Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beet pie!

So, this happened last night:

My garden did disgustingly well this year. I mean, really.  I am still working through fresh tomatoes and zucchinis, despite having made loads of spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, zucchini bread, and tomato jam. I also canned a bunch of beets, but I was still left with 20 lbs of them taking up space in my fridge. Now, I love pickled beets, but a person can only eat so many. 

So when I was home for Thanksgiving, I had an epiphany... Can you make beet pie?  I asked google and came up with surprisingly few answers, but I did see one or two recipes. So last night, with the help of a couple of girlfriends, we set about to invent a sweet beet pie. 

We had intended to use a sweet potato pie recipe as a jumping off point, but once we puréed the beets we thought they had a consistency more similar to moist puréed pumpkin, so we went there instead. 

We started by peeling, cubing, and boiling 3 or 4 beets, then pureeing them in the food processor. Added a few tablespoons of flour to pick up some of the moisture, then spiced the mix with cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace. Added a pinch of salt, and about 1/3 of a cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Threw in 1 cup of scalded milk as per my mother's pumpkin pie recipe, then 2 eggs, well-beaten. Poured into a pie shell, then baked at 450F for 10 minutes, and 325F for 45 minutes. 

The texture and flavour are very similar to pumpkin pie, but with that great beet taste underneath the spices. And the colour!  Well, the colour is plain fabulous. In the future, I might fool with separating the egg yolks and beating the whites to stiff peaks before folding them in right before baking. I think it could make it fluffier. Also, the mix could use a little less liquid, either by draining off some of the beet juice, or by reducing the milk.

Overall, I'd say it was a raving success, and well worth the wine consumed in the making!  

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