Friday, August 6, 2010

Spinach-Ricotta Pie

The quest continues for the perfect pie dough.  This time I pulled out the big guns - a recipe the claims to be "The one pie dough to rule them all" from Chez Pim.  My friend Amy, read about my quest and recommended this recipe which Pim says is not only flaky and delicious but can be made by anyone.

She does make it pretty easy to follow.  There are step by step directions with photos and then to make it even easier, there's a video tutorial.  I'm not big on cooking videos or shows, because for some reason it doesn't get absorbed in my head that way.  I like words typed on a page telling me what to do.   Being the novice that I am, armed with a brand new pastry scraper, I felt sure something would go wrong.

Amazingly, it didn't.  The dough came together quickly and easily and was very easy to work with.  I have to say that as much as I liked the yogurt based crust, it is not easy to roll out.  The more you try to roll it thinner, the more it resists.  Not the case with Pim's recipe.  Now there is a substantial difference in the amount of butter involved, but let's try not to think about that.

For the filling I decided to work with the Spinach Ricotta Pie recipe in The Moosewood Cookbook (the original) that I mentioned a few posts ago.  I've had this cookbook for several years, after receiving it second hand somewhere, but never really used it.  I have been missing out!  I love this cookbook - the design, the simplicity to the recipes, the diversity.  There is a banana bread recipe that I cannot wait to try that has hot coffee in it!  After making Orangette's Chocolate Malted Cupcakes, which are fabulous and include hot coffee, I can only imagine that this banana bread will be moister and possibly richer than most.

I changed the recipe a little, adding 1/2 of a tomato, using Parmesan as the cheese and dropping the sour cream and paprika.  The resulting dinner was tasty and filling.  This crust is in the lead so far - for taste, durability, and ease of creating.  The Spinach & Ricotta Pie was complimented by an arugula (not ours, yet) salad with cherry tomatoes, and a glass of Chimay Tripel.

Spinach & Ricotta Pie
Adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (p.123)

I liked this recipe the way it is, but you could also substitute sun-dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers for the diced tomato and I think it would add some spunk.

1/2 recipe for Chez Pim's Pie dough
1/2 lb baby spinach
1 small onion
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dry basil
1/2 fresh tomato, diced
15 oz container ricotta cheese (I used whole milk)
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c coarsely grated Parmesan cheese

Follow the directions for Pim's perfect pie dough.  When it's chilling for the second time, heat oven to 375F and butter pie tin.  Dice small onion and heat 1/2 Tbsp butter over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until onion begins to look translucent.  Add a few dashes of black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of basil; mix in.  Then add baby spinach and cook until spinach wilts, stirring occasionally.  Once all spinach has wilted, remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium size bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well blended.  Remove pie dough from the refrigerator and roll out into a round a few inches larger than your pie tin.  Press into pie tin, trim dough to leave about 1 inch extra all the way around, and fold over extra dough to form a nice edge.  Spread spinach-ricotta mixture into unbaked pie shell.  


Bake at 375F for 40-50 min.  Serve hot.



  1. Oooh a shout-out on the blog! Glad the pie dough recipe was a success! Now I'm going to have to try it out myself.

  2. Yeah - maybe it would be more exciting if the 5 people who read this didn't already know who you are ;) I still have a few other pie dough recipes to try, but needed a break from all that butter!

  3. I think I might try this in a baking dish without the pie crust (that whole gluten free thing) Sounds yummy

  4. Cin - maybe you could do a gluten free crust? I'm going to be experimenting with some different whole grains for baking, so maybe I'll see about a viable gluten free crust. Next on the agenda is a spelt crust but that is unfortunately not gluten free.