Tender and delicately tasting of mushrooms, this unique Crustless Puffball Pie is a winner. You’ll have dinner guests wondering what the heck this delicious dish is made of. Serve it like a quiche or savoury tart, along with a green salad for an impressively different lunch or light dinner. You’ll also impress yourself with how easy it is to whip up! (And if you don’t have a puffball handy, you can substitute chopped regular mushrooms instead.) Skip to recipe.
The Puffball Fairy struck last week! She came in the wee hours and left a giant round treasure on our picnic table!
It always makes my foodie heart smile when I’m lucky enough to be gifted with one of these amazing edible treasures of nature (bestowed on me by my mushroom-picking guru, Alex). This one was a whopping 4 lbs and a beautiful uniform snowy white inside.
Puffballs are the easiest mushrooms to identify, perfect for the novice mushroom hunter. As long as the inside, when you cut it in half, is a uniform white, with no sign of gills or other markings, and the puffball is larger than your fist, you know it’s absolutely safe to eat (see the link below for how to identify a giant puffball).
The inside of a giant puffball is like a damp, dense sponge. Remove the peel, the slightly thicker outer layer, as it can occasionally cause gastrointestinal upset for some people. The peel is easy to pull off in bits, or trim it off with a paring knife. Trim off any bug bitten bits that may be present near the stem end at the bottom of the puffball. If the center of the puffball is starting to darken, the mushroom is past its prime and starting to produce spores – no longer tasty to eat. The snowy white inside of a perfectly ripe giant puffball is wonderful to use for all sorts of dishes. It has an earthy aroma, and when cooked, its mild mushroom flavour becomes deliciously pronounced.
What Else Can you do with your Giant Puffball?
You can slice, cube, or shred the puffball for all sorts of tasty dishes. See the above link for 6 Giant Puffball recipes, which includes recipes for a fantastic Puffball Parmigiana and a Puffball Pizza.
How Easy is it to Make a Crustless Puffball Pie?
No crust to make and nothing to cook or sauté beforehand. Just whisk up a few eggs with milk and oil, stir in flour and a few seasonings. Then fold in a bit of chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, and a big pile of shredded puffball. (It’s a riff on my easy Zucchini Pie.)
Pop it all into a greased pie dish and bake. Voilà! Easier than pie! (Whoever invented the saying ‘As easy as Pie’ must have been making a crustless puffball pie, because a regular pie certainly wouldn’t be categorized as easy, in my opinion, what with all the fiddling to make and roll out a pastry crust.)
Partly like a creamy quiche, partly like a slightly dense mushroom soufflé, this is a unique and tasty puffball treat. It’s cheesy and savoury, flecked with little bits of red and green confetti amongst the snowy white puffball shreds – a wonderful light lunch or dinner. Serve it like you would a quiche, with a bright green salad or fresh veggies alongside.
You’ll never look at a puffball the same way again! (Your eyes will light up and you’ll be seeing slices of this pie on your plate, I guarantee you!)
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Kitchen Frau Notes: If you’re not lucky enough to have the Puffball Fairy drop off a fungal treasure at your doorstep or if you can’t find a glowing white orb growing in your field, you can also substitute the shredded puffball with 4 cups (350 grams) of finely chopped regular button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms (a food processor makes quick work of them). Your pie won’t be creamy white, but will still taste delicious.
Crustless Puffball Pie
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup (120ml) neutral oil (I like avocado oil)
- ½ cup (120ml) milk
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup (140gms) gluten free flour blend (or all purpose flour for non-gluten-free)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (~½ cup)
- ¼ of a sweet red bell pepper, finely diced (~1/3 cup)
- 5 cups (350gms) peeled, shredded puffball (or substitute finely chopped mushrooms)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1½ cups (150gms) shredded aged cheddar cheese, divided
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Generously grease a 10-inch (25.4 cm) pie pan or a 9-inch (23 cm) deep-dish pie pan.
Whisk the eggs, oil, milk, salt, pepper, thyme, and nutmeg together until smooth.
Add the flour and baking powder, and whisk again.
Add the onion, red bell pepper, shredded puffball, parsley, and shredded cheese. Stir until everything is evenly moistened.
Pack the puffball mixture into the greased pie pan. Sprinkle on the remaining ½ cup (50 gms) of cheese.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the center of the pie is puffed up and the top is golden around the edges.
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