Project Pie: I'll be baking 24 pies before Pi Day 2016 to get over my fear of baking pies. And to eat delicious things. You can join me by posting about your pies in the comments or tagging your twitter, instagram, or facebook posts with #projectpie. Make something scrumptious and gooey!
This recipe needs a disclaimer. Once you take a bite of this pie, you will not want to stop. And you will not want to eat anything else. Only this pie, with its flaky crust and its soft, perfectly seasoned filling. Forever and ever, amen.
You've been warned.
Thank heavens for the potatoes we've been getting from our farm share, stored over the winter and giving a little substance to those first few weeks when it's largely greens. And now the zucchini is rolling in, and there is absolutely no better use for the two of them - the buttery potatoes and the summery zucchini - than in this pie.
I'll be honest and tell you that I fought hard with this crust. There was some swearing. I used the Joy of Cooking recipe from my blueberry pie but adapted it for our standard dietary needs - aka, Earth Balance instead of butter and whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose. I didn't change the water content, which resulted in a sticky dough that gave me all sorts of problems when I was rolling it out. Lesson learned.
I said a prayer and shoved it in the oven.
And boy, did I sing praises when I took that first bite. Wow. The crust pulled through and the flavors of the vegetables and the garlic and the sour cream melded together perfectly. And let's talk about sour cream for a moment. If you'll remember, my wife is intensely lactose intolerant. Sour cream has only graced our kitchen in rare moments when I really wanted it for something specific only I would be eating - until recently when we discovered that our favorite lactose-free yogurt provider was also making sour cream. A huge thank you to Green Valley Organics for bringing sour cream into our lives and making this deliciousness possible.
I fear I'm going on too much about this one, but I can't hide the way I feel. This pie is my soul mate.
Whole Wheat Zucchini Potato Pie
Adapted from The New York Times
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter)
1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
1/2 cup ice water
1. Quickly mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.
2. Break the shortening into large chunks and cut your butter (from the freezer) into small pieces. Add the butter and shortening to the flour mixture. Cut it into the dry ingredients by chopping vigorously with a pastry blender or cutting it with two knives. Work quickly so the butter does not melt. Make sure you are getting all the flour off the bottom of the bowl. Stop when the mixture has some pea-sized pieces and is mostly a consistency of dry, coarse crumbs, like cornmeal.
3. Drizzle the ice water over the top. Using the blade side of a rubber spatula, cut into the mixture until it is evenly moistened and small balls begin to form. If balls of dough stick together, you're done. If they don't, drizzle 1-2 more tablespoons of water over the top.
4. Press the dough together until it forms a ball. It should be rough, not smooth. Divide the dough in half and press each into a flat, round disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can refrigerate for up to several days.
Zucchini and Potato Filling:
1 pound yellow-fleshed potatoes
1 large zucchini
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1. Thinly slice the potatoes and zucchini into discs. (I used a mandolin slicer.)
2. Place into a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix gently and thoroughly until all the potato and zucchini slices are covered.
Putting it Together:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, beginning in the center and rolling out from all directions. Roll the dough about 3-4 inches wider than your pie pan.
3. Transfer the dough into your pie pan by rolling it loosely around your rolling pin and then unrolling it into the pie pan. Press the dough over the bottom and into the corners of your pan. Trim the edges of the dough, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang, and then tuck that overhang underneath itself.
4. Put the bottom crust into the refrigerator (preferably for at least 30 minutes). Roll out the top crust in the same way, though a little smaller. Pour your filling into the bottom crust (you can layer all the slices nicely and neatly, but I just poured the filling in distributed everything evenly) and top with the top crust. Cut steam vents in the middle. Crimp the rim with a fork or make a decorative edge.
5. Place the pie pan on a large baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 50-60 minutes more until the top is golden.
7. Let cool for 5-10 minutes on a rack, then slice and enjoy.
p.s. These cornmeal and rye whole grain waffles are my waffle soul mate.