Published 10/1/13 by: Kaitlin
A guest post/recipe from my friend and fellow blogger, Steph!
There is nothing quite like the comforts of home and to me it manifests the most in smells. Fresh cut grass, firewood for the woodstove, the many aromas of the kitchen. So today I decided to make a pot pie. The smell of pie crust, savory or sweet, is one of the best smells in my opinion. It smells like Autumn. So good.
Let me first say that I do not eat meat, however this is an extremely versatile recipe and you can most certainly add chicken or beef if you prefer. I would recommend grilling if you can, just to get some added flavor, but baking will suffice. Just make sure to dice the meat into small chunks. You can also use almost any vegetable, whatever you have in the fridge.
You can also make your crust from scratch. I have never found a better crust than my grandmother’s, flakey, buttery, salty, mmmm. However, I have one square foot of counter space in my apartment so making crust is sort of out of the question. If you’re feeling ambitious, by all means make it yourself. Nothing tastes quite as good as homemade pie crust.
So here’s what I did…
- Two premade pie crusts (room temp)
- 1 egg (for the egg wash)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 8 oz. broth (I used veggie but if you’re going to add chicken to this recipe why not use chicken broth for some added flavor)
- 1 1/2 cups peas (I used English peas because I like the sweetness and crunch but frozen peas do just as well)
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced mushrooms
(Note: you can certainly use potatoes, peppers, zucchini, squash, whatever vegetables you like, I just happen to have these in the fridge so that’s what I used)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Make sure, first and foremost, that your pie dough is at room temperature or else it will break when you unroll it. Using a 9 inch pie pan lay the first piece of dough in, pressing it to fit the pan and poke with a fork. I’d like to be able to tell you what the purpose of this is, but I have no idea. I assume it has something to do with letting the pie crust breath, but that could be utter nonsense. But everyone on Food Network does it so it must serve some purpose.
In a large sauté pan melt butter and sauté veggies over medium heat. Some veggies, like potatoes and carrots, need longer to soften so you’ll just have to gauge when it’s ready. I thoroughly support tasting what you’re making throughout the process. How will you know if it needs more of something if you aren’t tasting it?
When it has reached the softness you desire (about ten minutes or so) add the flour. This is going to be your thickening agent. Stir well and continue to cook about two minutes. Slowly add the broth in increments, about a half a cup at a time. This allows the flour to mix with the broth and create a creaminess. Then add in the milk. Full disclosure, I grabbed half and half by accident at the store. You can use cream or milk, it all does the trick. Now you need to add salt and pepper to your taste preference. I also added dill because I just love it. You can add thyme, if you like. It’s whatever you like to taste. But make sure you add salt and pepper, otherwise this will be rather tasteless when it’s done.
Here’s a little secret… I also added about 1/4 cup of parmesan. Good quality parmesan. This is not typical in a pot pie but I had it in my fridge and it will add to the creaminess of the filling. And, well, I really just love cheese.
So by now the filling is thoroughly mixed and is thick and creamy. Pour it into the pie crust and cover with the second pie crust. Cut a slit in the center to let it vent while cooking. Also, make sure to crimp/press the edges so the filling doesn’t leak out the sides while cooking. Then brush with egg wash (just an egg that’s been beaten). Bake at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, or until crust begins to turn golden-brown.
Stephanie Blackburn is the author of two YA novels (SUMMER AT NINETEEN and I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND), both of which can be found on Amazon. For more of her recipes as well as book related news you can check out her blog, http://stephaniemaeblackburn.