Swiss Chard Pastry
Our recipe for this unusual but typically Niçoise pastry is based on the version from Mireille Johnston's <em>The Cuisine of the Sun</em>.
Yield: serves 8
For the Pastry
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 lb. butter, softened
- 2 eggs, beaten
For the Filling
- 2 lb. swiss chard, washed, ribs removed
- 1⁄4 cup golden raisins
- 2 tbsp. dark rum
- 1⁄3 cup pine nuts
- 1⁄2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Grated rind of 1 lemon
- 2 large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- For the pastry: Sift flour and sugar into a large bowl. Stir in butter and eggs with a fork; mixture will look crumbly. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead briefly. Shape into a ball and cover with a damp cloth. Chill 2 hours.
- For the filling: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add chard, and cook 15 minutes. Drain in a colander, then cool under running cold water. Squeeze out moisture and finely chop.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Cook raisins and rum in a small saucepan over medium-low heat till raisins absorb most of rum, about 1 minute. Cool, then mix with chard, pine nuts, confectioners' sugar, eggs, and lemon rind in a large bowl.
- Lightly butter an 11 1⁄2'' x 13 1⁄2'' baking dish. Divide dough into 2 uneven balls: one-third for the top and two-thirds for the bottom. Roll out both pieces to 1⁄8''-thick rectangles. Line bottom and sides of pan with the larger piece. Prick all over with a fork and add chard mixture. Arrange apples in a single layer over chard. Cover with smaller piece of dough. Crimp edges, trim excess dough, and prick top with fork. Brush top with egg yolk. Bake until crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve.