I ate a lot of pies in university. Not the sweet, fruit sort. But a savory kind. My friends and I were CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members and would get huge boxes of vegetables each week. The only problem was that it was a lot of the same vegetable. Whether it was summer tomatoes, fall kale, or winter squash, we always had too much of something. As agriculture students we were used to dealing with excess produce. We just needed to get creative with our ingredients.
One of the most interesting ways creations, that I learnt, were savory pies. You can think of them as similar to a quiche but without the eggs. You almost always cook the vegetable before using it as filling. I lived in France so cheese was a part of all pies. As with all of my favorite foods, the possibilities for fillings are endless. A few of my favorites include, roasted tomato and Emmental cheese, squash/ pumpkin with Béchamel sauce, and potatoes with Reblochon cheese.
Savory pies are meant to be a quick and easy dinner. A slice of pie, a salad, and a glass of wine was a lazy but nice meal. For a while, I was very hesitant to make this on a regular basis because making pie crust is a pain. That’s when a friend shared a trick. Make a press-onto-pan pie crust. It’s similar to a cookie or graham cracker crust used in some sweet pies.
Mix flour (I think whole wheat actually tastes better in this case) with a decent bit of virgin olive oil and a few tablespoons of water. You don’t need a dough; just a crumbly mixture. Using too much water will lead to a chewy crust.
Dump the crumbly mixture into the pie pan. Use your fingers to press the mixture around the bottom and edges of the pan.
You do not need to pre-bake the crust. Just add your fillings and bake. The liquid from the filling will help the crust to come together a little better during the baking process.