Sometimes we derive inspiration in the strangest ways. This olive oil pie shell recipe evolved from a mistaken interpretation (i.e., my listening skills weren’t working that day).
When Sue and I first started to consider cooking up a Greek food festival, I called my friend George Menzelos, from Arianna Trading Company (to pick his brain about Greek food). George and I were chatting away (about Spanakopitas and green herb pies) and he described some of his recipes to me. [I thought] he had mentioned that they made pastry on the Greek islands by using olive oil (and not butter). I guess I was wrong, because when I later called him up to get his olive oil pie shell recipe, he stopped dead in his tracks. Whoa, what? They brush olive oil on the savory pies (butter on the sweet ones) – they don’t typically make an entire pie shell out of olive oil.
My curiosity had been piqued, and I decided to see if I could actually make a pie crust out of olive oil.
So here it is – my Olive Oil Pie Shell Recipe.
It’s a little crumbly, which is great when you eat it. The easiest way is just to combine the ingredients, make the crumbles (I used a pastry cutter), pour the crumbles into a pie shell, and press the dough into the sides of the pan with your hands. The recipe is simple, and takes very little time at all. Plus, you don’t use butter. What’s even better is the fact that if you’re lazy like I am (sometimes), you won’t even need a rolling pin.
I think that the pie shell actually tastes better made with olive oil and not butter. Try it out and see for yourself — you might never want to go back.
…P.S. you’ll have to wait a couple of days for our low sodium version of George’s herb pie recipe.
Ingredients (for 1 pie shell – bottom)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sodium free baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Combine all of the ingredients (i.e., mix dry together first, and then add the wet ones). Using a pastry cutter, gently “cut” the pastry until it resembles fine crumbles (see above). Remove the dough from the bowl and pour the crumbles into the pie pan. Press the crumbles into the side of the pan.
Alternatively, you can shape it into a ball and roll it (though you might need to add a little more moisture than what the recipe calls for)