In each country, there are some culinary habits and hidden gems, the secrets of cooking which are passed from generation to generation. And some dishes managed to break into the international arena and gain the favor of gourmets from other parts of the world. Today we are going to talk about seven national pies which you can cook at home. You will definitely love them because they are very much delicious!
Empanada is a traditional Spanish dish – it’s a pie with meat or fish filling. Today, the dish is very popular not only at home and in Latin America but all throughout the world. These pies can have a semicircular, round, or rectangular shape; they also come in different sizes.
First, a filling is prepared for the pie which consists of vegetables, seasonings, and ground beef (or fish). The ingredients are finely cut and fried in a pan in olive oil for around 10-15 minutes. After that, the stuffing should be sued. Then, cut the pastry into circles. Put the stuffing in the center; the edges are then closed so that a semicircle is formed. After that, the pies are baked in the oven at a temperature of about 200°C for 20-30 minutes. Done!
Pastel de Choclo (Chile)
Pastel de Choclo is a pie common to South America that resembles a corn casserole. The word “Choclo” refers to fresh corn which is used in cooking. However, sweet corn can be used instead.
Pastel de Choclo requires a lot of time to prepare. First, you need to fry some minced meat and a chicken breast with spices and raisins until half-done. Then, corn kernels should be mashed which are then mixed with milk, salt, sugar, and basil. Then the mixture should simmer over low heat for around 10-15 minutes. It has to be stirred every so often.
Next, lay out half of the mashed cord onto the baking dish, then the meat filling and the remaining puree. You can sprinkle the dish on top with sugar to enhance the contrast of sweet corn and spices in minced meat and chicken. In the oven, the dish should be cooked for about an hour.
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Pasqualina is an Italian dish which is usually made for Easter. The traditional recipe has its own symbolism: 33 layers of dough symbolize the age of the Christ at the moment of crucifixion, the green represents the rebirth and renewal, and the eggs represent life. Today, this spinach pie is made using a simplified recipe.
The filling is made from spinach, ricotta, onion, peas, artichokes, cream, and eggs. Add seasonings to them. This mixture is laid out in a form with puff pastry, after which you should add eggs. The remaining dough is intended for the top of the pie. You should then bake your pasqualina at a temperature of 200°C for about an hour.
Limburg Pie (Netherlands)
Limburg Pie, or Vlaai, is a sweet pie with fruit filling. Usually, its upper part is characterized by a lattice arrangement of dough strips. Cherries, peaches, apricots or rice pudding are used as fillings. Today, the pie is often decorated with cream, although it is considered to be a deviation from the original recipe.
Interestingly enough, in the Dutch city of Werth, in the province of Limburg, there is a monument to a local resident Maria Hendricks who sold these pies at the city’s railway station. In addition, in the Netherlands, there is a national company that sells these pastries.
Today, French quiche is cooked and served in many countries of the world as a main dish or a snack. It is believed that this pie made from shortcrust pastry with a filling, for example, of grated cheese, eggs, milk, and onions was invented in Lorraine. There is no such thing is a sweet quiche.
As a rule, quiche is baked in a round shape. In this case, the basis of short pastry is filled with fish, poultry, or meat, to which you can add mushrooms, vegetables, and seasonings. All of the ingredients are then mixed with a thick mixture of milk and eggs; sometimes cream is used instead of milk. The pie is baked at a temperature of 200°C for about 20 minutes: the filling thickens, and an appetizing golden crust forms at the top.
Here’s a long list of 35 types of quiche you should definitely try.
Traditionally, in Morocco, this pie was made with a filling of pigeons, but today, many cooks and housewives use chicken meat. The cooking process includes several stages so the filling and dough can be prepared the day before.
For the filling, you need to fry chicken strips in olive oil, along with spices and broth. Then, the meat and broth should be set to rest for a while. In the stuffing, you are going to need to add eggs and greens.
Separately, you need to fry almonds until golden brown. It can also be mixed with sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest. To make the pie itself, you will need filo dough (an almost weightless form of puff pastry which is made with a little addition of water and butter without any eggs). Almonds are laid on it, and then goes the meat stuffing. Leave some dough for the top of the pie. After baking, bisteeya is sprinkled with cinnamon, powdered sugar, and leftover almonds.
Caramelized Walnut Pie (Switzerland)
This pie is considered to be a delicacy in the Swiss Canton of Grisons. Its distinctive feature is a sweet walnut filling. During the cooking process of this dessert, pastry shops of the region use their own secret recipe.
For this pie, you are going to need shortbread dough. One part of it needs to be rolled out between sheets of food parchment. Then, cut a circle out of it and put it into shape. The rest of the dough will be needed for the top of the pie.
Honey, brown sugar, cream, and walnuts create a thick filling. It is placed in a dough mold, covered with an upper layer of dough. It will take about 40 minutes to bake a pie at 200°C. The dish will be even tastier in a day or two.