22 November 2012

Da Cats and their Pie

I am my mother's child; when she was in her teens, she reportedly made many a baked supper. According to Uncle Jimmy, it was usually something in a crust.

Blessings to you on Thanksgiving. The holiday brings out the amateur family psychologist in me.

My monomania about cooking--and baking in particular--began at a young age; my plush cats mainly ate “tuna pie.” While I know real cats are carnivores, in my five-year-old mind, I thought my plush cats would enjoy what is essentially a tuna quiche: cream cheese piecrust with tuna-egg-cheese filling. Ownie Mom made quiche a lot when I was younger; I remember eating her signature broccoli-cheddar quiche and spinach-red pepper torte fairly often (I’d estimate about once a month for each). Quiche is a good vehicle; I make quite a bit of pie/quiche (kwisssssshhhh) for din these days.

See also:
pumpkin http://www.gothicgranola.com/2011/10/quicccchhe.html
zucchini http://www.gothicgranola.com/2012/07/z.html
and polenta pies http://www.gothicgranola.com/2012/03/circular-full-circle-with-polenta-and.html

Feel free to omit the cheeze and use mashed beans (2-4 cups, with seasonings of your choice) to replace the soyrizo. I was trying to use up frozen, 18-month-expired Daiya.

Apple Sausage Pie
Modified from King Arthur Flour, http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/sausage-and-apple-pie-in-a-cheddar-crust-recipe

1 cup walnut halves, toasted and ground
I/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (I used yellow medium ground)
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 small onion, half-mooned
2 apples, 1/4-inch slices (leave the peel on; I used 1 granny smith and 1 empire)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 16-ounce soyrizo (I used Trader Joe's brand)
1/2 cup cheddar-style cheeze shreds (I used Daiya)
1 1/2 cup pepperjack-style cheeze shreds, divided into 1/2 and 1 cups (I used Daiya)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (You may toast the walnuts in the preheating oven on a piece of foil.) Grease a 9-inch pie plate and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour and cornmeal. When the walnuts are fragrant and slightly browned, remove from the oven and grind in a blender or food processor to make fine crumbs. Whisk the walnuts in with the flour mixture. Add the coconut oil one half-tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition, until the mixture sticks together. Press into the pan and bake for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle 1/2 cup of pepperjack cheeze shreds across the bottom of the crust. Set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Preheat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over high heat on the stove. Add a piece of onion, and if it sizzles, the pan is hot enough to add all the apples and onions. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until spots of browning appear, about five minutes. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon (caution, steam). Cook until vinegar is mostly evaporated, apples are soft, and onions are translucent. Add the soyrizo and stir to break up the chunks. Once the soyrizo is heated through and combined with the onions and apples, turn off the heat. Stir in the cheddar cheeze.

Transfer the filling to the crust and top with the remaining cheeze. Bake for 45 minutes or until cheeze is browned on top. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. It won't slice cleanly until cooled completely and refrigerated overnight.

Methinks the volume of cheeze drowned out the buttery-nutty crust, but the apples somewhat mitigated the cheeze's saltiness.  If and when I remake this, I will definitely have less cheeze in the house and will therefore use less.

Cheers and cheeze,
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