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Brie and Artichoke Custard Pie

3 medium-size artichoke bottoms, cooked, (see instructions for preparing them)
Melted butter for greasing a pan
1/2 pound fresh spinach
1 tablespoon corn, peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
18 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt to taste, if desired
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cooked medium-size potato, about 1/3 pound, or 1/2 cup leftover mashed potato
1 6-ounce wedge of Brie
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Tomato sauce for custard pie (see recipe)


Prepare the artichoke bottoms, and let them stand in their cooking liquid until ready to use. Drain and scoop away the fuzzy choke from each. Cut the artichoke bottoms into 1/4-inch-thick slices. There should be about 1 cup. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use a springform pan, 10 by 2 inches, with a removable bottom. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with wide aluminum foil, and brush all over with melted butter. Set aside. Rinse the spinach well. Pull or cut off and discard any tough stems; discard blemished leaves. Drain the spinach well. There should be about 3 cups loosely packed. In a saucepan, bring to a boil enough water to cover the spinach when it is added. Add the spinach, stirring it into the water. Cook about 1 minute or until wilted. Drain well. Squeeze to extract excess liquid. There should be about 1/2 cup. Chop the spinach, and set aside. Heat the oil in a skillet, and add the onion and garlic. Add the spinach and toss to blend. Break the eggs into a mixing bowl, and beat well. Beat in the cream and milk. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add the spinach mixture and blend. If a whole cooked potato is used, peel it and put it through a food mill or potato ricer. There should be about 1/2 cup. Add the mashed potato to the custard, and blend evenly. Pour the custard into the prepared pan, and place it in the oven. Bake 8 minutes. Meanwhile, trim off and discard the tough outer coating from the Brie. Cut the cheese lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick wedges. Remove the pan from the oven, and sprinkle the artichoke pieces evenly over the top. Lay the strips of Brie flat in a circle like the spokes of a wheel around the top of the custard. Sprinkle the top with parsley, and return the pan to the oven. Bake 45 minutes or until a cake tester or thin skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the pie stand for 10 minutes before unmolding. To unmold, remove the circle of metal from around the pie. Pull down the foil. You may cut the pie into 8 wedges and serve it on plates directly from the kitchen. Or if you wish to display it, place a round plate over the top of the pie. Invert the pie onto this plate, remove the foil, and then place a serving plate over the bottom of the pie. Repeat the procedure, turning the pie right-side-up. Serve cut into 8 wedges with the tomato sauce on the side.

Source: cooking.nytimes.com