Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cold Weather Pie

Nothing like pot pie during weather like this.  Great way to use up leftovers and easy to make vegan if you're not a fan of dairy.  I'm too lazy to put it in separate "pots", so I make one big pie.  Pretty simple to make, two main parts: your filling and your crust.   (If you are using tofu for a vegetable pie, this is a great recipe to use defrosted tofu for the chewier texture.)  This recipe makes enough filling for two 9" pies.  I usually make one pie, then throw the leftover filling in the freezer to use another time or serve over rice.


6 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons flour
2 cups broth
1 cup heavy cream OR milk/milk substitute for lower fat
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Salt to taste
3 teaspoons crushed dried herbs like thyme or savory (I used Herbes de Provence)
4 cups bite size chunks of cooked chicken OR tofu
12 small pearl onions OR 1 large white onion cut into chunks
2 1/4 cups cooked vegetables (I used celery, peas, and carrots)

-Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat.  When it's bubbly, add the flour, stir to combine, and let it bubble for 2 minutes.  This is going to be the gravy.
-Add the broth and cream slowly, stirring constantly.  Then stir in the spices and let it simmer for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until it thickens.
-Put the chicken/tofu and vegetables into a large mixing bowl and add the gravy.  Stir to coat everything.  And your filling is ready to go.


2 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup shortening (I used Earth Balance vegan margarine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
6-7 tablespoons cold water

1. Pie dough keeps in the fridge for several days, so this part can be made ahead of time.  Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.  Cut in the shortening (I use my hands because pastry blenders drive me crazy).  Combine until the mixture is grainy: it doesn't have to be perfect.
2. Add the water a Tablespoon at a time and mix with a fork until the pastry holds together when you press it into a ball.  Now preheat the oven to 425 degrees and get out your rolling pin.
3. The bottom crust of the pie needs to be a little bigger than the top, you'll need to use roughly 2/3 of the dough for the bottom piece.  Roll it out on a floured surface, not too thin, so that it overlaps your pie tin by around an inch.
4. Gently press the dough to the sides of the pie tin.  Take a fork and poke a few holes in the raw dough, it will bake better this way.
5. Now add about 2 cups of filling to the pie.
6. Roll out the last bunch of pie dough for the top crust.  It's okay if it tears while you're putting it on top of the pie, it will still bake up fine.  Take your fork and press the top and bottom crust together at the edge of the pie pan.  You might need to trim some of it off to even up the edges.  As you press the dough together with the fork, it should look like this:

7. Be sure to poke some more holes on the top crust to let steam escape.  Throw it in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until it's as golden as you like it.  Very filling and good served hot or cold!

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