We’re having family over for brunch on Sunday, which is Easter, and I’ve been thinking about what to make. Clearly I have chickpea flour on the brain these days (exhibits A, B, C, D, E) so naturally, this savoury spring pie with a chickpea flour base came to mind.
This frittata-like pie has a custardy interior, thanks to the high water content in the batter and high cooking temperature. It’s easy as can be to make but looks impressive, making it an ideal option for a special-occasion meal, when you want beautiful food that’s lower maintenance to execute.
I’ll be making two of these on Sunday along with some spring greens dressed in a lemony vinaigrette, and sourdough. Let me know if you try it, too!
Serves 2 to 4
2 tbsp oil, divided (you can skimp on this, if you’d like*)
about 1.5 cups sliced mushrooms
about 20 small spears asparagus or 1.5 cups chopped, stringy ends snapped off and spears sliced into one-inch pieces
1 green onion, chopped
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 tsp kala namak OR regular salt
fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Whisk together the chickpea flour and salt with 2 cups cool water and set aside to hydrate.
Over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms and asparagus in 1 tbsp oil until the veggies just start to soften, and the mushrooms have sweated most of their water. Turn off heat.
Pour the other 1 tbsp oil into a 9” pie pan, and swirl around to coat. The oil should go up the sides by about 1”.
Once oven is preheated, add mushrooms and asparagus, along with the green onions, to the chickpea batter and combine.
Gently pour the batter into the pie pan, top with a generous amount of fresh cracked pepper, and bake for 15 minutes, until set. It should feel fairly firm to touch.
Broil for an additional few minutes, until top is browning.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes to fully set. Serve!
You could get away with using less oil, if that matters to you. I went for it because it’s a special occasion meal, and a little extra fat adds a nice mouthfeel. But you could also use just enough to sauté the veggies and coat the pie pan.
You can, of course, use whatever veggies you like. Sub three cups of veggies—just be sure to sauté them to soften, and evaporate their moisture to maintain a good pie consistency.
If you’re baking two pies, you’ll need to increase the cooking time, by about 5 minutes.
If you have a 9” (or similar sized) cast iron pan, you could sauté the veggies in that, then add the batter directly to the pan before placing in the oven. I will probably do that in future. Today I wanted to test this in a pie pan for my non-cast-iron loving buddies :)
Thick ceramic pie pans like the one I have don’t make for the best browning, so use a thinner pan if you have one, or consider pre-heating the pan.
This would be delicious in a crust! One day, when I have the bandwidth for thinking about crusts, I will try this.