Monday, September 10, 2012

on pie

Good morning! How was your weekend? We had a lovely, slow couple of days with nothing much going on. On Saturday night, a crazy storm blew in with lots of wind and rain, and when it left, it took summer with it. That hot and humid air moved out and the nice cool fall air moved in. Now it really feels like September. Thank goodness! Although I used to love summer, I'm more of a spring and fall girl these days. Five or more days in a row of 100+ degree weather is not ok with me.

So I had a completely different post planned for you today, but then two things happened: 

1.  Last week, I bought a book. About pie.
2.  On Friday night, I made a spinach and cheese quiche. 

And then I had to change my post to tell you about said book and said quiche.  Because the book is amazing.  And because the quiche is perfect in every way.  And because you need to know about both of them.  Now.

I found out about the book from SouleMama, and when I happened to be out running errands near the bookstore last week, I stopped in a picked it up.  Written by Ashley English"A Year of Pies" is described as "A seasonal tour of home baked pies."  And who doesn't love pie?  The book is broken into chapters by season.  Winter includes recipes for Limoncello Lemon Meringue Pie, Minty Chocolate Cream Pie, and Mushroom and Chevre Galette.  Spring moves from Lattice-Top Rhubarb, Lemon, and Vanilla Pie to Apricot Almond Galette to the classic Chicken Pot Pie.  Summer has recipes for Lattice-Top Triple Berry Pie, Peaches and Cream Crumble-Top Pie, and an amazing looking Fried Green Tomato and Pimento Cheese Tart.  Finally, Autumn brings Pear Crostata, Chai Spice Apple Pie, and Roasted Butternut Squash, Cheddar, and Sage Galette to the table.  I wish I could list the entire table of contents for you, but you get the idea from the ones I've listed above.  If you love pie, you need to buy or borrow this book.  I have some green tomatoes left from when I pulled out my plants last weekend, so I'm planning to try that Fried Green Tomato and Pimento Cheese Tart this week.  I'll let you know how it turns out. 

And since quiche is basically an egg pie, I wanted to givy you the recipe for this amazing pie that you should absolutely go into the kitchen to make asap.  ASAP.

I was browsing through my pie book on Friday night and realized that I needed to get going with dinner prep.  On my obsessive compulsive helpful notebook list of weekly dinners (beside the list of weekly appointments and the list of daily activities) I had quickly scribbled down "Spinach and cheese quiche, salad" because I remembered that I had a great recipe for it and because I thought it would be a quick and easy way to end another week of cooking.  Will and Tommy were at church for a back-to-school carnival/party/awesome bounce house, so it was just me and my girl hanging out, making some dinner.  I got everything together, poured the eggs and spinach and cheese into the pie shell, put it in the oven, and let it do it's thing.  And when I took it out of the oven 50 minutes later and took that first bite, ohmygosh it was totally amazing and even better than I remembered, and I had to stop myself from eating half of it in one sitting.  If Giada (De Laurentiis) was describing this quiche she might say something like this:  The sweetness of the onion mixed with the gooiness of the cheese and the earthiness of the spinach makes this dish just melt in your mouth."  Well said, Giada, I whole-heartedly agree.  Please please please make this quiche.  It's so good. 

Recipe from The New Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

1 store-bought pie crust (or make your own if you have a favorite recipe)
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 beaten eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half, light cream, or milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
dash ground nutmeg (optional)
3 cups lightly packed chopped fresh spinach
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
handful of halved cherry tomatoes (optional - but do absolutely add them if you like tomatoes)

1. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pie crust, trim, and crimp edge as desired. Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of foil. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 4-5 minutes more or until pastry is set and dry. Reduce oven temp to 325.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook onion until tender.

3. In a bowl, stir together eggs, sour cream, half-and-half, salt, pepper, and if desired, nutmeg. Stir in onions, spinach, and cheeses.

4. Pour egg mixture into hot, baked pastry shell. Bake in the 325 oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. If necessary, cover edge of crust with foil to prevent burning. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.

I really wanted to add a few pictures of the quiche to tempt you even more, but alas, there's something up with the server this morning and they won't load.  Anyway, try it.  I know you'll love it!  And do check out that pie book for more amazing recipes.  Hope you have a great Monday!

Photo of A Year of Pies here.

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