Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hunza Pie

I first came across the idea of Hunza pie in a friend's vegetarian recipe book. It sounded delicious and I am always up for recipes that use bulk silverbeet, as I ALWAYS end up with a surplus in my vege garden during winter! So, a few years ago, Hunza pie was trialled and declared delicious! It has been a regular from my kitchen ever since. This recipe just screams nourishing, and after a revival of my cold from last week, eating this for dinner earlier this week was extremely comforting. Don't be afraid of the pastry, I urge you to give it a try. I'll let you in on a secret- I am useless with pastry. I always end up patchworking the little bits and pieces of broken-up pastry into my dish, and once it's topped with filling, no one even knows. I used spelt flour for my pastry but wholemeal works just as well too.

Hunza Pie (adapted from a piece of paper I have in my recipe draw that came from a friend's vegetarian cookbook)

220 grams spelt or wholemeal flour
110 grams butter, cubed
6 medium or 4 large silverbeet leaves
100 grams cooked brown rice
200 grams grated tasty cheese
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the flour and butter in a food processor and process until the flour looks like consistency of breadcrumbs. Slowly add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the flour comes together to form a ball. It usually takes around 4-5 tablespoons. Once a rough ball is formed, take the dough out and give it a quick knead until it is smooth. Wrap in gladwrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour. Once it has rested, remove and roll out on a well-floured surface to fit a dish about 25 cms diameter. I use an oblong-shaped lasagna dish, but a circle would work just as well. Grease your dish of choice well and carefully line with the rolled pastry. If you are like me, spend a bit of time patching up the holes with left-over dough until you have a smooth surface with no holes. Using a little bit of the yolk from one of the eggs in the filling, brush the base of the pastry with egg. This helps to seal the pastry and stops the tart being soggy when you add the filling. Bake the pastry at 180 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes, while you prepare the filling.

Finely shred the silverbeet stalks and leaves and add to a bowl with the brown rice and grated cheese. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and milk together with the salt and pepper. Combine the silverbeet mix with the eggs and milk and mix well to ensure all the silverbeet is coated with the eggy mixture. Pour the mixture into the par-baked pastry shell and smooth it out so all of the silverbeet is under the egg mixture (otherwise you get burnt bits of leaf sticky out the top). If you want, sprinkle a little bit of cheese on top before baking.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius until the filling is firm in the middle and browned on top; about 25 minutes in a normal oven (of which mine is not). Delicious served with sweet chilli sauce. Enjoy!


  1. Yummo!! My version of this pie also has sauted mushrooms and pesto in the mix... Delicious xx

  2. This was a staple of my mother's and I make it now too. But I do not always make the pastry myself, oops.