Fennel Golden Raisin Pie

Categories: Spleen Qi Vacuity

Fennel Golden Raisin Pie
 (makes one 9″ pie)
for the filling

2 fennel bulbs, cored and trimmed of any brown or tough spots

2 shallots, finely sliced

1/2 cup golden raisins

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt 

Pinch of black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

juice of half a lemon
for the crust
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons cold water
Make the crust:
1.Combine the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, your fingers or a food processor, cut the butter into the flour. If using the food processor, pulse several few times until the pieces of butter are no larger than a pea. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.
2.Add water one tablespoon at a time and stop when the dough is malleable enough to form a ball. (If using food processor, slowly add water one tablespoon at a time to the mixture while pulsing it just until a ball is formed). Break into two balls.
3.Cover them with plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. (Crust can be made several hours beforehand.) It’s important to make sure dough remains cold while you work with it and ideally before it goes into the oven, so keep refrigerated until you need to use it.
Filling:
1.Chop fennel into 1-2 inch pieces. Heat butter over medium-high in a medium saucepan. Add shallots, fennel, golden raisins and spices and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly softened, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat while you roll out the dough.
2.Add lemon juices once it has cooled a bit, and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4.Roll out both balls of dough into evenly thick, roughly 10 inch rounds on cutting boards or waxed paper. Place one into the bottom of the pan and pat in.
5.Add the fennel filling. With the top crust, cut out shapes in the dough in whichever fashion if desired. Otherwise, simply peel dough carefully off its surface and arrange on top of the pie. Even the dough around the edges, and crimp with fingers to seal.
6.Bake for about 35 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Fennel: warm, sweet, acrid, unblocks and regulates qi, strengthens stomach, dispels cold, stops pain, stimulates peristalsis
Raisins — warm, sweet and sour; Tonifies qi, nourishes blood, strengthens sinews and bones, harmonizes St, promotes diuresis, relieves irritability.
Shallots: (similar to onion) warm, acrid. Promotes sweating, resolves phlegm, regulates qi, reduces toxins.
Butter: sweet, neutral; Sp, St, Lu; Supplements qi, nourishes blood, moistens dryness.
Cumin Seeds: warm. Strengthens the stomach, arrests bleeding, diuretic, and relieves flatulence
Coriander: warm pungent. Diaphoretic, harmonizes the Middle Jiao
Salt:
Pepper: hot, pungent. Warms digestion, dispels internal cold, antidote to food poisoning
Lemon: Cool, sour. Regenerates body fluids, harmonizes ST, regulates qi, quenches thirst, benefits LV.

Overall:  Strengthen ST and regulate qi.