Insanely Rich Spinach Pie


I am a Chicago transplant to Milwaukee and I am still learning how to make do with what’s available in this mid-sized city. I’ve found the Middle Eastern and Asian grocery stores that make weekly runs to Chicago to get fresh pita or roast pork buns, but I recently found myself at a loss looking for phyllo dough.  I usually buy several packages to bring back with me when I visit family in Chicago, but a few weeks ago I was in a pinch with a serious hankering for spinach pie and a freezer void of phyllo.

Since no kitchen crisis is too big for Martha, I turned to Martha Stewart’s pate brisee recipe to save the day. I usually use this recipe to make the crust for Thanksgiving pies, but it also worked well to transform a savory spinach pie into a rich winter treat. My guests enjoyed it so much that one of them even requested I post the recipe. (Thanks, Paige!)

The sumac is the real star of the filling, giving it a tart, lemony taste that can’t be beat. You can find it at your local Middle Eastern grocery store.

•    1 batch of Martha Stewart’s pate brisee
•    1 large onion, chopped
•    3 packages frozen chopped spinach (fresh is great if you’ve got it)
•    1 Tablespoon red sumac (or more, to taste)
•    1 teaspoon dried oregano
•    1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled with your hand (whichever kind you like)
•    fresh ground pepper, to taste
•    1 Tablespoon flour
•    1 whipped egg yolk

Preheat the oven to 375. Roll out half the pate brise and put it in a deep round pie dish. Roll out the other half as well. Put the dough-lined pie dish and the rolled out other half of teh dough in the freezer while you make the filling. Keeping it in the freezer will help the butter flake when it’s baking.

Sautee the onion in olive oil until golden. Add the packages of spinach, keep the heat on low, and cover the pan, stirring occasionally and turning over the spinach as it defrosts. When the spinach blocks are completely defrosted, uncover the pan, add the sumac and oregano and sautee for a minute or two. Add the crumbled feta and stir. If the mixture has any liquid in it or is wet in any way, add the flour and stir, keeping the mixture on low heat.  Add pepper and salt to taste. (The feta is quite salty, so you might not need additional salt.)

Take the crust out of the freezer, fill it with the spinach mixture, and place the second half of the pie dough on top. Crimp the edges together, remove any excess dough from the sides, and cut out designs or slits in the top crust so that steam can escape. Brush the top with the egg yolk.

Bake in a 375 oven for 40-50 minutes, checking to make sure the crust doesn’t burn. If it’s browning too quickly, cover it with foil.

A quick health note: The butter that makes this pie so good also makes it less than healthy. Serve it as a treat to your young marathon-running friends; pick another one of our recipes for the Lipitor takers.

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About Michelle
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