Why Hunza Pie?
Popular in the 60’s amongst hippie vegetarians and often seen in health food stores and at health retreats this simple pie is much more than a hippies’ delight.
Despite the name, this pie has nothing to do with the Hunzakuts who are people living in the Hunza Valley and are thought to live to 150 years due to their special diet; however, eating this pie you can see why the name is so appropriate.
Hunza pie is a mixture of simple and inexpensive ingredients that are good for you and that taste great – silver beet, brown rice, and cheese – encased in a beautifully crisp wholemeal or rye shortcrust pastry making it perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner.
220g wholemeal or rye flour
110g cold, salted butter
2 bunches silver beet
200g cooked brown rice
200g grated cheddar cheese
50g cottage cheese
1 clove garlic, grated
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a food processor blend the flour and butter until it looks like course breadcrumbs. Add 2 - 3 tablespoons of cold water until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth. Cover and rest for at least a 1 hour in a cool place.
After an hour roll out the pastry and line a 24cm tart case. Don’t worry if the pastry breaks, simply push it into the tart shell and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is dry to the touch.
Meanwhile separate the leaves from the stems of silver beet reserving 1 bunch of the stems and wash all thoroughly. Cook the leaves in salted boiling water for 3 minutes and remove. Continue to cook the stalks for 7 – 8 minutes or until they are tender and remove to drain.
Once cool, squeeze out the excess water and chop roughly.
In a large bowl mix together the garlic, cheeses, rice and spinach and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Mix in the egg and fill the cooked piecrust, making sure to push the mixture right to the edges. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling at the edges.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.