Swiss Chard Pie, A Dessert of Provence

In the lead up to Christmas, Armand Arnal, chef of Arles restaurant La Chassagnette, revisits the tradition of the 13 desserts of Provence with this inspiring and generous dessert recipe.
Armand Arnal - La Chassagnette à Arles

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Pastry

• 500g flour

• 200g butter, melted

• 150g sugar

• 2 eggs, well beaten

• Salt

• Water

Filling

• 1 bunch Swiss chard

• 6 Reinette apples

• 50g currants

• 50g Malaga raisins

• Figs

• 2 eggs, well beaten

• 150g brown sugar

• 100g pine nuts

• 50g Parmesan, grated

• 50ml brandy or flower water

• Juice of half a lemon

• 1 tsp. olive oil

• Pepper

Method

Prepare the dough:

  • Place the flour in a pyramid on a counter top.
  • Make a well in center and pour in the beaten eggs, butter, sugar and salt.
  • Work the dough with your fingers until you have a smooth dough - add a few drops of water if necessary. Work the dough as little as possible to keep it light.
  • Leave to sit for 1 hour.

Prepare the filling:

  • Soak the raisins and currants in brandy for at least 1 hour.
  • Clean and wash the Swiss chard leaves, pat dry with paper towels or dry them in a salad spinner.
  • Roll up the leaves together then slice into thin strips.
  • In a large bowl, combine the Swiss chard, the brown sugar, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, raisins and currants, olive oil, lemon juice, and beaten eggs.
  • Wash and peel the apples, core them, and cut into thin wedges.
  • Coarsely chop the figs.

Assemble the pie:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (390F).
  • Divide the dough in half and roll out to make two thin rounds.
  • Line a 40cm pie dish side with one of the rounds.
  • Add the filling then place the apple wedges in a ring around the edge.
  • Cover with the second pastry round.
  • Pinch edges together to seal the pie.
  • Place in the oven.
  • When the crust is brown, check if the filling is set by inserting a knife. If it comes out clean, the pie is cooked.
  • If not, reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350F) and leave to cook a few more minutes.
Swiss Chard Pie
Swiss Chard Pie

A dessert revisited by Armand Arnal, chef of Arles restaurant La Chassagnette.

Photography José Nicolas
Armand Arnal in its vegetable garden
Armand Arnal in its vegetable garden
Chef of Arles restaurant La Chassagnette
Photography José Nicolas

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