At some point last year, a friend of mine gave me this recipe for what she told me was a Brazilian Pie. She had brought it to work one day, when we were having lunch together, and it looked and smelt so good, I was sure it was delicious too.
She told me that it’s her mum’s recipe, so I felt very honoured to be given access to it. I gave it a shot one week-end, and now, after making it countless times, I’m quite sure it’s the best recipe I’ve ever learnt. I mean, learning how to make Nutella brownies and basic shortbread has been a bit of a life-saver on a number of occasions when I’ve been short on time for baking, but this Brazilian Pie takes the proverbial cake because it’s so versatile. (I was given this recipe as a savoury dish, but being my experimental self, I have made dessert versions of this too.)
And you know what? I’ve been given permission to share it!
Whenever I make it and bring it to work for lunch, I get asked what it is, and how I made it. And I keep telling people that I’ll share the recipe (I asked for permission to share it first, of course), so I must apologise for taking so long to get around to it! Having said that, without further preamble, here is the recipe, courtesy of Flavia and Sueli Vanoni, who own the copyright for this 😀 (I hope I have done it justice! Thank-you again for sharing this!)
Ingredients for the pie dough/base
1 cup oil (I usually use olive oil, sunflower oil, or just regular vegetable oil)
1 cup milk
1 cup plain flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup grated parmesan
Salt – just a pinch, or to taste
- Prepare the filling you want to use – see below for suggestions
- Line a baking tray with baking paper (a tray approx. 20cm x 30cm seems to work well)
- Preheat oven to 180oC (I reduce this to 170-175oC if using fan-forced, or depending on what kind of pie I’m doing)
- Make the pie dough: Mix all ingredients together in a blender (Yes, it really is that easy. But I don’t have a blender, so I mix it by hand, which seems to work ok too. I mix dry and wet ingredients separately, then combine together.)
- Pour half of the dough into the bottom of the tray (It should be a pourable consistency, not like a “traditional” pie dough.)
- Add your filling of choice, then cover with the remaining dough.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes (Time varies depending on how thick your pie is, and, of course, your oven)
Things I have learnt from Flavia:
- It is an excellent way to use up left-overs: mince meat, pulled chicken, salami, ham, etc, etc all work well in this
- Tomatoes make a good addition to the filling to ensure your meat doesn’t dry out too much
- Adding cheese and herbs on top is an easy way to make it look and taste even better
- Full fat milk is best (but I don’t usually have this, so I guess skim milk is acceptable too…)
Other things I’ve learnt:
- Wholemeal flour works fine in this recipe too
- It is very easy to halve/double the recipe as needed. I find that the standard recipe makes four good portions/servings.
- You can mix in spices/herbs into the base as well
- If you grate your carrots, sweet potato or whatever other root vegetables, you can add them straight into the filling without pre-cooking them
Fillings that I’ve tried (this is just a sample, because I really don’t remember all of them)
- Beef mince, onion, garlic, corn, peas, tomatoes
- Chicken, tarragon, cheese (I might have put mushrooms in this one too…)
- Beetroot, broccoli, lentils, carrot (with cumin, coriander seed and paprika in the base/dough)
- Lentils, peas, carrot, beans (whatever is in the can of “Four Bean Mix”), cheese (with spices as above)
- Leek, mushroom, cheese (I fried off the leek and mushrooms beforehand. One of my favourite combinations so far!)
- Sweet potato, carrot, peas, cheese (maybe some other stuff, but I can’t remember…)
- Desiccated coconut, bananas, dark chocolate chips*
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips, strawberries*
*For dessert versions, I removed the parmesan and salt from the pie base, and added 1/4 cup of caster sugar and a small amount of vanilla instead. Adding a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder works too, and even baking them in cupcake moulds (and reducing the cooking time) seems ok as well.
Originally, I made a lot of meat-inclusive versions of this Brazilian Pie, but lately I’ve been favouring vegetarian versions. This is mostly because I don’t have to deal with the preparation and cooking of meat, and hence the clean-up afterwards. And, hey, it’s not such a bad thing to go meat-free now and then. Plus, if you add things like lentils, chickpeas, beans, etc, you’ll still get protein, and it will still fill you up.
So, there you have it! Happy baking everyone!
Please let me know if you give it a go 🙂