Spinach Pie

I know what you are going to say already: “What the hell are you doing turning on the oven in 90 degree heat with no air conditioning?” People pay big money to sit in a sauna. I just wait until it’s summer and start my baking. Plus I had a hankering for spinach pies. Everybody has their opinions about pies, just like everybody has their opinions about everything else. I like spinach and ricotta baked under a tender shell or creamed spinach set on top of a crust firm enough to hold in your hand. I like spinach with bits of sausage wedged in a circle of piadina. But what I wanted was an empanada. A flaky crust with the crisp of cornmeal, and a filling of slowly cooked slivers of garlic and parsley, flash cooked fresh greens, little bits of hard boiled egg and shavings of parmesan. Do the garlic first, and when the slivers are golden, add the spinach. Season with salt and a little black pepper and let the greens cook just long enough to wilt. Set them over a colander to drain and then press them a little with the back of a spoon. Boil one egg for 10 ounces of spinach. Bring the water to the boil with the egg in it, turn the flame off, cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Grate a little parmesan. Chop the spinach well, and stir everything together. For the crust, combine one cup of flour, 1/4 cup of cornmeal, a pinch of salt, and 2 pinches of sugar. Cut 7 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter into tiny bits and rub into the dry ingredients until combined, but not completely even. Add 2 and a 1/2 tablespoons of yogurt and a few drops of ice water. Freeze for 30 minutes and then take the dough out and let it sit for a few minutes until workable. Roll out into small circles. On one half of each circle, heap a spoonful of filling, and then lift the other half of dough over to meet the edges of the other side. Lift the bottom edge of dough to fold over the top, about a half inch in from the outside of the curved edge, crimping as you go. It should look like a little half moon. Bake at 425 until golden brown.

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