Spinach and Ricotta Pie

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    6

Appears in

Bourke Street Bakery

By Paul Allam and David McGuinness

Published 2009

  • About

This is a classic vegetarian pie — everyone has a different version. At Bourke Street Bakery we have kept it fresh and simple, although for something different you can try adding a little ground nutmeg or cinnamon at the end. We use baby spinach in this recipe, but it works just as well with silverbeet (Swiss chard).

Ingredients

  • 40 ml ( fl oz/2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 g (7 oz) brown onions, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 100 g ( oz) peeled and grated potato
  • 55 ml ( fl oz) verjuice
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water
  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) baby English spinach
  • 400 g (14 oz/1⅔ cups) ricotta cheese
  • 200 g (7 oz/2 cups) grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 handful basil leaves
  • 8 g (¼ oz/ teaspoons) salt
  • 5 g ( oz/1 teaspoon) white pepper
  • 1 quantity savoury shortcrust pastry
  • ½ quantity puff pastry
  • egg wash, for brushing
  • poppy seeds, for sprinkling

Method

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the thyme and cook for 2 minutes, stirring well. Add the potato, verjuice and water, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook the potato for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it is partially cooked. Transfer to a large container and allow to cool.

Rinse the saucepan and return to medium heat. Add half of the spinach to the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring often, until it has wilted. Remove from the pan and drain off any excess liquid in a colander. Repeat with the remaining spinach until it is all cooked. Cool slightly and squeeze the spinach to remove any excess liquid.

Add the spinach to the potato mixture with the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, basil, salt and pepper, stirring well to combine.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Roll out the savoury pastry following the instructions and use it to line the base and sides of six 12.5 cm ( inch) pie tins. Roll out the puff pastry following the instructions and cut out six circles with a 13.5 cm ( inch) diameter to make the pie lids.

Spoon the mixture into the pastry-lined pie tins, filling them to the brim. To attach the puff pastry lids, brush the rim of the pastry base and lid with a little egg wash and lay the lid over the base. Pinch gently between your thumb and index finger to make a good seal around the circumference edge. Brush the top of the pie lid with egg wash, sprinkle with poppy seeds, and make a small hole in the middle to allow steam to escape. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and bake the pies for 30–35 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove the pies from the tins and leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.