Friday, September 7, 2012

Potato Pie Crust

     Potatoes were once shunned by dieters trying to reduce their carbohydrate intake. However, not all carbohydrates are created equally and potatoes are an excellent choice with many nutrients and a high-satiety value. Don't believe me? Check this link out.
          Did you know that you can use mashed potatoes to make a healthy pie crust? I came across a recipe for a potato crust when I was looking for something healthy to use as a base for a quiche. 'Quiche' in my home is usually more like a baked omelette- no crust, no cream, and with cottage cheese to increase the protein content. But I had some leftover cream in my fridge from when I made a birthday cake for a friend. So I thought I'd make a 'proper' quiche with a crust for once. I wanted to lighten up the quiche by having a healthier crust instead of shortcrust pastry. So I tried a mashed potato crust and it turned out well!
       I have since used this potato crust for savoury pies topped with puff pastry (less sinful when potatoes are used as a base, instead of more puff pastry) and have always gotten good results. Try it out sometime if you need a healthy pie crust. A bonus is that it is so much easier to whip up than to make a shortcrust pastry!
Healthy pie crust, anyone?

Potato Pie Crust
makes enough for one pie crust

250g potatoes, skinned and cut into chunks
1 tsp margarine
Cooking/baking spray

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease one big pie dish or two small pie dishes.
2. Boil the potatoes in cold water till fork-tender.
3. Drain the boiled potatoes and mash well.
4. Add the margarine and stir through.
5. Spoon 1/3 of the mashed potato into the pie dish. Using wet fingers, press the potato to form a thin layer on the bottom of the pie dish.

6. To form the crust up the sides of the pie dish, press the mashed potato upwards from the bottom edge of the pie dish with wet fingers.

7. Spray lightly with cooking spray and bake in the preheated oven until the edges of the crust are lightly browned. 
8. Let the crust cool before adding pie pilling, then bake pie following the normal baking instructions.

     The reason I say to use wet fingers is that it prevents a lot of the mashed potato from sticking to your fingers. The starch from the potatoes is rather sticky and I find that working with wet fingers helps a lot. You might end up with some leftover mashed potato. I had some leftover and gave it to my dog, who enjoyed it!

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