Savory pies, are basically meals in a crust and if you eat them as such, some can be a little heavy, but that’s may be what we want during the months of comfort food. This Cauliflower Pie with Cumin could certainly fall in that category, so to make sure you enjoy the pie, but without feeling as if you’re carrying a load of bricks in your stomach, serve them in smaller wedges, with some green salad.
Savory pies are a great way to use up left overs, to try flavor combinations and to impress your guests. Most of them can also be eaten cold and warm. This cauliflower pie has a cumin cheese sauce and I suggest to eat this one warm.
The cumin in the cheese sauce comes from a particular Dutch cheese, Leyden cheese. It’s a cheese that you like or you don’t, there is not really a middle ground here; I am definitely part of the ‘like-group’. Leyden is a cheese named after one of the old university cities in the Netherlands, the city of Leiden. A cute small city, with a center overrun with students, bicycles everywhere, no place to park, but a lovely old city to visit. When I found this recipe in an old cookbook from the Dutch Dairy Council, I thought it was worth sharing as it included this Leyden Cheese, a Dutch Gouda-type cheese with cumin, that not everybody knows.
This is how you make the Cauliflower Pie with Cumin. Make a simply pastry dough, transfer dough to a spring form. I used a spring form, so it’s easier to get the pie out of the form and the size of the form is 8-inches. This results in a small compact and high pie; the higher the easier it is to see the different layers. Add ground beef, add cauliflower, pour cheese sauce over cauliflower.
Cut the cauliflower into small florets, as that covers the meat better than larger florets. Before you place the pie in the oven, cover it with aluminum foil, so it does not burn, while it does cook the meat and vegetable. Then later in the process cook without the aluminum foil to create a nice brown top and to color the dough to golden caramel.
Open the spring form and cut the pie in wedges/pieces. When you serve it hot, the cheese sauce with oooze over the pie layers, showing off.
Cauliflower Pie with Cumin
- 4 1/2 ounces butter
- 6 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup ice water
- 1 head cauliflower
- 8 ounces ground beef
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 whole egg
- 1/2 shallot
- 1 ounce butter
- 1 ounce all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 6 ounces Leyden cheese grated
- salt and pepper
- Start with making the dough. This pie will fit in an 8-inch spring form.
- Add flour, butter, and salt in a bowl and until you have a mixture that resembles coarse meal with small sized butter pieces. Drizzle water over mixture, and mix until incorporated. Check after 3 tablespoons if dough holds together; if so, stop adding water, if not add the last tablespoon.Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough.
- Press the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Clean the cauliflower and cut it is small florets. Cook the cauliflower in water with salt for just 5 minutes. Drain.
- Mix the ground beef with salt, pepper, curry powder, finely chopped shallot and the egg.
- Make the cheese sauce: melt the butter, add the flower and and stir until smooth. Cook roux over medium-low heat and stir constantly untl desired color is reached (light caramel). Gradually add the milk and mix until you have a smooth sauce.
- Add cheese and mix until melted. Add more milk if too thick. Flavor with salt and pepper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to a 10-inch circle. This should cover the bottom and the sides of the spring form.
- Cover the bottom with the ground beef mixture. Divide the cauliflower on top of the meat and finish with the cheese sauce.
- Cover the form with aluminum foil and place in a preheated oven of 400 F.
- After 45 minutes remove the aluminum foil and bake another 30 minutes until you have a dark brown top and a caramel crust.
- Remove spring from, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.