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Saturday, Nov 18, 2017
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Three things to do with leftover pie crust that aren't pie

Pie, oh my. I am all in on the flaky, homey dessert this time of year. The past couple of weeks, I've been collecting ideas for perfecting pie crust, trying new pie recipes and preparing for what is perhaps the biggest pie day of the year: Thanksgiving.

But sometimes, you're all pie-d out. Like when you test six different pies, braiding pie crust into the wee hours of the night. Oh, just me? Well, you can still love pie and also love the recipes below, which are ways to use pie crust that go beyond crust-filling-lattice basics. In addition to being helpful ways to use up leftover pie crust, these recipes are also a great excuse to eat pie crust any time of year.

My current favorite way to transform crust is a tart. The term "tart" is very forgiving. Basically, it's license to pile a bunch of stuff on an uncooked crust and then toss it in the oven. Part pie, part pizza, it makes for a tasty handheld appetizer or main course. I love the recipe featured here because it also includes one of my favorite fall veggies: Brussels sprouts.

Beyond the tart, here are two other ideas for things to do with pie crust that aren't pie.

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Like a pie, but more savory and eggy. It's simple: Shape your crust into a circle, plop that circle into a pie pan, and pour in an egg-milk mixture that becomes the basis for delicious quiche. To make this classic version, whisk 4 eggs and 1 cup milk (preferably whole milk) in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Chop up 1 cup fresh broccoli, 2 cloves garlic and — here's what takes this recipe to another level — 1 jalapeno (seeds and ribs removed). Add veggies to a large skillet with a swirl of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and cook for about 8 minutes until softened. Pour into pie shell, then add 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese and pour in egg mixture. Cook in a 375-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Quiche is done when crust is cooked and egg is set but still a little wiggly.

Beef Empanadas

You can put just about anything in an empanada. Want to go sweet? Fill crust with a mixture of cream cheese and any flavored jelly — done. To make this savory version, cook a pound of ground beef (or turkey or chicken) in a large skillet. Add 1 chopped onion, a handful of raisins and 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, roll out pie crust into a large rectangle. Using a circle cookie cutter, or the mouth of a glass or jar, cut out circles at least 4 inches in diameter. Place circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place filling in the center of each circle, about 1 tablespoons' worth. Fold circle in half over filling so it forms a half-moon shape. Crimp edges with your fingers, and repeat with all of the dough and filling. Brush circles with a beaten egg, then cook in a 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Brussels Sprout, Walnut and Goat Cheese Tart

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt

Pepper

1 pound Brussels sprouts, roughly chopped

Handful chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

Maple syrup

Honey

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Add shallot and olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and cook for another 8 or so minutes, until sprouts are starting to soften.

Add thyme and a drizzle of maple syrup and stir well. Turn off heat and set skillet aside.

Roll out pie crust into two rectangles and fit them onto a large baking sheet. Sprinkle crusts with olive oil, then divide Brussels mixture between two crusts and spread evenly. Divide 8 ounces crumbled goat cheese between both crusts, season with more salt and pepper, and bake until crusts are golden brown and cheese is melty, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle with honey, and serve.

Serves 6 to 8.

Source: Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times

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