Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cheese and Broccoli Pie (Oh My!)

This is deceptively simple to make and so delicious to eat that you may think you have died and bounced all the way to heaven.

Okay, maybe you DO have to make pastry. And if you’re like me, you probably spent decades AVOIDING making pastry. But let me tell you fellow pastry-phobe, there is good news! It wasn't that hard. And everything they say is TRUE! (the less you handle it, the flakier it is). If I can make a flaky pastry crust, YOU can make a flaky pastry crust!

SIDEBAR BACK STORY: Many years ago, I spent a summer working in P.E.I.; the land of Anne of Green Gables and red soil. Every payday, my roommate and I would go to this little cafe in the heart of Charlottetown called The Broadway Cafe (or was it the Off Broadway Cafe?). There was only one reason we went there very week without fail and it was this:

Cheese and Broccoli Pie (served with Caesar Salad).

(This much dairy in one sitting by today’s standards, means we essentially consumed the better part of a dairy farm every week). No mind. It was delicious!

After we’d been going there every week for a couple of months, we got to know the chef/owner and guess what? It turned out that we knew here sister who lived in St. John's Newfoundland! So, I guess it's true. When you go traveling and you're far away from home, and you tell the stranger on the train/bus/plane that you're from Newfoundland and they say "Oh - do you know my distance cousin/friend or [fill in the blank], there's actually a chance that you DO know the person of whom they speak!

In any event, we got invited to the house-of-sister-of-St. John’s-friend on our day off, and while we were sitting around, I boldly asked “So, what’s IN that most delicious Cheese and Broccoli pie of yours?” To which she replied, "cheese and broccoli".


She: “Pastry.”


She: [Blank Stare]

Me: “You mean the only ingredients in that pie are cheese and broccoli?”

“That’s exactly what I mean.”

Yes friend, the complexity in the taste of this pie is in it’s simplicity.

I suggest you try it for yourself and let me know how very right I am about how tasty it really is.

For the Pie

525 grams of old cheddar (grated)
2 good size crowns of broccoli.

You can lightly steam the broccoli if you like, but make sure the little florets are still crunchy. Trust me. You need a little crunch to contrast the melty melty goodness of all that cheese. Lay the broccoli in the partially baked crust. Go on! Put lots in there!

Now. Pile the cheese on top of the broccoli. It will look like it's going to be too much, but it will melt - so don't panic (though do put a baking sheet on the rack below your baking rack JUST IN CASE.)

For the Pastry

This recipe was gleefully embraced (borrowed) from the wondrous website of Pioneer Woman. This crust is made with vegetable shortening (CRISCO) and is flaky for sure.Though I would like to try making a butter crust in the coming weeks, because I have a hunch that it will yield a sweeter flavour. But in the meantime, this one will do the trick nicely.

The only thing you will want to do is blind bake the crust before you fill it. I protected my edges with tin foil so that they didn't get too brown in the final analysis. But I skipped steps 5 and 6. A word of warning - the skipping of steps 5 and 6 caused a little pie crust slippage during the blind baking portion of this culinary expedition, so a bit of the crust ended up sliding down the pie plate a wee bit.

To make the crust, go here and do exactly as PW tells you to do. I tell you - it WORKS! Sylvia's Perfect Pie Crust.

(Note pastry slippage on the right of the pie? Due to Sugarlove's laziness!!! Don't let this happen to you!!)

The only thing I would do differently next time, is to make a thinner crust. For some reason, I thought the savory pie would do well with a nice thick crust, and essentially used 2 of the 3 pastry balls this recipe makes. But it was too thick when all was said and done, so I think a nice compromise would be to use the equivalent of 1.5 crusts. This would have made it a bit thick, but not too thick.


  1. oh. my. GOD.
    Arteries hardening just looking at that incredibly yummy goodness.

  2. And THAT my friend is why you don't wanna be eating this every day! But it is truly, TRULY delish!

  3. You're not only a Sugar Warrior, you're a Cheese Warrior. Would that I could tackle things like that!

  4. The Boston Globe had some articles today (15Jul) about pie crust...I point you to "Which pie crust dough is right for you?" ( They even have recipes for the different options: all butter, butter/shortening, all shortening, lard, oil. Spoiler alert...the crust made with oil was the winner!