Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Root Vegetable & Apple Pie with Sausage

  • I have no pie plates, but this springform worked great.

    One of our regulars at the Pittsburgh Public Market dropped this recipe off last weekend. I'd never worked with Phyllo Dough before last night and I would say, Don't let it intimidate you. It's not bad to work with. Since I had so many roots in the fridge and one box of Phyllo dough makes two pies, I made two slightly different ones: one with turnips, one with rutabaga. My only tip is to make sure you cut your veggies very thin. Mine initially came out kinda crunchy, so I had to pop it back in the oven to finish them off.

    1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 10 sheets phyllo
  • 2 to 3 golden beets (about 1/2 pound), peeled and thinly sliced, about 1/8 inch thick
  • 3 to 4 medium apples (about 1 pound), cored and thinly sliced, about 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 to 3 turnips (about 1/2 pound), peeled and thinly sliced, about 1/8 inch thick
  • 3 ounces soft goat cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion just begins to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage is browned and the onion is soft and velvety, another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the sausage to cool completely.
To prepare the phyllo, in a small pan, melt the butter over low heat. You don't want to brown the butter at all. Set the phyllo sheets on the counter and cover with a damp cloth. Working with 1 sheet at a time, use a pastry brush to cover the entire sheet with butter. Put a second sheet of phyllo over the first and repeat -- brushing a thin layer of butter over the entire sheet. Continue working in this way until you have 5 sheets stacked together.
Lightly brush the bottom of a deep 9-inch pie pan with butter and lay the stack of phyllo across the pan. The edges of the phyllo will hang over the sides. Layer the remaining 5 phyllo sheets in this fashion, brushing with melted butter as before. Rotate the pie pan 90 degrees and lay the second phyllo stack across the pan, perpendicular to the first layer.
Add the first layer of beets to the phyllo, overlapping the edges slightly and covering the bottom. Repeat with half of the apples slices to create a layer over the beets. Season with salt and pepper. Now add a layer of turnips. Over the turnips add half of the sausage mixture.
Continue in this fashion to make another later of beets, apples and turnips.
When the last turnip layer is completed, press the filling down hard with your hands, making sure there are no big air pockets or spaces. Add the remaining sausage mixture to the top. If you're using the goat cheese, break it into small pieces and dot over the top of the sausage.
Working clockwise, fold in the corners of the phyllo, creating a pleated top for your pie. (Don't worry if it doesn't look perfect; I gave the top a few final brushes of melted butter.) Bake until the phyllo is golden brown, 45 minutes. Let the pie cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 4 to 6.
-- "Apples: From Harvest to Table" by Amy Pennington

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