For several weeks the green tops from our ample onion crop have been standing in our garden as though they were bristles on a brush. From my office desk, looking out past our patio and into the garden expanse, I’ve been gazing on their little salutes as they soaked up the sun and got ready for the picking.
When the May 2012 issue of Southern Living featured Spring Onion Pie as a famous North Carolina chef’s pet recipe, I saw that it called for 10 thin spring onions and loved the idea of toting some straight from the garden and onto the chopping board in my kitchen. I can’t tell you how that fresh-straight-from the-garden-rows flavor lit up my world when I took my first bite of this pie, which was nothing more than a stirring-up of egg, milk flour, salt, baking powder, pepper, butter, and cheese.
The recipe called for cubed Gruyere cheese, which I didn’t have, but I did an Internet search to see what was the best kind of cheese to sub; it said to use Swiss. Hubby had a little tough time locating 10 garden onions that met the recipe’s “thin” qualification, as ours now are plumping up healthily, but once he did, they were the magic touch.
Yep, Hubby was able to say he liked onion pie. Adored it, in fact.
Spring Onion Pie
10 thin spring onions
4 large eggs, lightly beaten (or 1 cup egg substitute)
1 cup milk (I used skim)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I used salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
5 ounces Gruyere cheese, cubed (I used Swiss)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in oven. (I used a casserole dish instead.) Trim roots from onions; discard roots. Chop half of onions. Whisk together eggs and milk. Sift together flour and next 3 ingredients. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture. Whisk rapidly for 20 to 30 seconds or just until blended and smooth. (No lumps should appear.) Stir in chopped onions. Let stand 5 minutes. Carefully remove hot skillet from oven. Add butter; let stand until butter is melted. Place skillet over medium-high heat; pour batter into skillet. Arrange cheese and remaining whole onions over top of batter; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or until edges begin to set. Transfer skillet to top oven rack; bake at 400 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. (Outside edges should be crispy; inside texture should resemble a custard popover. Pie will deflate quickly. Serve immediately.) Makes 6 servings.