Pascale’s Kitchen: The magic of pie

Whether quiche, tart, or pashtida – a delicious pastry will appear on your table tonight.

 Onion pie (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Onion pie
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

Pashtidas (usually a sort of kugel or casserole) are a kind of magic: You mix eggs, vegetables, and spices, then bake it, and the result is a dish that everyone loves. Pashtidas are appropriate as an appetizer, side dish, or even as the main dish. The possibilities are endless.

The ingenious part of pashtidas is that they can be made from nearly anything: bread, noodles, rice, cheese, fish, meat, or vegetables – anything goes. You can use leftovers to create a pashtida, making it an easy and inexpensive dish to prepare. It’s a good idea to have a pashtida in the refrigerator, ready to be taken out when you come home after a long day and don’t feel like bothering with long preparations in the kitchen. Just whip out the pashtida, cut up a salad, and you’re set.

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I like to make pashtidot, but I prefer to make a tart, pie, or quiche. Although they require a little more work, since it is necessary to prepare the dough, this pastry yields a particularly beautiful result. For the pie, prepare a crispy and delicate dough (preferably prepared in advance), line it in a pan, and put in any filling you desire.

This week, I decided to offer you a pie with an onion filling. Any kind of vegetable from the onion family is welcome, whether it is a leek or a white or purple onion. They are all delicious and, most importantly, they pair wonderfully with cheese. Prepare the pie in advance, keep it in the fridge, and you’ll be surprised.

The second recipe is for oven-roasted asparagus with roasted almonds, an impressive side dish that is easy to make. If you serve it alongside the pie, it’s really a pleasure.

 Juicy apple cake (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Juicy apple cake (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

The third recipe, which I love to serve on Shabbat, is a juicy apple cake adorned with pistachios. It’s a hearty cake that gets its moist texture from the apples. On particularly hot days, keep it in the refrigerator.


Use a 28 cm.-pie pan.


  • 1 or 1 1/4 cup flour (180 gr.), sifted
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 100 gr. cold butter, cubed
  • 1 egg


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 30 gr. butter
  • 3-4 large onions, sliced
  • 3 eggs
  • 2-3 Tbsp. flour, sifted
  • 200 gr. yellow cheese, grated
  • 200 gr. feta or Bulgarian cheese, crumbled
  • 1 container (240 ml.) cooking cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • Leaves from three stalks of thyme

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor, sprinkle around the cubes of butter, and process for about 1 minute. Add the egg and mix for about a minute or two.

Gather and combine the dough with your hands to obtain a uniform dough. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for half an hour.

Place the oil and butter in a wide pan and melt well. Add the onion slices and fry until transparent and golden, and until most of the liquid evaporates. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out on a well-floured work surface. Pick up the dough and transfer it to the pie pan gently. Press the dough firmly to the sides of the pie pan. 

Save a little dough, or use any leftover dough, and roll it out into a thin sheet. Cut out flowers and leaves with cookie cutters. Arrange on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and put in the freezer for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, place the eggs, flour, cheese, and cream. Mix well. Add the fried and cooled onion strips, mix lightly, and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and thyme leaves.

Take the dough out of the freezer and pour the filling into the pan. Flatten the surface well. Arrange the dough flowers and leaves as you wish on the surface of the filling. Bake in an oven preheated to medium heat (180 C or 350 F) for 45-50 minutes, until the pie is golden and evenly browned.

Level of difficulty: MediumTime: App. 2.5 hours, with coolingStatus: Dairy

 Oven-roasted asparagus with roasted almonds. (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Oven-roasted asparagus with roasted almonds. (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)


Makes five servings.

  • 1 bundle fresh asparagus
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white almonds, sliced and roasted

If you purchased thick asparagus (about 1 cm.), you will need to peel them gently. Place on a cutting board, and with a peeler remove the skin from the stems. If they are thin, there is no need to peel them. Remove the lower quarter of the vegetable because it is fibrous and less tasty.

Wash the asparagus and arrange them comfortably in an oven dish. Drizzle the olive oil over them and season with salt and pepper, and mix.

Heat an oven to 200 C (400 F) and put the asparagus in the oven. Roast for 10 to 14 minutes or until the asparagus have softened a little, their color has deepened, and they are slightly burnt at the edges. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the roasted almonds on top and serve.

Level of difficulty: EasyTime: About 20 minutesStatus: Parve


Use a greased 26 cm. pan.

  • 2 cups Granny Smith apples, cored and cubed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sweet red wine or Calvados
  • 2 Tbsp. cognac
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 packet of baking powder
  • 3/4 cup candied pecans or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped or whole

In a wide bowl, mix the cubed apple with the raisins, wine, and cognac. Let sit for about 15 minutes.

Beat the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla sugar in a mixer for an airy mixture. Add the flour and baking powder.

Fold the pecans and the apple mixture into the dough batter. Transfer the batter to the pan and flatten. Sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon, and pistachios on the surface of the cake.

Preheat the oven to medium heat (180 C or 350 F) and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with crumbs on it. Let it cool.

Level of difficulty: MediumTime: About an hourStatus: Parve

Translated by Tzvi Joffre.