Fillings for pies: sweet and not sweet, how they are combined with different types of dough

Fillings for pies: sweet and not sweet, how they are combined with different types of dough

Everyone who bakes traditional pies more or less regularly has favorite universal dough recipes. Most likely, there are at least two such dough recipes for pies: yeast and yeast-free. Even with only these two at your disposal, you can bake many different pies, hearty or sweet. But at the same time, for each type of dough there are favorite fillings. Let’s look at the features of combining dough with a certain filling. And a bonus – how to bake the perfect quiche, the best toppings and the secret of filling.

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In my notebook with family recipes, the dough recipes are written as “simple yeast dough” and “kefir dough for pies”. They are written in packs (of butter or margarine), glasses and spoons, and the process is described in such a way that you can hardly understand if you have never stood next to the one who kneads this dough.
Fortunately, I stood, and more than once, so it was not difficult for me to bring these recipes into working condition. Later, another dough appeared in my arsenal – for quiche. It, of course, without yeast, but in composition and properties is completely special.

Features of yeast dough pies: what to consider

Just in case, let me remind you that the yeast dough for pies will turn out tasty, without a sour smell and will not stale for a long time if it contains some fat and at least a little sugar. But the main secret of a good yeast dough for pies is a small amount of yeast and a long fermentation. The fermentation process begins immediately after kneading and ends at the moment when the temperature of the dough in the oven reaches 65C, and the yeast heroically dies, making the dough lush and fragrant.
In this case, the dough is first fermented in a bowl, by itself, and then – already in a molded cake. The first stage usually lasts about an hour and a half at a temperature of 24-26C or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. The second, which is commonly referred to as “proofing,” is shorter, from 30 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the dough recipe and room temperature.

If you forget to leave the yeast dough pie without proofing, then in the oven, when the temperature rises, the yeast will begin to work so actively that the pie lid can literally come off the filling and the bottom layer of the dough.
Why am I talking about this? Then, you need to remember this when choosing toppings for pies from yeast dough. They should be such that during the proofing time they do not emit juice that can wet the dough. That is, it is definitely not raw minced meat or juicy fresh berries.

Ossetian pies are a good illustration of this rule: they are baked from yeast dough with any fillings except meat. Ossetian pies with raw minced meat are baked only from kefir dough.

Ossetian meat pie is cooked only on kefir dough

Three toppings for yeast dough pies

My personal favorite among the fillings in yeast dough pies is fish and cabbage. In my notes, it is called “Astrakhan pie with pike perch.” I don’t know if they really bake this way in Astrakhan, but the pie is very tasty.

Cabbage for him is stewed in butter with a couple of tablespoons of water or milk until soft. Add pikeperch fillet cut into pieces into almost ready-made cabbage and cook everything together for another 5 minutes, no more. This time is enough for the fish to stop being raw, but retain the potential for further heat treatment without the risk of overdrying. You can, of course, start preparing the filling by frying onions, but it seems to me more important to season the filling with salt and black pepper. Green onions, dill greens – optional.

With the same dough, an excellent meat pie is obtained. I used to make stuffing from boiled beef, ground with onion fried in vegetable oil – it gives the stuffing juiciness. Now I prefer to fry the minced meat with onions only until the color changes from pink to gray, no more. To make the fried minced meat more homogeneous, I pass it through a meat grinder or grind it in a blender. You can, of course, mix it with bechamel-type sauce, but, as a rule, your hands do not reach its preparation.

Another favorite filling for a pie of this dough is cherry. To de-juice cherries, I boil them with sugar and water, and then add starch mixed with water or cherry juice. By the way, it is good to replace water in syrup with cherry juice or the liquid that stood out during defrosting cherries.
Yeast dough pie with cherries is better to bake half-closed. This is the name of pies, the top of which is not made from a single layer of dough, but, for example, a lattice or a pattern of flat “cookies” cut from the same dough. The idea is that part of the filling should be visible. It is necessary to boil with starch so that the juice does not wet the yeast dough during proofing, and the grate so that moisture evaporates from the filling during baking and it becomes thicker.

Yeast dough pie with cherries is better to bake half-closed

Three toppings for pies made from yeast-free dough

If we talk about fillings for pies made from yeast-free dough, there are practically no restrictions on the composition.
Of course, the filling should be viscous enough so as not to spill out of the finished pie. Raw meat is also acceptable, because as a result of fast and high temperature processing, it is compacted. So that the filling from raw meat does not turn out like a dense lump, some kind of carbohydrate is added to the filling: finely chopped potatoes or pumpkin, raw or fried onions, or oatmeal, or bread crumbs.
Both the Tatar pie with raw meat, known as zur-belish, and the Karaite mutton pie are baked from yeast-free dough.

My favorite filling for pies made from yeast-free dough is feta cheese with herbs. At home, it was called the Armenian pie. Cheese (we used the one that was on hand, although the original recipe uses chanakh cheese) is mixed with various chopped herbs: cilantro, parsley, green onions, spinach and, of course, watercress, which in Armenia is called kutem, in the south – tsitsmat . It has a bitter taste, and it can be safely replaced with arugula. You can add some sorrel or chopped spinach. The wider the set of greens, the tastier the cake. Pour boiling water over salted cheese, and only then knead with a fork.

Brynza with greens is an ideal filling for pies made from yeast-free dough

Of the sweet fillings for pies made from yeast-free dough, I like the nut one the most. For her, coarsely chopped walnuts are mixed with sugar and an egg. I season the filling with ground cardamom or gingerbread mix. I cut the finished cake into small squares while it is still hot, and roll it in powdered sugar. It turns out something between a pie and a cookie, it keeps well.

Three important rules for making perfect pies

Regardless of what kind of dough and filling you bake a pie with, it is important to follow these general rules:

  • preheat the oven to the desired temperature in advance, so that at least 15 minutes elapse between the signal that the oven has warmed up and the loading of the cake;
  • the filling for the pie should be at room temperature – not cold (from the refrigerator) and not warm. Due to the temperature difference, condensation forms, and the dough turns out damp, sticky;
  • in a closed pie, be sure to make one or more holes so that the steam from the filling freely escapes into them, and does not look for an outlet in the weak points of the connection of the upper and lower layers of the dough.

Kish and company

The dough for quiche is very simple: flour, butter (half of the mass of flour) and a little cold water so that the dough comes together. After cooling, the dough is laid out in a mold with sides 3.5-4.0 cm high, filled with stuffing and poured with a mixture of cream and eggs.
In pies, which we used to call quiche, the most important thing is filling. The ideal proportion is 2 eggs per 250 ml of cream or sour cream. Under this filling there can be a filling from any products that are previously deprived of moisture.

An excellent quiche is obtained from sliced ​​\u200b\u200bsmoked chicken and spicy cheese, grated on a coarse grater. It would be nice to add some fried mushrooms to it.

The most fashionable quiche is with salmon and spinach. Spinach – fresh or frozen – be sure to warm it up so that the juice comes out of it. But the fish does not have to be cooked, just sprinkle with salt and pepper, sprinkle with lemon juice and leave for 30 minutes.

In open quiche-type pies, the most important thing is the filling. The most fashionable quiche – with salmon and spinach

In a quiche dough basket, excellent sweet pies are also obtained. Dust the bottom of the pan with cornstarch, top with fresh blueberries or blueberries mixed with lemon or lime zest, and top with the sour cream, egg, and sugar mixture. Make a great pie!

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