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This plain-sounding dish is greater than the sum of its parts. Does cooked cabbage bring to mind evil odors and bland flavor? Banish the thought! The shredded cabbage in this pie pairs pleasingly with mushrooms, onions, and herbs, and is enhanced by the unctuous smoothness of cream cheese and hard-boiled eggs. I've changed the original cream cheese crust to a more traditional shortening-based crust -- we just happened to be testing a customer-submitted crust recipe, and everyone liked it so much we decided to stick with it. This pie is a definite rib-sticker. Though not exactly low-cal, it definitely warms the belly on a cold night. And hey, you can always go skiing (or at least take a walk) afterwards!
Our thanks to Irma Reed of Peak's Island, Maine, for this crust recipe. Irma says it came originally from a friend's grandmother, a Finnish woman who never learned English but communicated quite well through her baking.
2 1/4 cups (9 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (4 3/4 ounces) vegetable shortening or 3/4 cup (6 ounces) lard
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter
3 cups (11 ounces, 1 small head) coarsely shredded cabbage, lightly packed
1 1/4 cups (1 medium, 5 1/2 ounces) chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened
4 large hard-boiled eggs, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
The Pastry: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, then cut in the shortening. In a separate bowl, or in a measuring cup, whisk together the egg, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of water, and sprinkle this over the dry ingredients while fluffing with a fork. Mix just until the dough comes together, adding the last tablespoon of water if needed. Divide the dough in half, flatten each half into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.
The Filling Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet, add the cabbage and onions, and saute until the cabbage is wilted and the onions are soft. Stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into a bowl.
Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and saute the mushrooms until they release their juices and shrink to about half their original size. Stir the mushrooms into the cabbage mixture.
Roll one of the pastry disks into an 11- to 12-inch circle and fit it into a 9-inch pie plate. Gently spread the softened cream cheese over the bottom, then layer on the sliced eggs. Sprinkle lightly with dill. Spoon the cabbage mixture on top. Roll out the remaining crust and place it over the filling. Seal and crimp the edges of the crust, and slice a few vents in the top.
Bake the pie in a preheated 400°F oven for 15 minutes, then lower the oven heat to 350°F and continue to bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Yield: 1 pie, 10 servings.
Nutrition information per serving (1/10th of pie, 159g): 361 cal, 26g fat, 8g protein, 24g complex carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, 129mg cholesterol, 394mg sodium, 273mg potassium, 135RE vitamin A, 12mg vitamin C, 2mg iron, 47mg calcium, 118mg phosphorus.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 2, Winter 2001 issue.