Pastryless Pie!

Pastryless pie 002Sometimes, even in the best planned kitchens, there are leftovers. Sometimes, the best planned kitchens ENSURE there are leftovers! I knew I had to drive North, leaving the Bear to fend for himself and though he is perfectly capable, he has a very busy week and might just have trotted off to buy a sandwich. What he needed, I thought, was a Pastryless Pie – he could cut slices and take it in with some salad leaves. Far better for him than a shop bought sandwich. And he gets some greens into his diet.

I suppose the Pastryless Pie is really a kind of frittata, a sort of mutant child of a Spanish omelette and a vegetable quiche. Without the pastry, obviously. Now before you shudder and dismiss it….. Look at it… a beautiful, softly quivering slice of gorgeousness! 

And really, not much work at all. No tricky pastry to deal with, so no trauma with blind baking and red hot ceramic baking beans bouncing round the kitchen when you try and take them out of the pie crust and manage to drop the corner of the baking parchment… no comedy style lurching around as you stand on a baking bean and it rolls around underfoot…… oh sorry, I was letting a personal trauma affect me there.

So back to the pie. The ingredients vary but the constants HAVE to be eggs and cream or milk and some cheese. Because there isn’t any pastry, you can imagine that putting the quiche like filling in without a liner would make things very messy. You can buy cake tin liners which are one of the greatest things ever. I got these at Lakeland but I assume they are available everywhere

Liners 001Liners 002

You also need a tin to put it in. I use a springform tin (That’s one where there is a clip that you fasten and it tightens the sides round the base. It makes everything very easy to get out as the pie or cake remains on the base and the sides lift off.)

Anyway.. onwards…..

Pastryless Pie

Ingredients
Ingredients

First of all, select some ingredients.

6 eggs

140 ml pot of cream

100g  cheddar

100g Emmental

Packet of Parma ham, or proscuitto – maybe 6 or 8 slices

Cold boiled potatoes – just a few

A small courgette (ooh those hidden vegetables…muahahaaahahaaaa!)

Some steamed broccoli

Sweetcorn if you like it (although it is in the picture, it didn’t actually make it into the pie because when I peeled the husk back and cut the kernels off, they looked all pale and unripe)

Sweet potato – I had some spicy roasted cubes left, so they went in.

Leeks – not the two of them – when I started chopping I actually only used half of one.

Little tomatoes

Now before you say that you don’t like this or that,  just carry on reading then go and look in your fridge. Maybe there is something there you like better?

Pop the liner into the tin andCooking 038 then carefully peel apart your slices

 of proscuitto or Parma ham. Drape it round the sides and leave a bit hanging over the top. You don’t have to completely cover the outside.

Then prepare the rest of your vegetables – slice the potatoes (not too thin) and break up the broccoli florets into small pieces. I shred a courgette as it sort of disappears into the filling, which is handy, seeing as some people object to them. As I say, what the eye can’t see, the mouth can’t whine about .

In a bowl, whisk the eggs and the cream together with a bit of salt for seasoning. Grate the cheddar into it – it goes all lumpy, but that’s a good thing. When it bakes it all comes together wonderfully.

I bought Emmental presliced, for no other reason than when I went to get somethat was all there was. Turned out to be a good idea actually – I took it out of the packet and just sliced it.  See the picture? From the top left – shredded courgettes, left over cubed spicy roasted sweet potato, sliced Emmental, cold boiled sliced potatoes, finely chopped leeks, sliced tomatoes and the broccoli. Now you start to put it together. Put the oven on to pre heat at 160 degrees

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 Potatoes on the bottom so there is a bit of a base to the whole thing. Then the broccoli and the sweet potato in a rather fetching pattern – think of the slicing of it… oh, so pretty!

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 Scatter in the leeks and courgette – look at the lovely greenness!

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Now pour in your lumpy eggy, creamy (or milky), cheesy liquid, giving the pie a gentle shake so it settles evenly through all the vegetables. Scatter the sliced Emmental over it and the little tomatoes, which you have cut into quarters.

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See the ends of the ham? Flip them over, just like this. Then put it in the oven.

Turn around and walk away for maybe 30 – 40 minutes. Have a quick look after 30 minutes… it is browning nicely? Does it need to be turned? I have a terrible oven that cooks unevenly so I have to keep turning things so they get an even colour.

When it is looking evenly browned, using oven gloves (no burned fingers please!) gently shake the tin – it should be firmish. Give it a prod, if you like – it shouldn’t be rock solid, it should have a nice, gentle give to it. Does it smell nice?  Does it look a bit like this?

Pastryless pie 001

Let me tell you, that smells gorgeous.  There’s a bit of a delicate wobble to it but there are no evil runny bits.

Pastryless pie 003

It’s quite pretty, really. And even people, (I shan’t name names as he may be reading this) who have to be dragged kicking and screaming towards broccoli, (The Bear’s only flaw) manage to scoff this.

So, you see how easy it is? A bit of chopping. A bit of layering. A bit of mixing and that’s it.

It slices well and is good to eat the day you make it or to take to work or school in a packed lunch. You can put in vegetables that you have left over from other meals and, presumably, they would be vegetables that you would like seeing as you cooked them anyway. How very moneysaving! How very tasty.

13 thoughts on “Pastryless Pie!”

  1. Oh yum this looks gorgeous! I am thinking of all the variations possible with this and am going to add mushrooms, red peppers ( think I will cook them first) and Stilton cheese when I make mine, will let you know how it turns out!

  2. Baking beans??????? what on earth are they – I’m assuming they’re not produced by Heinz! I’m going to shock you now Wendall because I have actually made something like this in the past! I like the idea of being able to throw in just the things you like so did it with onions, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes and peppers and I used cottage cheese instead of cream. It was quite nice actually and a breakthrough for me in terms of my 5 a day!

  3. Baking beans are small balls of ceramic that you use to weigh down pastry when you are cooking it as you don’t want it to rise up in the middle. They get very hot. And, should you drop them on the floor and then stand on them with bare feet… well, let’s just say bad language is probably used.

    Oh I am so pleased you are going to try – see, what I did was use just what I had… you make it according to what suits you.

    Don’t forget to say what yours turns out like!

  4. It is delicious. Sorts my lunches out for a few days. Add the homemade mayo and it’s a winner!

  5. But you always eat the broccoli and to be fair, you don’t pull faces… admit it Bear… broccoli CAN be nice even for such a staunch broccoliphobe as yourself!

  6. Put in there the things you like Helen.. just remember you need a base of sorts and then build up the layers… if you put delicious things in.. you get a delicious pie at the end of it! Tell us how it goes!

  7. Great stuff, Helen! Now you know how easy it is you can put whatever you like in there… it really is a great recipe to have to hand. Brilliant for lunches!

  8. Yes to the broccoli, it’s good for you.
    Look, the Bear eats it and likes it and he cries if he gets it on his plate 😉
    (Oh and I have just noticed that since the swap to this new page theme, all the formatting has gone wrong on the old posts. Bah.)

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