Good Morning, Spinach Pie!


I love pie. Particularly savory pies. Upon discovering that a decent pie crust is fairly easy to make (after a little personal trial and error, that is) I set about to make as many pies as I could. I made pie after pie after pie. Quiches and pot pies, tarts and tortes. I went a little pie crazy.

Savory pies are great because they require so little work. Make the crust, press it into the pie plate, then add your filling. Bake, cool, cut, eat. They take a little time, especially if you don’t use a food processor to mix your crust dough, but they’re not something you have to watch every second in the oven. Set the time and relax.

What I really want to get is a set of mini pie plates. Because, as we discussed with the almond tarts, everything seems a little better when it’s miniaturized. But big, small, savory, sweet, doesn’t matter. I’m a pie addict. Now you know.

This recipe is an adaptation, of sorts, of a great recipe in The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. I really need to do a feature on this incredible collection, and I will at some point, but suffice to say, if you don’t own this book and you enjoy spending even occasional time in the kitchen, but it ASAP. It’s vegetarian cuisine for people who like to eat well, regardless of dietary preferences. The only problem is that it’s a little butter and egg heavy in spots, so it’s not always adaptable for a vegan diet.

However, looking over the recipe for “Spinach Ricotta Pie” got me thinking, however: Silken tofu and ricotta, aside from what they actually are and what they taste like, are very similar. Texturally, they’re identical. This dish requires both the ricotta and 2-3 eggs, and tofu can more than make up for both. The end result of the substitute was pretty satisfying. On the whole, it was lighter than the Katzen recipe, with maybe a tiny bit less flavor, but I can more than make up for that the next time around. And there will be a next time.

Spinach Tofu Pie

Ingredients
For crust
- 6 tbsp vegan margarine
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp water, non-dairy milk, oil (I went with the water, because the only non-dairy milk I have is vanilla soymilk – delicious, but not appropriate for this.)

For filling
- 8 ounces silken tofu, firm
- 3/4 lb fresh spinach (I stress the use of fresh spinach in this recipe – the frozen stuff gets too soggy too quickly)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp vegan margarine or oil
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste

- To make the crust: In a food processor (or using a pastry cutter or two forks) cut the margarine into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse cornmeal. Slowly add the water to form a dough. (The recipe works with 4 tbsps, but feel free to add an extra tbsp or two if the dough is proving too dry to work with.) Roll out your dough and press it into a pie tin.

- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan, saute the onions in the margarine or oil until translucent. Add spinach and spices. Continue to saute for about three minutes, then crumble the tofu in. Using a fork, combine until the mixture is fairly smooth and the spinach is wilted.

- Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Add extra paprika or vegan sour cream on top, if you like, then place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes. The top should be lightly golden brown and slightly crisp. Serve warm or cool.

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3 responses to “Good Morning, Spinach Pie!

  1. Yum, my mom loves spinach pie and I think my interest in food is making her become more and more adventurous (instead of less and less, like most middle-agers in PA). I think she’d love this recipe.

  2. Yum! definitely fresh spinach. Trying to squeeze all that water out of thawed frozen spinach is sooooo annoyingly difficult & time consuming and it’s never as dry as it should be. I made many soggy dishes with frozen spinach before giving up!

  3. You had me at spinach pie (and all those delicious baked goods in South Pittsburgh!).

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