Tuna and Sweet Corn Blender Pie

Any of you who follow my blog will know that I love simple recipes. Not because I don’t like the challenge of a complex recipe, but because I do a lot of my cooking and baking during the week and I don’t often have a lot of time to labor over complex recipes. When I cook or bake, I like to make something that I can easily repeat during the week. Most complicated and laborious recipes I will leave for the weekend and even if they are exquisite I will usually make them once and then forget to make them again.

One of my go-to recipes during the week is a blender pie that is really quick and easy to put together and uses any kind of filling you have available in the house. The batter takes about 5 minutes to make and the filling often doesn’t take longer than 10 to 15 minutes.

Brazilians love blender pies and they come with all different fillings from chicken to tuna to vegetable medleys. Whatever can make for a tasty pie is bound to, one day, end up in a blender pie.

Usually I make an escarole and sausage blender pie (find the recipe HERE). But, we have stopped growing escarole on the farm, so I needed to find a new filling. I came across this recipe for a tuna and sweet corn pie sometime ago and absolutely loved it. I prefer this batter to my previous blender pie recipe and the filling is so tasty that this pie is a meal on its own!

TUNA AND SWEETCORN BLENDER PIE

For the Filling:
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, chopped into small pieces or grated
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1 can of sweet corn
1-2 cans of tunafish

For the batter:
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups of white flour
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp of baking powder

The Filling: In a large frying pan add a little bit of olive oil and heat. Add the onion and sautee for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and continue sauteeing until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato, sweet corn and tuna fish. Leave on the heat, stirring regularly, for another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

The Batter: Mix all of the ingredients together in a blender or a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 355F/180C. In a rectangular glass dish add a thin layer of the batter. Add the filling. Cover the filling with the remaining batter. Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until cooked through and lightly brown on top.

Serve with rice, beans and collards.

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English-Style Pork Pie

English-Style Pork PieI absolutely love pies. I have always liked making them, but I especially like eating them. Pies have never really been a cooking strong point for me, but they are one thing in the kitchen that I have never given-up on making. For me, the biggest challenge has always been the crust, either the crust is too flakey or is too tough, or it doesn’t roll out properly! Whatever the problem, pie crust has always been something that I have struggled with, until I learnt about hot water pastry. This was a pie crust life-saver for me. Firstly, it is easy to make and a beautiful pastry to work with (while still warm). Secondly, it is perfect for meat pies or any pie that is chocked full of delicious ingredients. It is a recipe that every pie lover should have in their recipe arsenal!

A little while ago I wanted to make an english style pork pie. I had been watching some english cooking show and they mentioned some deep dish meat pies, immediately I was taken by this idea and began researching different english style pork pies. Along with the deep dish meat pies I learnt about hot water pastry. I knew that I needed to try both of these and as soon as I came across some good recipes I tried it out.

The pie was really easy to make and turned out beautiful. I loved the idea of cooking the meat in the pie (not pre-cooking) and using boiled eggs in the center of the pie! The hot water pastry was a success. The pie crust turned out perfect, the pastry was easy to use, it did not break from the weight of the meat and held the deep pie shape perfectly once removed from the tin!

For the pie I used my own pork and made a gelatin broth by boiling one pigs foot for approximately 60 – 90 minutes with onion, garlic and carrots. I did not use any sausage (as indicated in the recipe) instead I just used pernil or pork leg, keeping any fat on the meat!

Today I am sharing the original recipe that I used, but I for the pie that I made I did not use the same meats as indicated in the recipe. I think you can use any kind of pork meat for this pie, just make sure to include a little bit of fat as this will give extra flavor to the pie.

This recipe is for one large pork pie, but you can also use this same recipe to make small individual pies. I haven’t yet made the individual pies, but plan to make some in the near future so that I can freeze them and just pull them out of the freezer when I want a quick meal! If making small pies, use quail eggs instead of chicken eggs:)!

English-Style Pork PieENGLISH-STYLE PORK PIE

For the filling

300g/10½oz good-quality sausages, such as Lincolnshire, skins removed
300g/10½oz pork mince
150g/5½oz cooked ham hock, cut into roughly 1.5cm/½in pieces
2 banana shallots, finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
salt and white pepper
1 chicken stock cube (optional)
150ml/5fl oz boiling water (optional)
2 leaves gelatine (optional)

For the hot water crust pastry

450g/1lb plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g/3½oz strong white flour
75g/2½oz unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1cm/½in cubes
½ tsp salt
100g/3½oz lard, plus extra for greasing
1 free-range egg yolk, beaten

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Grease a 1kg/2lb 4oz loaf tin (measuring about 10x20cm/4x8in across the base) with lard, then cut one long strip of baking parchment, the width of the tin, and place it in the tin so that there’s an overhang of parchment at each end, which will help you remove the pie later.

  2. First make the filling. Put all the ingredients, except the hard-boiled eggs, into a large bowl and season lightly with salt and white pepper. Mix together thoroughly using your hands. Cook a little nugget of the mixture in a frying pan and taste it to check the seasoning. Add more seasoning, as necessary, to the remaining filling. Put the mixture in the fridge while you make the pastry.

  3. To make the pastry, combine the flours in a bowl, add the butter and rub in lightly with your fingertips. Heat 200ml/7fl oz water, the salt and lard in a saucepan until just boiling. Pour the mixture onto the flour and mix together with a spoon. Once cool enough to handle, tip onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth dough.

  4. Working as quickly as you can (the pastry will become more crumbly as it cools), roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use it to line the prepared tin, leaving any excess hanging over the edges.

  5. Press half of the meat filling into the pastry-lined tin. Take a thin slice off the top and bottom of each boiled egg (this helps them sit next to each other and makes slicing the pie easier), then place the eggs lengthways down the middle of the pie. Add the remaining meat filling and pat it down.

  6. Brush the overhanging pastry edge with egg yolk. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid and place over the pie. Pinch the pastry edges together to seal and trim the edges neatly. Make three steam holes in the top of the pie and brush with more egg yolk.

  7. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and bake for a further hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

  8. When the pie is cooked, set aside to cool for 10 minutes. If making the jelly, dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water. Soak the gelatine in a little cold water until soft then squeeze out excess water and whisk into the warm chicken stock.

  9. Pour the gelatine mixture into the hole in the top of the pie until the hollow cavity within the pie is filled. Allow the pies to set in the fridge overnight.

 

Recipe taken from:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/raised_pork_and_egg_pie_32033
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/small_pork_pies_with_11074

Torta de Limão

Lemon PieWhen I decided to start writing this blog and learning to cook Brazilian food my husband was quick to tell me that I had to make torta de limão. He told me that he used to make this pie as a child and absolutely loved it. Obviously I had to make this childhood delight of my husbands.

Lemon PieTorta de limão translated to english means lemon pie but this is more what americans would consider a key lime pie with a twist. Although it is called a lemon pie in Brazil it is actually made with what we know as limes in northern europe and north america. Limes are actually just a different variety of lemon and are called limão or limão tahiti in Brazil.

When I finally decided to take the plunge and try to make this pie I was hoping that my husband would give me the directions for how to make the pie. It turned out that he had forgotten how to make it and only remembered the ingredients that went in: sweetened condensed milk and lime. So, I started on my mad hunt to try to find the right recipe that would recreate my husbands torta de limão. The hunt for the perfect recipe proved to be more difficult than usual. None of my recipe books had this recipe and all the recipes that I found online seemed to have completely different ideas for how to make this pie. In the end, as I seem to always do, I found about three or four recipes, combined the aspects of each that I liked the most, and hoped that my pie would turn out fabulous.

Lemon PieTo my great surprise this pie turned out absolutely amazing. It tasted delicious, held together surprisingly well, and was not that much work to make. I loved every part of this pie and if I wasn’t worried about gaining too much weight I would eat it every day.

If you like key lime pie this is a recipe that you cannot pass up the opportunity to try. It is disgustingly easy, tasty, and beautiful.

Luckily for me I managed to bring back some childhood memories for my husband, even though he never made his torta de limão with the meringue topping!

Lemon PieIngredients

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2 – 3 limes (depending on how strong of a lime flavor you would like)
3 egg whites
200g biscoito maria or any simple cookie for making the pie crust
200g butter
5 tbsp sugar

Crumble the biscoito maria or other cookie of your choice until very fine and resembles bread crumbs. Melt the butter and add to the crushed cookies. Mix together until it holds and forms a ball. Add more melted butter if needed. Place cookie and butter mixture into a pie dish. Spread thinly over bottom of the dish and on the sides. Press down firmly making sure it holds in place. Combine the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice in a blender and blend well. Use a spoon to make sure that all of the lime juice is well mixed with the sweetened condensed milk. In a standing mixer combine the egg whites and sugar. Beat until the egg white holds together and forms peaks when the mixer is lifted. Pour the condensed milk and lime mixture into the pie dish. Spread the egg white mixture on top. Place in a preheated 180C/355F oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the meringue mixture is a light brown on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before eating.

For a PDF of this recipe CLICK HERE!
Lemon Pie