Monday, 8 June 2015

String Bean Pie


The best part I think all of us enjoy about Summer and Spring season are our outdoor ventures, picnics, and barbecues. What can be more refreshing and enjoyable than an afternoon picnic with friends and family.

In spite of the fact that I am not a snake, a polar bear or any other hibernating animal. I hibernate throughout the winter or at least two or three months during the winter. You must be thinking that I am joking, but the reality of the fact is that I can't seem to stand the cold weather and hence stay inside my cocoon for the coldest part of the winter.

So as soon as I hear the humming of birds and see the flowers blooming, I like to go out and inspect nature in full bloom.  In order to be as close to nature as possible, I thought I would plan a picnic with my family and will plan a different menu this time. Usually, we take sandwiches or cakes with us in our picnic basket. But this time I wanted it to be different.

I wanted to make a savoury pie or tart because a picnic is considered to be a portable party so a picnic menu should be easy to transport and enjoyable at the same time. I am not going to discuss the whole menu but rather a string bean pie that I made for my Sunday picnic. String beans are in season so I thought what could be better than a string bean pie.

After musing about compatible string bean combinations, I came up with my very own recipe of string bean pie. This recipe has been happily approved by my family so I thought I should share this recipe with my dear readers. My only critic was my youngest son who didn't like the cheese sauce base that much rest of the tart was good enough for him. Maybe I will try with a tomato base next time.

The good part of this whole story is that all the family liked it even the picky eaters.I think any good savoury tart base is suitable for this recipe and then you top it with a cheesy thick sauce and string beans.

Ingredients For Tart Base:

300g flour
1 cup milk
1tbsp butter
1 1/4tsp baking powder
pinch salt

Ingredients For The Topping:

Cheese Sauce
40g flour
40g butter
400ml milk
100g parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

For The String Bean Topping
100g blanched string beans (seasoned with salt and pepper)
5 cherry tomatoes sauteed in some oil.
 parmesan for sprinkling

Place the flour with salt and BP on a clean working surface. Make a well in the center add butter, mix into crumbs add milk. Knead until a smooth dough is formed. Leave to rest for half an hour.

Preparing The Crust:

After half an hour place the dough on a clean surface. Roll out into a circle, place in a greased pie
dish. Neaten out the edges with a sharp knife.  I like to prick my crust before baking. Prick with fork and place in the center of preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
After crust is ready take it out of the oven and set aside.

Preparing The Topping:
Prepare the cheese sauce by placing flour, butter and milk in a pan, stir continuously while cooking.
Place on top of the crust leveling evenly.

Arrange the cherry tomatoes right in the center of the pie as shown in the picture.

Arrange the prepared beans as shown in the picture.

 Keep arranging the beans till all the pie is covered. To give final touches to the pie, I made use of the remaining dough. Roll into a rectangle spread with pizza sauce or tomato puree sprinkle parmesan and roll like a swiss roll cut into equal pieces and bake at 180 degrees till golden brown. Arrange on the pie as shown in the picture and bake again for seven more minutes in a preheated oven at 180 degrees.

Sprinkle with parmesan and serve or take to your picnic.
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