November 18, 2004

Savory Pie

This pie, like an ordinary pot pie or one with four and twenty blackbirds, is meant to be part of the meal, rather than a dessert. This is not my wee wifey's own recipe, but it came from her Blue Ribbon collection. It was a winner at the 1988 Texas State Fair. Many years ago, herself baked a savory mushroom pie as an entry in the Chicago Park District Bake-o-rama. The judges liked it so much that they ate the whole thing (most entries were judged on small enough sampling that the competitors all got a taste) and then disqualified it on the premise that it wasn't a dessert pie. There was, by the way, no such specification in the rule book.

If you serve this to your guests as a first course you will probably confuse them. That's OK. For the perfect followup you can do what we did once for a Thanksgiving party. She baked a double batch of pound cake. I then carved various pieces, and assembled it with toothpicks to resemble a small roast turkey, which she then glazed with a golden brown icing. At least one person questioned why the bird was on the dessert table.


1 eggplant, about 1-3/4 pounds
2 small zucchini, about 1-1/4 pounds, trimmed.
1 large onion, peeled
2 green peppers, cored and seeded
1 pound red ripe tomatoes, cored and peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TB finely chopped garlic
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme or half the amount dried
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1 recipe for a 2 crust pastry (or boughter crust if need be)
2 cups grated Fontina cheese, preferably imported
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, preferably imported
(do not use sawdust spaghetti topping)
1 egg yolk
2 t. water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Peel the eggplant and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes. There should be about 4 1/2 cups.
Cut each zucchini in half. Cut each crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces.
Cut the onion into half inch cubes.
Cut the green pepper into 1 1/2 inch cubes.
Cut the tomatoes into 2 inch cubes. There should be about 2 1/2 cups.

Heat the oil in the casserole and add the eggplant. Cook, stirring occasionally, about five minutes. Add the onion, zucchini and green peppers. Stir to blend the ingredients. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper to taste. Cook about four minutes, stirring. Add the tomatoes and parsley and stir. Cook about five minutes. Place the casserole in the oven and bake 30 minutes. Stir in the olives and bake ten minutes longer.
Let the mixture stand until thoroughly cold.

Line a 10" pie plate with half the pastry, letting one Inch of the pastry hang over the side. About one-third of the mixture goes in the pie plate, a layer of Fontini and a layer of Parmesan cheese, and so on. Continue making layers until all of the mixture and cheeses are used. Brush the overlapping rim of the pastry with a little of the egg blended with the water. Cover with a second layer of pastry.
Seal by pressing the edges together. Flute, if desired, or use the tines of the fork to make a design all around. Use a small biscuit cutter to make a hole in the center of the top pastry. This will allow the steam to escape.
Brush the top all over with the egg yolk mixture.

Place the pie in the oven and bake 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees. Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until golden brown on top. Six servings

Posted by triticale at November 18, 2004 10:05 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting this recipe on the Web. I had cut it out from the New York Times about 20 years ago and went to make it this morning. I found the center card of the recipe missing but you've saved me.
This pie is an instant hit everywhere I've made it. It's work, but oh, the reward!

Posted by: Bird of Paradise at December 16, 2004 07:10 AM
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