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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Martha Knows Pie

Martha Stewart was on the Today Show today pushing her book New Pies and Tarts.  There was a lot of discussion between her and Matt Lauer about how many cookbooks this one makes -- Martha "thinks" it's 76 (as though she isn't absolutely sure) -- and the fact that this is a somewhat updated take on her original Pies and Tarts cookbook published in 1995.

Now, I think Martha is a very talented person.  She made origami birds for Christmas decorations when she was in jail.  Who can quibble with that?  But her recipes?  I'm not so sure.

Nonetheless, there Martha was chopping and explaining how to make a savory pie on the Today Show.  Ann Curry was assisting.  And, you know what, it looked pretty good, even if it had zucchini in it and I don't like zucchini.  This gave me an idea.  I could substitute in things that I like and make a similar pie to serve as a side dish with dinner.  Just call me Martha!

Time to raid the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator.  Mushrooms, check.  Tomatoes, check.  Basil, check. Kalamata olives, check.  Fresh mozzarella, check.  You can see where I was going with this.

I made Martha's pastry and it came out surprisingly well.  It's pretty foolproof, although I do have to admit that I am Martha-like in my ability to roll out a pie crust.  It's a gift.  What can I say.  But the point here is, besides all my snarkiness, that it's an easy pie crust to make so don't be intimidated.

The end result was quite delicious.  The only things missing were origami birds decorating my dining room.  If you feel inspired to try your hand at origami with Martha, here's a how-to (Martha Stewart Origami Boxes).

Recipe:  Cherry Tomato, Mushroom, & Mozzarella Pie
(Adapted from Martha Stewart)


For the crust
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold, diced
1 egg yolk for pastry and 1 egg yolk for wash
A little heavy cream or water for egg wash
1/4 cup ice water

For the filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, 1/3 of them halved and the rest whole
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup chopped basil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Combine the flour, butter, salt, 1 egg yolk, and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor.  With the motor running, add the ice water through the feed tube until the dough just comes together.  Turn the dough out onto a floured board and form into a disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the shallot until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Add the mushroom and saute until soft, about 6 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, Parmesan, mozzarella, basil, olives, and flour.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the mushroom mixture and mix well to combine.

Roll out the pastry dough into a 13 inch circle.  Line a shallow pie dish, leaving overhang.  Pour the tomato mixture into the crust.  Fold the overhang over the filled dish.  Lightly brush with the remaining egg yolk mixed with a touch of heavy cream and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Bake for 70-80 minutes, until browned and bubbly.  Serve warm.

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