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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Swiss Chard, Apple, and Raisin Pie

As you probably know, I am a fan of French cooking. I was raised with a healthy worship of it by my parents who traveled to France yearly. Mother of Rula is a living testament to the long life benefits of excessive butter and heavy cream, and she looks like a million bucks. But that could be good genes. Anyway, I just found another great cookbook at Goodwill. It’s from the beautiful cookbook series and it’s the Provence the Beautiful Cookbook. One recipe which caught my eye was for this Swiss chard, apple and raisin pie. You must try it!

Ingredients for crust
2 cups A.P. flour
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup room temp. butter
2 eggs, beaten with a fork

Ingredients for filling
Pinch of butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup raisins, soaked in 1/4 cup rum overnight
1 pound golden delicious apples, quartered, cored, sliced, and diced at the last minute
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 pounds Swiss chard parboiled squeezed dry and chopped
fresh ground black pepper
whole nutmeg
Confectioners sugar for garnish

Procedure for crust
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the butter and eggs. Stir mix and mash till dough comes together. Knead briefly on table and add a little water if necessary to bring mixture together. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 2 hours before rolling out. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10-inch deep pie plate with a pinch of butter. Divide the dough into 2 portions, one slightly larger. Roll out the larger dough ball and line the pie pan. Let the dough hang over the edges.

Procedure for filling
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, sugar, and cheese. Add pine nuts raisins, remaining rum, apples, zest, and chard. Add some fresh pepper and some shaved nutmeg. Place mixture into pie shell and smooth top. Now roll out other piece of dough and cover pie. Trim excess dough and crimp edges together. Cut 4 steam vents in top of pie. Place in oven and bake 40 minutes, or till crust is nicely browned. Serve at room temp and sprinkle powdered sugar on top right before serving.