumpkin Pie Part Two (Canned Pumpkin): Because I can’t get enough of pumpkin pie, I made another one post-Thanksgiving, this time with canned pumpkin. In doing this I solidified my opinion that it’s never as good with canned pumpkin – it’s too smooth, no texture, too much like baby food.

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Chocolate Pumpkin Pie: Yet another pumpkin pie, but this time with melted dark chocolate swirled into the pumpkin filling. It was crazy – it tasted like a autumn spiced chocolate cheesecake. Too rich for my blood, but definitely delicious.

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Curry Pot Pie: I fell deep, so deeply, in love with this pie. I’ve made it again. Essentially just curry powder added to a standard veggie pot pie filling, and it was incredible. I’m waiting for a chance to make this with chicken – who wants to have me over? And yes, I spelled “pot pie” with pastry. What’s it to you?

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Potato Leek Galette: This pie was whatever. I took inspiration from potato leek soup and from what was in my fridge (i.e. potatoes and leeks) and added some shredded good gruyere. It was very tasty, but we ate it as a main course and I think it would really shine as a side dish at brunch next to some eggs. Also: rainbow potatoes!

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Blood Orange Pie: I started thinking about lemon meringue pie, and how I wondered if you could do a grapefruit meringue (why not?). Citrus season had just begun and I had been getting these really great blood oranges from the U.S. but then due to both laziness and curiosity I ended up making a different kind of citrus pie. One where you just cut off all the membranes from the oranges, arrange them on your pastry, sprinkle with a small amount of sugar, and bake. It was kind of like marmalade pie, in a great way. I loved it.

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Swiss Chard and Feta Galette: This was kind of like spanakopita, but made with swiss chard rather than spinach. I often find spinach/feta pastries too rich, but for some reason this wasn’t. It was really good, and definitely one of my absolute favourite pies that I’ve made.

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Egg Nog Pie: This pie was weird. Since custard pie is a thing, and egg nog is basically custard, I thought why not make a Christmas-y egg nog pie? Basically a custard pie but with some nutmeg, a little bit of bourbon or dark rum in the filling? It was okay, kind of weird. It took forever to bake, and I learned why you should be blind baking crusts when you have such a liquidy filling (they buckle and look ugly plus will be even more soggy bottomed than normal). I wasn’t really into it, but it was an experiment! Also, because the baking was frustrating, I forgot to take a photo of the finished pie.

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Mushroom, Eggplant, and Ricotta Galette: I made this pie for a lunch hangout with my girl Jocelyn (you should really click that, she takes beautiful photos). Roasted Eggplant, sautéed mushrooms, and a smear of ricotta. I’m really into eggplant. This pie was great.

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Kale and Sweet Potato Pie: This was kind of a “use up the stuff in the fridge before going away” pie. Also a “you’re supposed to eat one dark green and one orange vegetable a day” pie. It was sort of like a quiche, because I beefed up the filling with eggs. Mashed sweet potato with kale in an eggy filling that was mildly curry-spiced. It was weird, but not bad.

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Vegetarian Tourtière: Vegetarian tourtière?! That doesn’t even make sense! But it did, and it was great. The filling was roasted chestnuts and mushrooms, with all the other great seasonings of a traditional québecois meat pie. I had this on Christmas day (I know, I know, Christmas Eve is the true tradition) and it was awesome.

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Classic Tourtière: Oh, don’t worry. We made a meat tourtière too. From my French-Canadian Uncle Phil’s faded, tattered, hand-written recipe. It was awesome too.

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Veggie and Meat Tourtière together at last.

Veggie and Meat Tourtière together at last.

Curry Pot Pie: Again, for a good friend’s birthday dinner. I’ll spare you the photos.

Gluten-Free Kale, Roasted Red Pepper, and Feta Pie: I tried to make a gluten-free pie! A friend who is GF was coming over and I was all like “challenge: accepted!”. I was feeling a little hot-shotty, actually. Gluten free pie is hard! Gluten is really stretchy, and GF pastry has like, zero elasticity. It came together and rolled out fine, but then I couldn’t get it off the counter. I ended up packing it back up into a ball, and then rolling it out on the parchment that I baked it on. This was a galette, so it worked, but I’m not sure how it would work for a regular pie. I’m enough of a perfectionist that I’ll try my hand at this again. Apparently I’m a fool who forgot to take photos of this pie. D’oh!

Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche: A Classic. For Sunday brunch, and I added in some parmesan as well, and the whole thing was great.

Broccoli Quiche, in process.

Broccoli Quiche, in process.

Well friends, that’s it. Those are the pies I’ve been making and eating for the past several months. Like I said, I have only eight more pies to make until I’m done this whole pie-a-week-for-a-year thing. Thanks for reading!

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Potato, Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Quiche.

Friends, this was my half-way pie.

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Now, I made this more than 2 months ago, which means I’m well past the halfway point of this project, but I’m way behind in my blogging. Because I’m such a terrible, no-good, very bad blogger, I’m going to speed through some of these pie posts so that you get the general idea of the pies without mad detail about every little ingredient.

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This is a quiche. It was a great quiche, maybe the best quiche ever. Pink potatoes and a red pepper from my CSA, both roasted until all perfect and delicious, chopped up and mixed with a perfect egg filling and a ton of goat cheese. Have it for brunch, have it for lunch, have it for dinner or anything in between.

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It definitely takes a bit of time because of all the roasting, but the payoff is great.

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Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette.

This is a pie I’ve made before. I’ve even blogged about it before, way back here. It’s (perhaps unsurprisingly) a Smitten Kitchen recipe, and it really does taste like autumn in a pie. This time, however, I omitted something that I previously would have felt was in-omittable – the fresh sage. Now, I love fresh sage. It tastes like Thanksgiving and it goes so well with buttery things. But I also find it very overpowering, and sometimes I find it makes my tongue feel numb. Also, I don’t have a sage plant, and buying a pack of fresh sage to use only a few leaves seems so wasteful, so this time I just skipped it.

I did use dried sage, but it’s much subtler, and in some ways I really liked that.

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All you really need for this pie is a few onions, your pastry, a small squash and a good, hard cheese. Almost every time I’ve made this I’ve made it with a really firm gruyere – called Gruyere de Grotte – and it is delicious. But you can use any cheese you like!

Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette – adapted, ever so slightly, from Smitten Kitchen

  • one single crust pastry
  • one small squash of your choosing
  • 3 small or 2 large onions, sliced into half moons
  • fresh or dried sage, or other spices to your liking
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of cheese, cut into small cubes
  • butter or oil for sautéing
  • one egg, beaten, for egg wash (optional)

Peel your squash and remove the seeds, then cut it into 1 inch dice. Roast in a 400 degree oven until tender but not too soft. Meanwhile, melt butter in a pan (cast iron if you have it) and sauté your onions slowly over medium heat. Lots of recipes for caramelizing onions call for you to add a bit of sugar but this is unnecessary – it’s kind of cheating actually. I do it sometimes, but really I find that if you have the time to cook the onions slowly that they will release more of their own sugars and they will be so much better. Season the onions with salt and pepper and sage, or other spices. Cook until they are all soft and browned and delicious. Remove from heat and set aside. When your squash is done roasting, let it cool slightly so that it isn’t super hot when it goes onto your pastry.

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Roll out your pastry into a rough circle. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Pile your onions in a circle in the middle, followed by the squash and then the cheese. Fold up the edges of the pastry, brush with egg (optional) and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

This is one of those times when I made something and forgot to take photos. Bad blogger! All I have is the photo of the squash and a bad photo of my onions in the pan. I can assure you though that the finished product was beautiful and delicious. You’ll just have to make it and see for yourself.

Tomato Corn Pie.

Guys, I’m almost halfway done this project. That seems crazy! It hasn’t even felt all that difficult so far, pie is just a part of my regular life routine now (which, by the way, is pretty great). This is my 23rd pie of this project. Technically it’s my 24th pie of this project, since you’ll remember that I made two peach pies, but I’m counting those as only one for the purposes of this. This means I have 3 more pies to make before I’m halfway. That will bring us basically right up to Thanksgiving, and you can expect some special Thanksgiving-related posts, to be sure.

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But back to this pie. I’ve looked at this recipe several times over the last three or four years, but never made it until yesterday. I always noticed it at the wrong time – it requires both fresh tomatoes and fresh corn, and sometimes I forgot about this recipe until the season for both had passed. Sometimes it was a year where corn and tomatoes didn’t really overlap much in Ontario – we’ve had some weird weather over the past few years, and some rough summers for farmers. Last week we got a lot of corn in our CSA and I had a end-of-summer harvest party to attend on Sunday evening, so it only made sense to pick up some tomatoes and make this happen.

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The dough in this pie is slightly different than normal pie crust – it’s more like a biscuit. It’s a little less buttery, a little less stretchy, but it’s perfect for this kind of pie. Because it’s also kind of a drier dough, I found that it was actually easy to roll it out if it wasn’t ice cold, which is kind of nice when you are trying to work quickly and don’t want to waste time chilling your dough. I was really organized making this pie – I had all my ingredients prepped and measured out before I made the dough, and so it came together really quickly when it came time to assembling. Perhaps a little too quickly – I realized a few hours later that I had forgotten an ingredient. This pie was supposed to have a lemony-mayonnaise sauce type thing that you pour on top before putting on the top crust. I love mayo, but this sounds pretty gross even to me, but it also wasn’t a huge amount of mayo and it was the only sauce-like substance in this pie, so I figured it would act as more of a binding agent than anything else. Well, I forgot it. And you know what? It totally didn’t need it. I’ll include it here for you to see anyways, but I think its unnecessary. If I wanted a sauce with this (which it doesn’t need) I think I’d be more likely to mix up a lemony-sour cream to dollop on top.

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I brought this to a Sunday evening potluck and I gotta say, it was a hit.

Tomato Corn Pie – adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 TBSP butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 TBSP melted butter

Filling

  • 1/3 cup mayo mixed with 2 TBSP lemon juice (optional, i forgot it)
  • ~ 2 lbs. roma/plum tomatoes –  cored, peeled and sliced
  • 3 ears worth of cut corn
  • 5-10 leaves of basil, torn
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • ~ 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Make the crust the way you would with normal pastry – stir together the dry ingredients, cut in butter, then add the milk as your liquid, combining until it just forms a dough. Divide into two equal pieces.

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Roll out your bottom crust and pat into pie plate. Trim edges to leave 1 inch overhang. Layer half of the tomatoes around the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle with half the corn, half the basil, half the green onions, a shake of salt and a grind of pepper, and top with half the cheese. Repeat the layers, using up the rest of your tomatoes, corn, herbs, and cheese. If you are using the mayo sauce, drizzle that over the top of your pie filling now. Roll out the top crust and transfer to the pie. Trim edges to the diameter of your pie plate. Fold bottom crust overhang over the top crust, pinching to close around the edges. Crimp crust. Cut steam vents in the top crust (at least 4). Brush top crust with melted butter and then protect pie edge with tin foil.

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Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes, removing the tin foil for the last 10, and turning up to broil for a minute or two at the very end to brown your top crust. Let cool slightly, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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End of Summer Galette.

This galette is basically the lovechild of last week’s burst tomato pie and last month’s summer vegetable pie. I mean, I guess it’s much more like the second one, because the only thing really linking it to the burst tomato pie is the presence of corn. I hope that some of you are starting to go “Hey, this pie is just a bunch of vegetables thrown in a crust! That doesn’t seem that fancy!” – because it’s true! Pie doesn’t have to be fancy! Pie can (and should) be the vehicle for those nights when you don’t know what to have for dinner but have a bunch of vegetables in your fridge and don’t know what to do with them. It is seriously so easy to just cook up some veggies, slap em in a galette crust, and bake it with maybe some cheese. An unplanned dinner that tastes like something you spent lots of time thinking about and making? Best.

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But I am sorry if any of your are bored by the fact that I’ve posted a few very similar galettes in the last few weeks. I can’t help it! Keep in mind that I actually am EATING all of these pies, and I gotta give my belly what it wants – which is delicious summer veggies in a flaky crust, ideally with that feta I’ve told you about. I’ve called this pie an “end of summer galette”, because I made it at the start of Labour Day weekend. The thing I love about not being in school (or working in a school right now, since I’m a teacher) is that Labour Day weekend doesn’t mean a whole lot to me – except that in September a lot of things I might like to do will be far less crowded since so many people will have decided that summer is over. That said, I’m also never sad about summer ending. Autumn is really the best. This morning I woke up and put on a summer dress (actually it was my “house dress” which is a dress I wear like sweatpants all summer indoors and never wear out) but soon got quite chilly. I then said to Paul “I need socks and a sweater!” and very literally clapped my hands with glee while I said it. I’m going to dig out one of our afghans today to cozy under. IT’S ALL SO EXCITING.

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I’m sure you summer lovers are really groaning right now, but I can’t help it. Fall is the best and I don’t even hate winter either, I kind of love it. I am almost positive that summer is my least favourite season, except for all the awesome local fruits and vegetables. So anyways, this is all to say that while it’s not quite the end of summer yet (as this galette would suggest) it’s true that I may already be dancing on summer’s grave, celebrating its demise with pie.

End of Summer Galette – adapted from nobody, created by me. 

  • one single crust pastry
  • one small to medium eggplant
  • one red pepper
  • 1-2 ears of corn, cut off the cob
  • good feta
  • salt, pepper, and fresh basil if you have it
  • one egg, beaten for the egg wash (optional)
  • sesame seeds (optional)

Peel your eggplant and cut into smallish pieces, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cut your red pepper in half, remove seeds and white membranes, and rub both sides with olive oil. Place in a roasting pan with the eggplant. Roast veggies at 400 for 20-30 minutes. The eggplant may be done before the pepper is really softened, so you can remove the eggplant to a plate when its cooked. When done, let the pepper cool and then cut into small pieces.

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egg washin’.

Meanwhile, sauté the corn in a pan with a bit of butter or olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Crumble some feta into a small bowl.

When the eggplant, pepper and corn have cooled a bit (so that they are lukewarm but not hot), roll out your galette dough. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the eggplant, then pepper, then corn onto the galette dough. Sprinkle with some shreds of torn basil and the crumbled feta. Fold up the dough edges to form a rustic circle, trying to make sure that you seal it so that there are no leaky edges. Brush the dough with the egg wash. On a whim, this time I decided to sprinkle the crust with sesame seeds after the egg wash. It was delicious. The presence of both the sesame seeds and the feta made me feel like I was eating spanakopita, and it seemed like my pastry was more flaky, almost like phyllo. Maybe sesame seeds someone make your pastry more flaky. Either way, I highly recommend this addition. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or so, until done. DEVOUR.

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don’t mind if i do.

Burst Tomato, Zucchini, and Sweet Corn Galette.

This pie screams August.  Deb over at Smitten Kitchen posted this recipe while I was away in Portland, and when I got back and saw it I knew that it really needed no adaptations. So I didn’t make any. I mean, I used my own pastry recipe (though I can attest that her galette dough, with the lemon juice and sour cream, is really good). If I made this again, I think I would try it with a different cheese, because the parmesan was a kind of mellow in this, and I think I’d like it with some feta, or goat cheese, or maybe ricotta instead. But I have no complaints. Her recipe is great, and I encourage you all to make it before the corn is gone.

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What’s smart about this recipe is that you cook the tomatoes a bit in a pan before you bake your galette – otherwise they would burst in the oven, and all those tomato juices would lead to a very wet and leaky pie. This way, most of the juices escape in the pan, and get cooked down a bit into a bit of a thicker gravy, if you will. I think this burst-tomato concept would work just as well with other accompanying vegetables, which makes me happy because cherry or grape tomatoes are basically the only variety of fresh tomato that I will buy here in the off-season. You can still get small tomatoes like that here in the winter, that are local, and have likely been grown in a hothouse, and they are pretty good. I might try a variation of this pie out in the colder months, because little cherry tomatoes can go a long way when you’ve been relying on cruciferous and root vegetables for months (i LOVE cruciferous vegetables, in case that made you think otherwise).

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Burst Tomato, Zucchini, and Sweet Corn Galette – from Smitten Kitchen

  • one single crust pastry recipe, or Smitten Kitchen’s galette dough recipe
  • 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 ear of corn, sliced off the cob
  • about half of a large zucchini, or 1 small one, diced
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, or another cheese of your choice (I don’t recommend cheddar, after the melty-oil fiasco of the Tex Mex Galette)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper and chili flakes, if you’re into that
  • one egg, beaten, for the egg wash (optional)

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Heat a pan with some olive oil and add the tomatoes. Cover the pan, because those babies are going to burst and you don’t want them shooting hot tomato juice all over yourself or your kitchen. You can stir occasionally, if you’d like. You’ll hear them start to pop in the pan, and once most of them have burst and are leaking their juices, you can remove the lid. Add the zucchini and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt, pepper, chili flakes, or any other spices you might like. Add the corn and cook for 1 minute, then mix in the green onions and remove from heat. Pour the vegetables onto a plate to cool for 20 minutes or so.

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When your filling has cooled, get out your dough and roll it out into a large circle. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Spoon your filling onto the pastry. Sprinkle with most of the parmesan cheese. Fold up the pastry edges to make a rustic pie. Brush with the egg wash, and sprinkle the remaining parmesan on the pastry (cheese crust!). Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly and well browned. Eat that delicious pie and savour the last breaths of summer.

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Adventures in Failure: Tex Mex Galette.

Look, when you set out to make 52 pies, not all of them are going to be declared to be the best pie you’ve ever made. Some of them will be completely inedible. And I won’t be surprised if more fall into the category that this one did: not terrible enough to throw out, but really, really not very good.

Salsa, refried beans, sweet potato. Why did I do this?!

Salsa, refried beans, sweet potato. Why did I do this?!

Truthfully? I wasn’t surprised. This was very much a “shit-I-have-to-make-a-pie-before-we-go-away-maybe-i’ll-try-this-weird-idea-that-means-i-won’t-have-to-get-groceries” pie.  I mean, Tex Mex Galette? That really could go either way. On the one hand, I love burritos and tacos and all things with refried beans, and if they go in tortillas then why not a pie crust? One the other hand, there’s got to be a really good reason that people everywhere aren’t eating tex mex pies. HEY LET’S TRY IT!

It really looks like it should be delicious.

It really looks like it should be delicious.

Hey, let’s not make this again.

I’m not even going to share the recipe, it’s not worth it, and also you can pretty much imagine it for yourselves. I basically put refried beans, sweet potato, and all your other standard burrito fixings inside of a galette, and then ate it with sour cream and avocado on top. There was cheddar cheese in it, which melted into an insane puddle of grease on not one, but two baking sheets (I panicked and put it on a new cookie sheet halfway through baking, worried that it would drown in oil). The end result had this kind of acidic aftertaste that got you at the back of the throat. But really? It was just wrong. It just wasn’t meant to be. Which is really just fine, because I love tortillas and other fine flatbreads.

Why aren't you a taco?

Why aren’t you a taco?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Now, I don’t want to leave you totally sad about not getting another pie recipe to make for yourselves. To cheer you up, let me share this lovely drawing that my partner made ages ago, and that I’ve been meaning to share with you for weeks and weeks and weeks.

Pie Guy.

Pie Guy.

Roasted Summer Vegetable Galette.

When I ate this pie, I said out loud: “I think this might be the best pie I’ve ever made”.

Now, you should know that I’ve said that before, and I’ve probably said it since, but you can be sure that really, what it means is: I can find no flaws with this pie. I mean, I make a lot of pies (one a week, in case you haven’t noticed), but I can usually find flaws. That’s not a bad thing – this would be a pretty boring project if I thought that every pie was perfect – no room to improve, no challenge. But I have lots of little flaws – not things that make the pie unlovable, just little quirks: a leaky crust, a dented pie edge, a soggy bottom. But, much like with people, if I really love the pie, I can’t find any flaws worth mentioning.

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I made this pie at the very end of July, almost a month ago. I’m working on catching up on my blogging, I promise. But the great thing about this recipe is that everything that I used for this pie – things that were just starting to be in season here in Ontario – are still around, and better than ever. Sometimes I wonder whether I would appreciate fresh local produce as much as I do if I lived somewhere that had this kind of bounty year-round. Maybe I’m just really Canadian (whatever that might mean) but I sort of feel like having to wait all through the winter for the good stuff makes it better. Seriously, in like April, this is basically how I feel about the upcoming fruit and veggie season. Anyways, make this pie before our beautiful summer veggies are gone.

Bounty.

Bounty.

Roasted Summer Vegetable Galette – adapted from nobody, recipe by me. 

  • one single crust pastry recipe
  • one small eggplant, or half a larger one – peeled and sliced into strips or however you’d prefer
  • half or all of one yellow pepper (halved)
  • one small yellow zucchini, or half a larger one – thinly sliced into matchsticks or half moons (I find that smaller pieces worked better in this)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • good feta (if you live in Toronto I can’t say enough about how much I’m in love with the Macedonian feta from the cheese counter at Fiesta Farms)
  • fresh basil, if you have it
  • approx. 1 tsp. of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper and chili flakes, if that’s your bag
  • one egg, for the egg wash (optional)

Roast the eggplant and the yellow pepper until they are deliciously silky and will have all that good roasty flavour – I just usually roast them in olive oil with a bit of salt, pepper, and sometimes chili flakes. Let cool a bit and then chop the pepper into smaller chunks. Combine the sour cream with a good bunch of feta (this is to taste, I use a lot) and add a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. You want this to come together into a sort of thick paste – it will form the saucy base of the galette.

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Roll our your pastry into a rough circle. Place it on a parchment lined baking sheet or pizza pan. Spread the sour cream-feta mixture on the pastry, in a circle that will be where your toppings will go. Add the eggplant, then the pepper, trying to evenly distribute them throughout the galette.

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Add the zucchini (which should still be raw). Sprinkle with some more feta crumbles, some slivers of basil, and grind some black pepper on top if you’d like. Fold up the sides of the galette to make your pie. Brush the crust with an egg wash if you want. Bake at about 375 for 25-40 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the filling looks good. You can broil it for a few minutes at the end if it seems done but you want it to be more browned.

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We ate this with a really simple salad of grape tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado. It was the summer-iest, and I recommend something that makes you feel similarly.

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Mushroom & Garlic Scape Quiche.

I hereby introduce the second quiche of this pie project! I can’t believe I’ve only made two quiches so far. Unless I’m mis-remembering, am I? For some reason the fact that this is only my second quiche feels impressive to me. Not in the sense that I’ve resisted the deliciousness of quiche (I never resist deliciousness, nor should you), but in the sense that quiche is kind of the easy way out when it comes to pie creation. I mean, quiche still requires about the same amount of work as other pies, but for me at least, I find that quiche doesn’t demand the same amount of creativity. I always have eggs (and the best eggs, courtesy of my CSA) which means that I pretty much can make a quiche anytime. All it requires is finding a couple of other things to throw into it from the fridge – cheese, a veggie or two, maybe an herb or something. But it’s pretty easy because really? I think everything goes with eggs. So I am considering it a victory that out of 14 pies, only 2 have been quiches so far.

Mushrooms for the quiche, carrot for the chef.

Mushrooms for the quiche, carrot for the chef.

I am considering this quiche a victory in another respect as well. Perhaps you remember my other quiche? It was early in this project, and I wrote about how stressful I can find quiches to be – trying to figure out when the egg is actually cooked in there, without overdoing it. But this quiche? This beautiful mushroom quiche peppered with garlic scapes? I cooked it perfectly, and it wasn’t even stressful. I wish I could tell you why it was easier this time, but I don’t have the answers.

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This quiche was simple, and amazing. It was basically a classic mushroom quiche, but with the added spunk of garlic scapes and some really good cheese.  You should have it for dinner.

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Mushroom & Garlic Scape Quiche – recipe by me. 

  • Mushrooms – lots of them. I’d say 3/4 of a pound? I used portobellos, but you can use whatever mushroom you’d prefer.
  • 2-3 garlic scapes. If you don’t have scapes (you must not have a CSA, I am going to be buried alive in them) you could substitute leeks and garlic, or just garlic.
  • 6 good eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • approximately 1 cup of really good strong, hard cheese, grated. We used a great aged Gruyere and some Parmesan.
  • 1 single crust recipe pie dough, ideally with some whole wheat flour included.
  • salt, freshly ground pepper, and any herbs you might like.

Roll out your pie dough and put it in your pie plate. Trim and crimp edges. Chill.

Chop your scapes really finely – I tried to mash mine with a mortar and pestle but it didn’t work that well, so I just chopped finely for a few minutes with a little bit of salt to help break it up. I wanted to end up with almost a paste, but if you are okay with bigger pieces of scape in your quiche, you don’t need to go that far. Slice up your mushrooms and sauté with the scapes in some olive oil and butter. While they are sautéing, sprinkle with a bit of salt, grind some pepper, and season with any herbs you like – basil, thyme, chili flakes, whatever! Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.

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Put the sour cream in a liquid measuring cup, add some water, and whisk around until you have a uniform liquid consistency. You could use cream or milk instead of sour cream + water, but I almost always have yogurt or sour cream on hand, and don’t always have milk/cream. Also, we decided that part of why this quiche might have been so good was because of the sour cream. Remove your pie crust from the fridge, and put the sautéed mushrooms and scapes into it, spreading to cover the bottom. Beat your eggs in with the sour cream mixture and add 2/3 of the grated cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the mushrooms in your pie plate. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Protect your pie crust edge with tinfoil.

Almost perfect, except for that dented crust on one side.

Almost perfect, except for that dented crust on one side.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour, checking frequently. Remove the tin foil during the last 5-10 minutes of baking. I like to broil my quiche for a minute or two at the end, to get the cheese on top all browned and crispy. Great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

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Mini Pot Pies (Or, Grief).

This post is full of serious heavy stuff! Death and grief and pot pie. Losing someone you love is hard, really hard. While I realize that I am very, very lucky in some regards (I still have all my parents, for example) sometimes the list of people I’ve lost seems long – especially since a lot of them I’ve lost in the last 3-4 years. 6 grandparents, 2 uncles, an aunt, one friend to suicide, another to cancer, another in a car accident. The mom, dad, and brother – all to cancer within a few years – of a friend. It can feel overwhelming.

I’ve been finding that the older I get and the more people I’ve lost, the more emotionally affected I seem to be when other people experience loss and grief. Maybe it’s that seeing other people grieve reminds me of the people I’ve lost and I grieve all over again. Maybe I’m just getting more and more sensitive. I don’t know.

One of my best friends lost a friend of hers recently, someone she’d known for years. Actually, a lot of people that I know knew him, and so their loss was all over social media. Which is a weird thing – social media and death, grief, mourning. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I suppose that it can be a way of grieving together, in a community, even if you can’t all be in the same place. But it isn’t helpful for everyone. When I lost my friend in 2008 in a car accident, I found out through Facebook: 3 of your friends have joined the group “In loving memory of _____”.

Anyway, when someone that I love loses someone that they love, my reaction is always to do one thing – bring food. People grieve differently, and some people want to see people and talk about things, and some people want to be alone. Some people don’t want to be around folks who didn’t know the person they lost. When I’ve experienced grief and loss, I usually don’t want to ask for help. I’ve always felt uncomfortable telling someone that I’ve even lost someone – asking for an extension on a school assignment, or asking for time off work for a funeral, or explaining to friends why you haven’t answered their calls/texts/emails/whatever. It feels crass, or something, which I realize is ridiculous. Usually friends who know offer help – but to be honest, I think I’ve always answered the standard “Let me know if you need anything” with a “Thanks, I’m okay”. So when someone I love loses someone they love, I just delivery help in food form, without them asking. It’s all I know how to do.

In the past, when I’ve delivered sympathy food to friends or family, it has often been something large – a lasagna, eggplant parmigiana – something that feeds a family. But with friends, it can be different – an entire lasagna is a lot of food for 1-2 people, and it often doesn’t really fit well in our tiny apartment fridges. So this time, I made some individual-sized veggie pot pies. You can buy little disposable aluminum pie plates at the grocery store that come with cardboard lids – like the containers that takeout sometimes comes in. A couple of years ago I made myself a batch of mini pot pies and froze them, and I loved having them when I needed dinner but didn’t feel like cooking – especially because they cover most of the food groups, so I didn’t feel like I was eating terribly. You bake them completely when you make them, let them cool, and then freeze them – when you want to have one for dinner you just put it back in the oven for 40-60 minutes until its warm.

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I won’t say too much about the recipe for these pies, because I already did pot pie on here already. I will note the changes to the recipe I made though, in case you want to adapt that one for yourself or someone you love:

Original recipe is here.

  • I use rectangular pans with crimp on cardboard lids. I believe they are this size. I find that I can easily get 4 pies, sometimes 5 (which is how many came in a package). I only got 4 pies this time.
  • I use the same double crust pie recipe as always, but cut it to fit these individual pie plates. It can be frustrating work because you are trying to get more uniform shapes and you need to fit a lid on the containers afterwards, etc. But don’t fuss too much about them looking perfect. I just force the lids on afterwards and it’s no biggie.
  • Bake them all together on a baking sheet to prevent spills in your oven. I find they still take about as long as a full pie would take, but keep an eye on them.
  • With this pie I used chickpeas instead of fake chicken. I liked it better with the chickpeas for sure. I also added sweet potato to the veggie mixture which was really nice.
  • I suggest writing the reheating instructions right on the container. If you are going to reuse the containers yourself maybe you want to leave room for changing the instructions for whatever you make next.

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That’s all for now, friends. Take care of each other.