I was in Maryland for mother’s day. My sister Clare and I were cooking and talking about (what else?) food. She told me she loves to make Vidalia onion pie, which I had never heard of. She described it as kind of like a quiche, which I love. On-line I found Paula Deen’s recipe . There’s quite a bit of sour cream and some bacon in her onion pie. I was imagining something not quite so southern! Here’s a less rich Vidalia onion pie which could handle endless variations. You could make it with other onions, but the Vidalia onions seemed to cook up softer. The filling is almost pudding-like; very luscious. Hope you enjoy it. The crust is from a friend in Mill Creek, who uses it for a wonderful swiss chard tart.. The cornmeal in the crust gives it a nice crunch.
Brenda’s Crust for Vegetable Tart
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1 stick of butter
1/4 tsp salt if butter is unsalted
5-7 Tbsp ice water
Mix flours together. Cut cold butter into flour, and mix with as little warming of the dough as possible. Drizzle in most of the water and stir with a fork. Add more water by teaspoonfuls till it forms a dough you can roll out. Gather dough and divide roughly in half. Press each half into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill till the filling is ready, or for at least a couple of hours. I used a round pizza pan, but you could use a standard pie or tart pan instead.
Onion Pie Filling
3 large Vidalia onions, sliced
6 spears of fresh asparagus, cut in 1/4″ pieces
about 2 cups of thinly sliced lettuce, spinach, or other greens, or more asparagus
2 Tbsp oil
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup milk
4 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper
Whisk flour into milk, then whisk in the eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Reserve. Saute onions in oil till lightly browned.
Add asparagus and optional greens and continue cooking till softened…about 3 minutes. Add reserved egg mixture. Cook and stir briefly to heat through. Set aside and roll out the bottom crust to about 14″ diameter. (If one piece of dough is larger than the other, use it here.) Place on a pizza pan.
Spread the filling over the crust, leaving a 2″ margin all around. Scatter the crumbled feta cheese.
Roll out top crust to about 10″, and center over filling. Brush the exposed margin of the lower crust and the entire top crust with some milk or water. Bring up the margin onto top crust to enclose filling, and seal well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cut some slits for steam to escape. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, till a little toasty on top. (Note that in the photo of the cooked pie, the liquid that came through the slits in the crust is reddish, because I added a good bit of paprika after I scattered the feta. I think I would leave it out next time, so it’s not in the ingredient list.)
Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve with applesauce and a salad. It’s also very good the next day.