Today is Pi Day! Celebrate the beauty of the mathematical constant for the ratio of the circle’s circumference to its diameter! Yeah, beautiful. Geometry class was a circle, too…a circle of Hell. Just thinking about pi conjures up a curious mixture of anxiety and ennui. Perhaps I’ll join the Tau Movement.
Celebrating 3/14 by baking a pie is much more fun than thinking about circles and ratios and angles. Although most pies are round. And those wedges…they’re triangular! Oh, for the love of a2+b2+c2! There’s no escaping pi! This is why I’m a math athiest.
I chose a savory tart for this year’s pie – mostly because we have a lot of grilled veggies hanging around (this tart is perfect for leftover veggies) and because I like to use my tart pan with the removable bottom, for a classy look.
The press-in pastry is a favorite, especially for people who don’t have a lot of experience with rolling pie crusts. A little rye flour – just a couple of tablespoons – makes the crust seem more rustic. Or something. Now, I know that some of you will drag out one of those refrigerated, pre-rolled things. As a pie snob, I would never use one; as a pragmatist, I understand that we’re all busy, etc. What worries me is, how does Pillsbury achieve that smooth, Play-Dohesque consistency?
It’s a mystery, like math itself.
Grilled Veggie ‘n Feta Tart
(9” or 10” tart)
1 recipe Press-in Tart Pastry (see recipes)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced
1-1/2 Cups grilled veggies (peppers, zukes, etc.)
2 large eggs
¾ Cup heavy cream
Small handful fresh herbs, minced
Fine dry breadcrumbs
4 ounces feta, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400OF. Prepare the pastry and press into the tart pan. Partially blind-bake the pastry for 10 minutes; remove weights and bake 5 minutes longer. Cool.
Saute onions in oil 5 minutes. Add the veggies and stir for about 1 minute – just to warm them through. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and cool.
In a bowl combine eggs with cream, herbs and salt and pepper.
Place the tart shell on a baking sheet. Sprinkle bottom of pastry with breadcrumbs. Spread veggies in the shells; crumble cheese on top. Pour egg-cream mixture over the top.
Lower oven temperature to 350OF. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set. Cool 5 minutes before cutting.
(9” or 10” tart shell)
1 1/2 Cups flour
1/2 Cup cold butter or solid Crisco, or a mix of the two
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg
Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until fine crumbs form. Add egg; mix with fork until dough begins to hold together. Add 1-2 t. very cold water if mixture seems too dry. (You can do this all in the food processor, too.)
Spray a 9″ or 10″ tart pan with removable bottom with Pam. Press dough into bottom and up sides of pan.
TO PARTIALLY BLIND BAKE: Dock pastry well with a fork. Line tart shell with foil, shiny side down. Weight shell with 1 Cup dry rice or beans. Bake @ 425 degrees F for 10 minutes; remove foil and weights; bake 5-10 minutes longer.