A Savory, Family Favorite Recipe
It’s been awhile since I posted a recipe. That’s not for lack of cooking. We eat at home most of the time, and cook from scratch a good deal of it, but I’ve been too busy to photograph much, and to tell the truth, I’m a bit ashamed of the kitchen as it is now. We have started updating, and have plans for much more, but at present, it is about as far from my Dream kitchen as one can get. The photos accompanying this post were actually taken at our previous home. (That kitchen wasn’t my dream kitchen, but my Stepmom’s. However, it was a fantastic kitchen. I miss it and so does my Stepmom 🙁 )
I make the black eyed pea pie that I am sharing the recipe for, several times a year usually. The photos are actually from two different preparations. Since I first came across this recipe back in the late 1990s in a Martha Stewart Living magazine, I have made it many times. We changed and tailored the recipe to suit ourselves and it remains a family favorite. I wont lie to you. It is not a dish I go and whip up just any evening for dinner. There are a lot of prep steps and it takes awhile, but it is so worth the effort.
You can easily make a meal of this hearty dish. A green salad on the side makes it perfect. The frigid, and now rainy, weather this week in ‘sunny florida’ has gotten me thinking about Comfort Food, and this is one of the recipes that I especially associate with that notion. I’m going to have to get together the ingredients and make it again very soon.
This pie can be made with all fresh ingredients, or streamlined a bit by using frozen peas and spinach, refrigerated or prepared pie crusts, or other substitutes. I almost guarantee it will be wonderful whichever way you go. Since it is a little labor intensive, I have at times prepared filling and assembled two pies, freezing one before baking. If you do this, you will want to be careful to make certain it bakes through by reducing baking temperature, cooking longer and protecting the top crust with foil. The crust may not be as crisp, but it is still delicious.
Black Eyed Pea Pie—Printable Recipe
A comforting double-crusted pie with a savory filling of sausage, spinach, cheese and black-eyed peas. I originally clipped this recipe from a Martha Stewart Living Magazine in the late 1990s. It underwent a few modifications over the years, before being typed up and added to my recipe binder, and has been a family favorite ever since.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 8 oz. package of Baby Portabella mushrooms wiped clean and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 medium onion sliced thin
- 8 ounces bulk sweet (or hot) Italian sausage
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced optional
- 1 10 oz. package frozen spinach thawed and drained
- 1 16 oz. package of frozen Black Eyed Peas
- 8 ounces grated Monterey Jack* cheese (I like a Colby Jack mixture for the cheese!)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional
- All-purpose flour, for rolling out dough
- Pie dough for double crust I use Pilsbury Refrigerated Pie Dough (two rolled dough circles per box) but feel free to use your favorite recipe
Heat oven to 375 degrees with rack in center.
Place frozen black eyed peas in a medium saucepan―cooking according to package directions. Cool and drain. Set aside for later.
In a large skillet (I use my cast iron), warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the portobella mushrooms, and cook until softened and moisture is released, 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with with salt and pepper. Transfer the mushrooms to a colander placed over a bowl and cool.
Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the skillet. Cook the onion until it is very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the sausage, and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until it is cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes―the onion should be caramelizing. Add the jalapeno, if desired, and cook to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Season this mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a paper towel lined bowl to cool slightly.
In the bowl of a blender or food processor, place the spinach, half of the black-eyed peas, cheese, 1 egg, heavy cream, and cayenne pepper. Work in batches if necessary. Process until well combined but mixture still has some texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each of the two packaged pieces of dough into circles, one 12 inch and one around 9 inches. (I find that rolling itslightly enables a more even circle, and the powdering of flour makes the crust bake flakier.
Use the 12 inch piece of dough to line a 9-inch glass pie pan. Let the excess dough hang over edge of the pan.
Layer the filling in the following order: sausage/onion mixture, mushrooms, and spinach mixture. Top with an even layer of the remaining black-eyed peas.
Top the pie with the remaining round of dough. Fold the excess dough of the bottom crust over the edge of top crust. Use a fork or your fingers to seal the edges. Using kitchen scissors (or a favorite small cookie cutter), cut a 2-inch cross in the center of the dough. Fold back each of the four corners.
Whisk the remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water for a glaze. Brush the top of the pie dough with egg wash.
Bake the pie on a lined baking sheet (these pies often bubble over) until it is golden brown (cover edges of dough with tin foil if it browns too fast). Cook for 45 to 60 minutes (I find that it usually requires the entire hour) rotating the pie halfway through for more even cooking. Let rest at least 15 minutes.
This pie, like most recipes, can be tailored to fit your tastes and time. I like pie but I don't like making pie crust, so I go for the convenience of pre-made. Use your favorite crust. The sausage used can be mild or hot. the original recipe called for chorizo. I have used both Italian and country style sausages. both make a delicious pie. Use left over black-eyes if you have them, or use canned. I prefer the texture (and convenience) of frozen. The same goes for the spinach. I use whatever cheese I have on hand. As I said, I like the Colby Jack best. Have fun and enjoy this delicious pie.
So there it is— a wonderful dish for a cold winter day. I make it anytime, but blustery weather makes me long for hearty comforting dishes like this pie. If you try it, let me know how it comes out, or better yet, send a photo. As you can see, I am no pastry artist. However, I love the rustic look I do manage to achieve, so I’m quite happy with the results of my efforts. Bon appetit!
Until next time…