I like to serve the pie with a salad of crisp leaves or a green vegetable such as purple sprouting broccoli or peas.
This is a great technique for making an open face pie or perhaps some might like to call it a tart. In any event, it is delicious and the process can be used for many other ingredients other than those suggested here. The pastry is simple to make and easy to work with. It is an ideal vehicle for making the very best of delicious leftovers such as roast chicken or turkey. The pastry freezes well, so this makes getting organized all the easier.
- 275g plain white flour
- 175g cold butter, cut into 1cm dice
- Pinch of salt
- 50ml sour or fresh cream
- 450g Swiss chard or spinach
- 1 large clove of garlic crushed to a paste
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 25g butter
- 150g cold roast chicken or turkey, pilled or cut into c 2cm pieces
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 150ml cream
- 25g grated parmesan
- 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
- Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
- A little-beaten egg to glaze the pastry
- To make the pastry, in a large bowl rub the butter into the flour with a pinch of salt to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add the cream and bring the mixture together with your hands. Sprinkle a little flour on the worktop and turn out the pastry.
- Dust with a little flour and knead gently to form a smooth mass. Flatten the pastry into a neat 2cm thick disc. Wrap the pastry in parchment and chill until completely cold. The pastry can also be frozen at this point.
- To make the pie filling, begin by cutting or pulling the stalks from the chard. Cut the stalks into 1 cm thick pieces and gently pull the leaves into c 3cm pieces.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and season well with salt. Add the chard stalks to the boiling water and cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the leaves and cook for a further 2 minutes by which time the stalks and leaves should be tender.
- Drain immediately and press on the drained vegetable to extract as much water as possible. Spread out the chard on a flat dish to cool.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan and when it foams add in the onion and garlic. Turn in the butter to coat and cover with a piece of parchment paper and a tight-fitting lid.
- Cook on a very gentle heat to soften but not colour the vegetables. When cooked remove and cool.
- Whisk together the egg and yolk, cream, parmesan and tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Mix the cooled onions and garlic, chard and turkey and season to taste.
- Preheat your oven to 180c
- To assemble the pie, line an oven tray with parchment paper. If the tray has raised sides, turn it over and put the parchment on the flat side as the edges can impede removing the cooked tart neatly from the tray.
- Dust your worktop with flour. Remove the pastry from the fridge and if very firm, do not be afraid to knead it slightly. Alternatively just allow it to sit on the worktop for 5 minutes to become a little more manageable.
- Roll the pastry out to a 35 -40cm circle. This sounds and may even look too big – it is not. Wrap the pastry around your rolling pin and transfer to the parchment paper-lined oven tray.
- Place the turkey filling on the middle of the pastry allowing a 6 - 8cm border all the way around. Fold the pastry border in over the filling to create an open-faced pie. The effect of the overlapping pastry will be rather rustic – that’s fine. Pinch and push the pastry where necessary to achieve a lovely round shaped tart.
- Paint the surface of the pastry with a little-beaten egg. Now pour the cream and parmesan mixture over the filling, being careful to allow it to travel down through the filling. I use a thin-bladed knife or skewer to help this to happen.
- Place the tart in the oven and cook for 35 -45 minutes. The filling should be gently bubbling and the pastry beautifully coloured.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slipping it onto a serving dish and bringing it to the table.