« What do you want for dinner tonight? » – Standard question we probably all hear on an almost daily basis. A question to which we don’t necessarily have an original answer, other than « I don’t know”, “maybe pasta”, “there’s nothing left in the fridge, takeout Chinese or pizza?”.
But when you’re a geek, you’re hungry for something new and you get inspired by one of your favorite fandoms, your kitchen might become a place of wonders. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the vegetable pie made famous at the most respectable inn throughout Middle Earth; the Prancing Pony!
Elegant Elves, Dwarf masters, honorable Men lords and my dearest jolly Halflings, pull up your sleeves and gather around the kitchen table so that we can make some delicious pies that could even be made in the Evendim region, as there is no boar meat involved. Grab your parchment and off you go to the market for the following ingredients:
¼ of a small pumpkin
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
300 ml of heavy cream
flaky pastry – 2 discs if you’re buying them ready to use
We start by heating the oven to 180° C (th.6).
First, get the pumpkin going; de-seed if needed, then cut it in 1 cm thick pieces. Add the olive oil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t stick to the saucepan by recovering it with oil from time to time. Strain the pumpkin in a sieve once you’re done.
Then, we move on to other vegetables. You might want to blanch them separately in order to avoid mixing savors. Simmer peeled potatoes, carrots and leek (for the latter keep only the white part, cut in 2-3 cm pieces) in salted boiling water for about 10 minutes each. If you put them for an instant into freezing water afterwards, your vegetables will have beautiful, vivid colors. Once they’ve cooled a bit, cut them in rather thin slices.
Next, whip 3 eggs and add the cream. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
Now, let’s prepare the flaky pastry. If you’re as
lazy witted as I was, you went for the easier option of simply buying two of those. In which case, you already have sulphurized paper – yay! Put it into your pie pan, then place your first disc of the flaky pastry. In order to maintain its flat form during its journey in the oven, make a series of little holes by poking gently on the surface with a fork.
Let’s layer up this baby! Proceed as follows; a layer of pumpkin, leek, potatoes and carrots end up covered by the eggs and cream mixture. Use the second disc of the flaky pastry to cover everything and make ends of both discs meet. Brush the top pastry with some egg yolk as a finishing touch and place your masterpiece in the oven for 30 minutes.
Seriously, I didn’t think I would enjoy a pile of vegetables wrapped in pastry that much. Not only it was fun making it together with my boyfriend, but also imagining this kind of pie really being served at the Prancing Pony in Bree made it even better!