Sunday, October 23, 2011

Carrot Pie? Carrot Tart? Delicious? Yes!

Red carrots on the outside, orange on the inside. 
I mean how could I NOT buy these? 
I would cook this dish for the smells alone. Have you ever boiled carrots in orange juice and ginger? If they made a perfume that smelled like that, I would buy it. Not sure where I would wear it, and for that matter I don't wear perfume to begin with....Point is making this dish was a treat for my nose. My mouth as well, but my kitchen smelled like heaven. I love dishes that smell so intoxicating you can't help but but drool while preparing them.
Come on, you know that is pretty cute. 
This pie, which kinda looks like a tart, was made on a day I really needed comfort. Something simple, beautiful, and different. I'm not quite sure how to describe it, part pie, part tart, part carrot cheesy goodness, all parts DEEEElicious. I would love to try this recipe with other vegetables, given how simple it was. Sure it took some time, but you can make the filling or the whole pie a few days in advance. You can also make the crust in advance which will cut your kitchen time in half.

The sweetness of the the cinnamon paired beautifully with the spicy ginger and the ricotta cheese gave the whole dish a lovely texture. Parmesan with is salty nutty flavor could pretty much get put on a kitchen counter and I would eat it. And have, right off the counter.
The crust was nice and crunchy on the outside while still being chewy on the inside. It was sturdy enough for this hearty cheese carrot filling. There is a similar recipe with mushrooms, which I will have to try when I like mushrooms more. As for now, I love me some carrots. This dish was perfect for a fall evening.

The carrots were from the local market, carrots are still in season so try to buy local organic ones if you can. You may notice from the pictures, I also used some butternut squash, because I did not have enough carrots, so I threw in a mini squash. I would like to try this dish with only squash sometime soon. Though I should probably have a few nights devoted to green vegetables or big salads before I make another pie. Pie Sigh.

This is a great dish for a party, cute and different while still being easy and cheap. So come on, this is the kind of bunny food anyone will love. 

Savory Carrot Pie
Adapted from Almost Vegetarian

The filling can be made up to two days in advance, tightly covered and refrigerated. The whole pie can be refrigerated tightly wrapped for up to three days. If you don't have Majoram, you can use thyme, oregeno or basil as a substitute. 

The Goods:
1 recipe Savory Pie Dough
3/4 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups water (or to cover)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch dry majoram, crumbled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

The Deal: 
1. Prepare the dough for the Savory Pie. In a large saucepan, combine the carrots, bay leaves, ginger, orange juice, and water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and turn heat down to medium and simmer until the carrots are mushy, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Boiling your carrots. Caution. Will smell crazy delicious.
2. Pick out bay leaves. Using a slotted spoon, transfer carrots to the work bowl of a food processor. Puree in pulses, being careful the mixture doesn't become watery. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and majoram and process briefly until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in egg, ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese until combined.
Stirring your egg, ricotta, and parmesan
3. Roll out your dough on a 12 inch square of parchment into a round 10 inches in diameter. Pile the carrot filling in the center and spread it leaving a 2 inch margin all around. Bring the dough up on all sides as if you are going to encase the filling, but leave a 6 inch "window" in the center. Crimp dough around the sides to hold it in place.
All ready to bake.
4. Transfer to a baking sheet or preheated pizza stone, and bake until crust is a deep golden and the filling is set. If the crust browns before the filling sets, cover with foil, lower the heat to 300 degrees and bake about 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

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