Our best fun cooking adventure while doing The Local Harvest Challenge, was a Savoury Layered Pancake Pie. We had once had something like this at a café and we already had some cooked crepes in the freezer, so we packed locally purchased and home-grown goodness between the crepes and created a ‘pie’.
Note: We call this a pancake pie because we call crepes pancakes. Apologies for any confusion.
We used a 20cm (8 inch) non-stick pie plate which was just a tiny bit smaller than our crepes, so they could curl up the side and create a bit of a ‘pie pastry’ look to the layers. We used 8 crepes, but you could use a few more or less, as you like.
I won’t list ingredients because you can use anything you like and the quantities will depend on the size of your crepes and your tastes (e.g. you might take one small clove of roasted garlic and break it over a layer or you might want lots of whole cloves in there).
You really don’t need much in each layer. I thought some of my meagre layers would have disappeared in the pile, but was pleasantly surprised.
For the roasted vegetable pie, begin by cutting everything in long thin slices where possible (carrots and zucchini lengthwise, etc). Put these on an oven tray, with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast at 175 C / 350 F until tender, removing items as they are ready and allowing to cool. *See hint.
Spray pan with a little cooking spray if not using a non-stick pan. Place one crepe in the base allowing any extra to come up the sides of the pan. Put a layer of chosen filling on top of the crepe and top with another crepe, once again allowing to curl up the side of the pan.
Continue alternating fillings and crepes. You can have some layers the same if you like.
These are the layers we used, as an indication only:
1) Roasted sweet potato slices with lightly roasted garlic cloves – tear or slice garlic and spread around the layer.
2) Cooked chicken breast slices mixed with sweet chilli sauce topped with fresh rocket (arugula).
3) Cream cheese** or other soft cheese mixed with hot chilli and parsley. Spread over crepe.
4) Roasted tomato and onion
5) Roasted sliced carrots and roasted onion
6) Spread of cream cheese mixture topped with roasted capsicum (skin removed after roasting) and lightly roasted zucchini slices.
7) Any combination of cheeses – cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, whatever you have or like. We only used a sprinkle, but it made a difference.
Top with last pancake. Sprinkle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook to heat through (175 C / 350 F) for 10-15 minutes. Pop some foil over if crepes are getting too brown before pie is warmed through.
It is surprising how well it stacked up. Too easy!
*Roasting: You can put the vegetables that need the most roasting onto the oven tray and start roasting while you continue cutting up. Add and remove items so most things are ready and cooled by the time you are ready to assemble the pie.
**If you are using cream cheese, first soften by stirring or mashing with a fork, then mix in a little milk. This will make a smooth sauce easier to spread on crepes. You can add anything you like to cream cheese, such as herbs, capers or your favourite sauce.
You could use any other fillings you think of: roast meats or ham; other vegetables; sauces (a tomato based sauce or paste would be nice); etc. Just sauté, steam, roast or microwave harder ingredients prior to making up the pie. Probably good to have a little gooey stuff (like cheeses) and a little saucy stuff (but not too wet obviously), just to help the pie stay together when cut.
Variation: I wouldn’t try this with thick pancakes, but you could try mixing different fillings into your pancake batter, cooking as normal and then piling up, warming through and slicing like a pie. A little soft cheese, mixed with chilli sauce or herbs, between the layers might be nice.