Swiss chard pie

La tourte de blettes 

Preparation : 2 hours
Cooking time : 40 minutes

Ingredients for 8 people :

for the pastry :
2 1/2 scant cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of butter.
1/4 cup of sugar
1 egg
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil

for the filling :
1  bunch of Swiss chard, trimmed.  Reserve the stems for another use.
2 eggs
3 dried figs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup brandy
3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1 apple, peeled and diced
5 apples, peeled thinly sliced
3/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup currants soaked in rum

While Americans view chard as a savory food, this sweet chard pie is commonly found Mediterranean areas of France and Italy.  If you don’t have chard, feel free to substitute spinach.

Confectioners sugar for dusting

Mix the flour, the sugar, and the salt in a bowl

Add the butter cut into small cubes, the egg and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix this with your fingers for several minutes in order to obtain a smooth and homogeneous pastry which should be refrigerated and covered with a towel.

Roll the chard leaves into bundles 2 inches in diameter and cut them into thin strips about the width of a finger. Rinse the chard in a bowl of cold water which is continually being replaced and continue to do this until the water is no longer tinted green. Squeeze dry the strips and dry them between two towels.

In a bowl, thoroughly mix the beaten eggs, the crushed almonds, the brown sugar, the brandy, the two sorts of raisins, the figs cut into cubes, 1 tablespoon olive oil and the pine nuts. While mixing this all together by hand add the chard and diced apple.

On a pastry board work which has been liberally covered with flour, flatten two thirds of the pastry with a rolling pin to cover a round surface of 14 inches in diameter. Place this inside your pie dish, with a small amount hanging over the edges. Cover the bottom of the dish with half of the apple slices. Cover these with the chard mixture, then add the remainder of the apple slices so that they are touching one another.

Roll the last third of the pastry to the same size as the top of the pie dish and after having moistened the edges, place it on the filling and pinch the two portions together in order to obtain a good seal. With the aid of a fork, pierce a few “chimneys” on the top.
Place the pie in the oven for about 45 minutes at 350 °F until the crust is golden.

Immediately after taking it from the oven, sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Allow it to cool to room temperature before serving.

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