Cascading Kitchen Notes
Well, it SHOULD have one. It only comes once a year so plan for it, take the time and make this wonderful pie. Start angling for getting your hands on some beet greens. It's something to anticipate and celebrate.
Leaf lard is rendered (by roasting at a very low temperature) the leaf fat of a hog. The leaf fat comes from inside the body cavity of the hog whereas the normal lard comes from the fat just under the skin. It has substantially different properties from the normal lard so don't try to use them interchangeably.
Consider ordering the leaf fat along with your hog order this year from Jubilee Farm. This is the stuff that made grandma's (maybe great grandma's) pie crusts so tender, flaky and tasty. It is quite special so parcel it out with care. It's pretty pricy to buy, but it IS available if you want to give it a try.
Beet Greens Pie
If you want you can make this pie with any braised green.
Preheat oven to 450°
To make the pie crust:
- 1 C of very cold leaf lard, cut into small chunks (you can use 1/2 butter and 1/2 leaf lard if you'd like or all butter.)
- 2 C flour
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt,
add 1 tsp. of paprika for a savory crust
Use a pastry cutter or two butter knives to cut the lard/shortening into the flour until it's the size of small peas.
In a separate bowl beat together:
- 1/4 C very cold water
- 1 T. vinegar
- 1 egg yolk
Add to the dry ingredients.
- Quickly cut in the liquid making sure everything sticks together. The crust will be flakier if you work fast so as to avoid warming the ingredients.
- Place the dough ball in a plastic bag and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. You can be working on the filling while the dough chills down.
- After the dough has cooled, using parchment paper, roll out the dough into two 9" circles for two single-crust pies. Put enough flour on the parchment paper and roller to keep the dough from sticking. Flip it over or move it around to make sure it doesn't develop sticky spots.
When you're rolling out the dough, work quickly so as not to warm it up. The secret to a flaky crust is to not liquify the fat.
- Turn these into your favorite pie pans.
The Filling for One, 9" pie:
- Chiffonade 2-3 bunches of greens...chard, collards, beet greens (an especially cherished commodity)
- Braise the greens.
- Drain off any remaining liquid.
- 1/2 C crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 lb cooked bacon cut into small pieces
- 6 lightly beaten eggs
Fill one uncooked 9" pie crust with the filling.
Place the pie on a cookie tray in the 450° preheated oven. Turn the heat down to 415°. Cook for 20 minutes. If it looks like the crust is beginning to brown too quickly, place a crust protector on the pie or foil over the pie. Bake for another 20 minutes. If it feels set in the center, pull it out. If it feels a bit soft, give it another 5 minutes. The interior temperature of the filling should be 165°-185°.
You can freeze the other pie crust for a future meal OR Double the filling for twice as much fun right now!