Friday, June 11, 2010

Hearts-of-Palm Pie

A quiche or a savory pie and a side salad make a great meal, especially on a warm summer day when a light lunch such as this is just perfect. I love to serve this when I have girlfriends over for lunch. In Brazil savory pies are quite popular especially with chicken and hearts-of-palm filling but there are countless other combinations just as nice. The possibilities are endless!

Gathered from the core of certain types of palm trees, Hearts of Palm is a delicious vegetable with a somewhat sour or tart edge to it. It is wonderful in salads or pie fillings and other savory dishes. For this recipe I chose an eggless crust made by substituting the vegetable shortening with yogurt for a healthier version. Also, given the egg allergy present in my house, I replaced the egg wash that gives the crust its nice brown color with a mixture of coffee and olive oil.

Hearts of Palm Pie

Hearts of Palm Filling
1 cup onion, diced
Crushed garlic
½ cup diced tomato, diced
1 (14.5oz) jar hearts of palm, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 cup green peas
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp flour dissolved in ¼ cup milk

Sautee onion until starts to soften. Add tomatoes and cook some more until it softens. Mix in peas, parsley, salt and pepper and let cook some more. Add chopped hearts of palm and mix being careful not to break the hearts of palm. Finally, stir in the flour dissolved in milk, and let cook stirringly constantly for a few minutes. Set aside and let cool to room temperature completely before assembling the pie.

2 ½ cups flour
11 Tbsp butter at room temperature
¾ cup yogurt
1 tsp of salt

Coffee and Olive oil to brush the top crust (may substitute for egg wash)

Mix flour, butter, yogurt and salt just until it all comes together to form the dough. Cover it with plastic and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Divide dough in two and roll out first half. Transfer to a 9” (22cm) springform pan covering its side and bottom. Spoon in and spread the cooled filling to cover all the bottom of the pie. Roll out the remaining dough and cover the pie. Seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Brush crust with coffee mixed with olive oil. Bake at 350° for about 25 - 30 minutes or until dough is nicely browned.

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