Okay, this is maybe not very fair, but I cannot give you my actual spinach pie recipe. For one thing, I don’t have one. For another, if I tried to give you complete instructions, it would take at least two pages typed (I know because I tried doing it for my BFF). But I did take a bunch of pictures of *most* of the process, and I will share with you. I started the dough Christmas evening, the night before we planned to bake.
I added that to a VERY large bowl of 5 pounds of flour and probably a tablespoon or so of salt. I added an additional 2 cups of warm/hot-ish water and began to mix by hand. I know I added at least another 2 cups of water as I mixed, maybe more.
You can’t see it as well in the picture, but in real life this really looked like The Scream. After I cleaned and dried my bowl, and sprinkled it with a little flour, I put this creepy face back in it, covered it with plastic wrap and popped it in the fridge.
The next morning, I awoke to this. It was too cold to work with, so I took it out a good two hours before we planned to use it. It ended up being longer than that – but if you can help it, you really should start to use it within a couple hours of taking it out, unless it’s still cold for some reason.
As we worked, we covered the little balls of dough with towels to keep them from drying out.
The balls of dough need to rise another 30 minutes. If you’re fast enough, you can whip up the spinach filling during that time; otherwise, you might want to make this during that two hours the bowl of dough is warming up.
I always forget how much spinach, and everything else, I use. I think this is 4 or 5 pounds. I buy it frozen so I don’t have to worry about getting bad leaves – whole leaf is best, cut leaf is OK, chopped leaf kinda stinks. Too many stems.
I thaw the spinach by placing it in a colander, a little at a time, and rinsing it with cold water. Once it thaws, I squeeze and squeeze and squeeze the heck out of it until it’s as dry as possible. Why? Because I’m going to get it nice and juicy again, using lemon juice and olive oil.
After you add as much finely chopped as you’d like, start adding lemon juice, olive oil and salt, to taste. Once it tastes perfect, add a little more salt and lemon. Trust me.
Now here’s the thing. If there are just two of you making these, you really need to be FAST. I just did not have time to take pictures of the next steps, plus my hands were oily and covered with bits of spinach and onion. But I’ll tell ya:
Take a ball of dough and flatten it. Roll it out with a rolling pin. Put a small amount of spinach on the round and spread it out like a Christmas tree, but Not all the way to the edge of the dough. You need to fold the round up into the shape of a triangle, and pinch it shut very carefully to make sure it sticks.
If it’s not pinched properly, or if too much spinach is used, you’ll end up with open pies like the ones seen here. And don’t worry if it’s not a perfect triangle, there’s no sense going back and trying to fix it later. You know why? The dough just does its own thing, it will stretch right back the way it was the first time you folded it. Crazy. But you just have to do it right the first time, and if you mess up, feed it to someone you love – someone who won’t judge you – before your guests arrive.
Oh yeah. You bake them at 350 for about 12-15 minutes. Then pull them out, brush them with olive oil, and put them under the broiler to brown them.
Every year for my Christmas party, I have to burn some. I don’t mean every year I forget a pan in the oven (although sometimes I do), but I actually have to purposely burn some because some of my friends prefer them that way. Actually, they’re probably the same people who would gladly eat a misshapen pie for me.
I almost forgot to mention BFF and I broke a record…
Huh, I explained a lot more than I intended to. If someone tries this and it actually works with so many pictures of steps missing, let me know! I think I’ll finish up my Christmas-related posts tomorrow.