Sunday, October 27, 2013

October Daring Bakers' Challenge - Savory Pot Pies

I was very excited to have pot pie as our challenge this month. I just love pot pies but my sweet husband does not love them. Neither one of us grew up eating pot pies and took very different directions with the concept at adulthood. He veered towards the "I don't know what's in there and I am not gonna eat it" and I veered towards the "I love everything all mixed up in there and there's pastry everywhere...yum." With such different viewpoints, I found that I just did not make them often. BUT now I had a good reason and I was going to make the most of it.
Hannah of Rise and Shine was our October 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to bake our own double crusted savory pot pies. Using any from-scratch crust and filling we choose, We were allowed to get completely creative with our recipe, showing off the savory flavors and fillings from our own home or region.

 We could basically do anything we wanted as long as there was a top and bottom crust to it. With all that freedom, I opted for the most traditional type of pot pie, turkey pot pie. Because to me, a pot pie should coincide with a refrigerator cleansing opportunity. I found bits and bobs of veggies leftover from farmers market excursions. Pieces of vegetables  that were not enough to make it on their own for a side dish but enough to add with others for a nice medley. 

I have a'tried and true' pie crust that I use for everything pie related. From quiche to banana cream pie, I use this recipe and tweak it a bit for the preparation. I located some fresh thyme to use in the pastry from under the massive amount of falling leaves that are everywhere here in New England this time of year.

For the filling, I started with  a turkey stock with a couple of turkey thighs and lots of onion along with some celery leaves and carrots.
I also used the pot pie as an excuse to get a nice bottle of sherry and add it to the pot pie sauce for flavor. I did have to taste test it and can report that a good quality sherry is a beautiful thing.
I made the pot pie in some square glass casserole dishes that I bough years ago because they were cute. I was so thrilled to be able to use them as a personal pot pie vessel.
As predicted, my hubbie ate a bit of the pot pie and pushed the rest of it around the plate while inquiring about any ice cream in the freezer...sigh... I did not win him over this time . I loved it but the personal pie dish was a little big for me and I saved a healthy portion for next days lunch.
As winter quickly approaches, I think I will attempt the pot pie again. I am thinking a lobster pie for next time...My husband is a huge lobster lover...that might do the trick.

Pastry :
2 cups flour
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 green pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup sherry
1 1/2 cups turkey stock, or chicken stock
2 cups cooked turkey, chopped


Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery, peppers and saute for about five minutes, stirring periodically.

Add the butter and garlic. When the butter has melted and the garlic has become aromatic, add the flour. Cook the flour stirring constantly for a few minutes. Add the sherry to deglaze the pan.
Add the stock slowly , stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes . Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped turkey.
Set filling aside to cool slightly before adding to pastry.

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Mix together the flour and salt. Add the shortening and crumble with fingers til almost mixed. Add in the thyme.
Add the water and lightly mix together to form a loose dough. Turn out onto a flour dusted surface and knead the dough lightly. Do not over work the dough. 
 Roll one quarter of the dough between two sheets of wax paper to about 1/16th inch thickness. Line the dish with the dough. 

Trim the edges  along the top with a sharp knife.
 Repeat for a second dish. 
Place a sheet of foil on top of the dough in each dish. 
Add some baking beans to weight the foil. Bake the
pastry for about 8 minutes.

Remove from oven and remove foil with baking beans. Allow to cool for several minutes. Brush bottom pastry with whole grain mustard. 

Divide the filling among the two dishes. 

Split the remaining pastry into two parts and roll each one between sheets of wax paper to less than 1/16th inch thickness. top each filled dish with pastry and fold in the edges to seal. Using a sharp knife, make a couple of slits in the top pastry to create air vents.

Place dishes in 450 oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Cook until top pastry is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly and serve.

Thanks Hannah!!