It’s not impossible: it’s as easy as pie
With the world being urged to stay at home and isolate because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are searching for productive and comforting ways to pass the time indoors. It’s no surprise cooking food like the mysterious impossible pie and comfort food is high on the list of activities.
Recipe books are being dusted off. Michelin star chefs are sharing their secrets via Instagram and YouTube. The Cooks Workshop pivoted to virtual cooking classes for groups and friends to re-connect. The culinary world is being embraced within our homes, aided of course by closed restaurants, boredom and simply because eating’s a necessity. People are experimenting with cooking new ethnic cuisines, only ever previously eaten in restaurants, but never cooked at home.
Or baking their own artisan breads, which leads me to the next point. The combination of hoarding, items being off-shored, and supply issues, has resulted in some of our staple food items going missing off our Australian supermarket shelves. For example, pasta and rice, not to forget flour and yeast thanks to a bread baking frenzy.
While the adventurous are trying their hand at new culinary skills, there is also another cooking skill being acquired… Utilising all the food in the pantry and fridge. Learning adaptation and swapping out one ingredient for another.
If you don’t know this about me already, I’ll share a not so secret truth… I am passionate about food! I was thinking about those of you who want to or have attempted to follow traditional food recipes. Only to discover half of the ingredients aren’t available at the shops.
So, I started exploring recipes I could share with you that were simple, nutritious and you could use your common pantry items. Including those items in the freezer. Leafing through a cookbook, I came across an old recipe for impossible quiche. Nostalgia kicked in as I reminisced on the recipe my mum used to create years ago! So, I decided to give it ago. It was delicious!
I started looking for other Impossible Pie recipes and was amazed to find how many variations they were.
BUT WHAT IS AN IMPOSSIBLE PIE?
According to the food-history website The Food Timeline, the origins of Impossible Pie, are mysterious, as befits such an enigmatic creation. The earliest record appears in the 1960’s in America.
First of all, it’s far from impossible, It’s called impossible pie because it’s impossible to muck up! It takes next to no time to prepare and it’s a family dinner winner!
Whilst impossible quiche seems savoury, impossible pie tends to be sweet. The pie is formed from a single batter that magically separates into a top, bottom and filling layer while baking. Pretty good right? No fussing with pastry dough, rolling pins or blind baking. Simply put all the ingredients together, pour the batter into the pan, and bake.
SWEET IMPOSSIBLE PIE
Here are SO many variations you can choose for each of the recipes. You can adapt it to how you like to cook. Use whatever is in your pantry, with complimentary ingredients. You can add fruit, or use chocolate, you can season it with lemon rind and nutmeg or dried fruit. It can be gluten-free, dairy free and sugar free. If you’re interested to cook along with me, try my Gluten free peach and almond impossible pie.
Impossible Pie (sweet)
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1 cup coconut
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup melted butter
2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix together. Pour into a greased 20 cm dish. Bake 180 C 1 hour.
Impossible mini pies
Lemon and coconut
Sprinkle with nutmeg and sultanas
SAVOURY IMPOSSIBLE PIE/QUICHE
Similarly to the sweet version, the savoury pies can also be gluten-free and dairy free. Experiment with tins of baby tomatoes, tins of salmon, asparagus, loads of fresh vegetables. Cook up the bacon and onion and mushrooms in the pan first for a more intense flavour, filling your house with an enticing aroma. Add plenty of fresh garlic, season with fresh or dried herbs.
Interestingly, all these dishes vary slightly in quantity, but share the same base ingredients. The best part is they taste vastly different due to the variety of ingredients you can use, so you can knock out a few in a week and no one will complain. Because I’m passionate about nutritious and delicious food, please remember to balance your plate with healthy plate portions. Add a delicious crisp salad, steamed or roasted vegetables as a perfect accompaniment.
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking flour
125g melted or softened butter
Gluten-free SR flour
Bacon or ham
Frozen vegetables -corn, peas
Grated carrot and zucchini, corn kernels, chopped capsicum, and mushrooms or any vegetable of choice
TOP DOWN IMPOSSIBLE PIES
Yet another variety! I came across the top down impossible pies including a lasagne or a taco pie. This involves back to front cooking (a fun one for the kids). For example, season and fry up your meat, add vegetables or whatever you would like in the base, place it into the pie dish. Then you make the topping which is a flour-based topping, it goes over the top and it makes a delicious crust. Yet another uncomplicated dish you can adjust to your family’s taste buds.
Back to basics food seems to be the order of the day in this current crisis. Being able to produce something for your family to eat, without having to dash out to the shops for extra ingredients is gold. So, enjoy getting creative in the kitchen, where some old fashion recipes come back into their own.