Rebecca from Madison, WI (2018 Week 5: Pies)




Madison, WI

Baking Challenge

Hand-Raised Pie

Give your pie a name based on the ingredients and decoration.

"Rabbit Food" Layered Vegetable Pie. I remember hearing that Mary Berry likes the decoration on a pastry to hint at its contents. I'm a vegetarian, so my pie contains roasted vegetables and cheese instead of roasted game. I don't have any vegetable-shaped cookie cutters, so the bunny cutouts allude to vegetables as "rabbit food".

Tell us about your proudest moment – or humble failure – in this week’s baking challenge.

My proudest moment is that the pie turned out to be as beautiful and delicious as I'd hoped. This was my first attempt at hot water crust pastry, and I cooked all the vegetables in advance so they'd be less wet, and my efforts were rewarded with a non-soggy bottom. The pie didn't fall apart when I removed the sides of the springform pan (apologies to Paul Hollywood for the lack of official hand-raising), and the layers in the filling are still visible in the slice.

Describe how you added a Wisconsin twist to your creation.

I used Wisconsin butter and eggs in the pastry, and the filling contains layers of farmer's market vegetables and Wisconsin cheese. After I prepared the vegetables, I thought I'd have a lot of leftovers, but I only had a few pieces of squash, some eggplant and some cheese left. The filling uses 4 Japanese eggplants, 2 zucchini, 2 yellow summer squash, 3 large leeks, 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, 1 quart cherry tomatoes, and nearly a pound of cheese (a blend of chevre with herbs de provence and mascarpone).

How did you do?

It’s perfect – and I’m not sharing!