There was a drift of snow on the ground when I awoke this morning, so unusual for early November in the maritime Northwest. Our local farmers are harvesting small parsnips whose ends look like well scrubbed rat’s tails. I always look twice and give a start when I see them on the counter. I bought 1½ pounds thinking I’d roast them with toasted sesame oil; my favorite parsnips way. My friend Liz gave me a 1981, hardback, first edition of Great British Cooking: A Well-Kept Secret by Jane Garmey for my birthday. I’ve a real thing for British food names, especially teacakes, pies and puddings. I have deep suspicions that I’ve inherited a lingering pudding gene from my kith and kin, even though we’ve been in America for 300 years, and think pudding is cold custard mixed from a box! With the taters and nips whisperings from the ancestors, mixed in with all the pumpkin pies and squash custards I’ve been making. (I’m explaining what led me to parsnip pie.) I’d never ventured into savory parsnip pie territory...but for Sunday’s lunch I did. It was decidedly good. C. went back for seconds. He loves a fluffy savory pie, think souffle, especially with a flaky crust.
Savory Parsnip Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie A light, creamy, fluffy pie with earthy parsnip flavor. It’s complemented by thyme, quatre epices and a sharp cheddar bottom. And, all set off in a buttery flaky gluten free crust.
Filling Ingredients 1 lb 4oz./560g sliced in rounds and boiled until fork tender small parsnips 1 large onion chopped and sauted in 2 tablespoons butter until caramelized 3 large eggs 1 ¼cups/286 ml whole milk 4oz/113g grated sharp cheddar cheese ½teaspoon quatre epices 1 teaspoon dried thyme ½teaspoon powdered ginger 1 teaspoon freshly ground caraway ½teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg ½teaspoon sea salt 2 tablespoons dark whole cane sugar 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Instructions For Pie Filling Preheat oven to 425F/318C Blind bake the crust, add cheese and filling while it’s still hot Boil until fork tender with skins on parsnip rounds and drain In a mixer, vitamix or food processor add parsnips, eggs, milk, all spices, salt and sugar. Mix until completely smooth and fluffy. Add cheese to the bottom of the hot, blind baked crust Pour in filling, it will pile high, smooth in an attractive way Bake for 35 minutes, serve warm. With Love Enjoy!