Niles Pie Co., a worker-owned bakery in Union City, California, is up and running during shelter-at-home, filling orders for pick up and delivery. Founder Carolyn Berke shared this recipe.
Makes 1 9- or 10-inch pie
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
Several shavings fresh nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
2 small leeks or 1 large, white parts only (approximately 2 cups when sliced)
4 ounces good quality chèvre
Finely chopped fresh chives, tarragon and/or Italian parsley
1 pre-baked 9 or 10-inch pie shell (see recipe below)
Slice leeks lengthwise and clean thoroughly. Then slice thinly crosswise. Sauté in butter on low heat until softened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 325°.
Whisk together the liquid ingredients very thoroughly and add the seasoning. Arrange the sautéed leeks in the pie shell evenly and dot with the chèvre. Sprinkle the surface with herbs and carefully pour in the filling. Bake about 45 to 50 minutes until the filling is completely set and does not jiggle when gently moved.
Niles Pie’s Sweet Pie Dough
Makes 1 double-crust pie or 2 single-crust shells
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
To mix by hand: Put your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. (No, not that one, get out your really big one. So much easier.) Scatter the cold cubed butter over the dry ingredients, and lightly toss them in with your hands. Use your finger tips to squish the butter cubes, and continue tossing in. Do this until the butter is in flaky bits, and still discernible. Toss and squish. Use your fingertips, not your whole hands, so that you don’t melt the butter. You want to stop before it becomes to even and refined looking. If it looks like coarse cornmeal you’ve gone too far.
Make a well in the center and pour in the cold water. Using a rubber spatula or plastic scraper, mix the water in and toss/knead until your dough comes together in a shaggy mass. You can now use your hands to knead the dough into a smooth-ish ball. Divide in 2, and pat together into 2 pieces. For a double crust pie, make one just a little bigger than the other. Pat into neat circles, wrap in plastic or waxed paper, and refrigerate for an hour or up to overnight.
To mix in a food processor: Put flour, salt, and sugar into the processor bowl and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter all at once and pulse about 15 times until the butter is the size of baby peas or smaller. Dump the flour butter mix into a very large mixing bowl and add the water. With one hand, use a plastic scraper to mix the dough. Do this gently but thoroughly. If you need more water, add by the tablespoon, until your dough comes together and is not crumbly. Divide dough in two pieces, one just a little bigger than the other, pat into neat circles, wrap in plastic or waxed paper and refrigerate for an hour or up to overnight.
Rolling out your dough: Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8-inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. If necessary, add a few sprinkles of flour under the dough to keep the dough from sticking. Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.
For a double crust pie: After following the above, add cooled filling to the pie. Roll out second disk of dough, as before. Gently place onto the top of the filling in the pie. Pinch top and bottom of dough rounds firmly together. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold the edge of the top piece of dough over and under the edge of the bottom piece of dough, pressing together. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork. Score the top of the pie with four 2-inch long cuts, so that steam from the cooking pie can escape.
For a pre-baked shell: Follow the rolling out instructions above, then crimp the edges of the shell however you’d like. Line the shell with parchment and fill with uncooked beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake at 350° for about 15 minutes for a partially baked shell. The edges will be set, and the bottom will be set but not at all browned. For a fully baked shell (cream pies, or fillings that are fully cooked), remove the lining with the beans (carefully! It’s hot.), and return to the oven another 10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely before using.