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Grab Your Favorite California Red (Reduction), It’s Time for Artichoke Pie

Prep
1 hour
Total
1 hour and 45 minutes
Serves
One 10-inch Pie

The following is an excerpt from 50 Pies, 50 States: An Immigrant’s Love Letter to the United States Through Pie by Stacey Mei Yan Fong.


The most obvious ingredient for a California pie is avocado. This state grows about 90 percent of all avocados grown in the United States, about 350 million pounds a year. There are hundreds of different varieties, but the Hass avocado is by far the most popular, and it also has a special relationship with the state. In the 1920s, Rudolph Hass, a mailman, purchased a seed from a grower and planted an avocado tree in his grove in La Habra Heights. The original “mother tree” died in 2002 at the age of 76,but all of today’s Hass avocados in the world can be traced back to it. In 2013, California declared the avocado the state fruit.

However, here is where I abandon the avocado in favor of the road less travelled, choosing to go the long way up Highway 1. This is where the state vegetable—the artichoke—comes into the picture. California is responsible for 99 percent of the nation’s artichoke crop. So with the artichokes decided upon, I wanted to give the pie more texture, which offered a perfect opportunity for the state nut, the almond, to join the party as part of a crumble. Fun fact: California grows eight out of every ten almonds eaten in the world! To tie all these elements together, we’ll drizzle the whole thing with a wine reduction made from a classic California red.

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Artichoke Pie

with Savory Almond Crumble and Red Wine Reduction

Ingredients

  • All-Butter Crust (recipe below), rolled out, fit into a greased 10-inch pie pan, crimped, and partially blind baked
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red Wine Reduction
  • Almond Crumble
  • Béchamel
  • Filling

Red Wine Reduction

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2¼ cups dry red wine
  • 11/2 cups ruby port
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Almond Crumble

  • 1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, sage, thyme)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

Béchamel

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Filling

  • 2 cups thawed frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Instructions

Make the Red Wine Reduction

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, 10 minutes.

Add the wine and port, bring to a simmer, and reduce the heat. Simmer for 1 hour, or until the liquid has reduced by half in volume. Strain the mixture through a sieve and return the liquid to the saucepan. Continue to simmer to reduce the liquid to 11/2 cups, about 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

Make the Almond Crumble

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, flour, almonds, and herbs. With your fingers, incorporate the softened butter until the mixture looks like wet sand and everything is mixed well.

Set aside in fridge until ready to use.

Make the Béchamel

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until smooth.

Continue to cook and whisk until the mixture turns golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate saucepan until it’s just about to boil.

Slowly add the hot milk to the flour mixture 1 cup at a time, continually whisking, until smooth. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat once the sauce has thickened, and season with the salt and nutmeg. Set aside to cool.

Make the Filling

Cut the artichoke hearts into halves or quarters. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the artichoke pieces and onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the onion is slightly caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes. Add just enough water to cover the bottom

of the pan and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, until the artichokes are tender. Drain the artichoke mixture and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the parsley and béchamel, stir to combine, and season to taste.

Assemble and Bake the Pie

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the partially baked crust on a baking sheet. Fill the crust with the artichoke filling and top with the almond crumble.

Bake the pie on the center rack for 35 minutes. Brush the crust with olive oil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the pie is golden brown.

While the pie finishes baking, warm the red wine reduction in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Serve the pie warm with red wine reduction drizzled on top and a big glass of your favorite California wine. Enjoy!


All-Butter Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ice

Instructions

Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl with a flatbottom. Add the butter pieces on top of the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, toss the butter in the dry mixture so each cube is coated. Use a pastry blender or your fingers to cut or rub the butter into the mixture until it is in pieces a bit larger than peas (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to over-blend). You want to be able to have big butter chunks in your crust: It helps create a flaky effect, as well as adding delicious buttery hits of flavor!

In a separate large measuring cup or small bowl, combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture; do not add the ice, which is just there to keep your water cold. Using your hands in a circular motion, bring the mixture together until all the liquid is incorporated. Continue adding the ice water mixture, 1 to2 tablespoons at a time. Carefully mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until it comes into one mass; you don’t want to overwork it.

Shape the dough into a flat disc (if making double recipe, first separate the dough into two equal portions), wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight before using.

Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen dough overnight in the fridge.

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