Saturday, March 3, 2012

Charmed Lamb Pie

By Ellery Adams

Yes, every now and then I'll present you with a savory pie. After all, we can't eat sweets all the time, can we? (I'd like to but I don't want to give my dentist any more reasons to come at me with that terrible drill).

Despite the cold, gray weather we've had in the South lately, I know spring is on its way and I started thinking about the kind of pie Ella Mae LeFaye would make to celebrate the new season and a tender, flavorful lamb pie sounded nice to me. So here's my version, which takes some notes from Middle Eastern cuisine. I love the flavor of the toasted pine nuts but beware, they are expensive!

What spring fare are you looking forward to (besides Peeps!)

Charmed Lamb Pie

2 pounds ground lamb

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup pine nuts, toasted

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons mint, finely shredded

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 piecrust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pine nuts on cookie sheet and toast for ten minutes. While nuts are toasting, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil (1 to 2 minutes) and then add lamb. Cook until lamb is nicely browned (about 5 minutes) and then drain excess liquid. In large mixing bowl, combine lamb mixture with spices, pine nuts, lemon juice, and yogurt. Pour filling into piecrust. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees.


  1. I feel like I can smell this! Oh, yum. Lemon, garlic, and lamb sound wonderful to me.

    I've found that pine nuts are a little more affordable in the refrigerated bulk bin at my health food store. I can buy just as much as I need for a recipe.

    ~ Krista

  2. That's a great tip! I as shopping at Fresh Market and nearly passed out when I saw that my container of pine nuts cost $11.00!

  3. I know, I bought a little packet in Publix and paid some outrageous amount. Then got home and read the small print--they were from China!

    I'm looking forward to a ricotta pie that a small Italian deli up the road makes for Easter...

    1. Lucy, in the grocery store recently, I saw a nice looking package of frozen fish. An American flag was printed on the front of the package, so I stupidly thought the fish were from the US. Something possessed me to turn the package over, and there, in tiny print, was Product of China.

      No wonder grocery shopping takes so long!

      ~ Krista

  4. I try to hit international markets for things like pine nuts. The Mexican grocery has the best prices on spices and, oddly, pine nuts (which I use for salads, pestos, pasta dishes).

    This is intriguing. I've been wanting to play with savory pie, but I'm worried that my pie crust recipe (which has a little sugar in it) would be weird. It's only about a Tbs of sugar ... do you think I could leave it out?

  5. Wendy,

    I think it would go fine with the yogurt mixture of the pie. The cumin and cinnamon will overpower that little TBS, so be Mary Poppins and add your spoonful of sugar!