All righty, pie lovers. I'm no great chef in the kitchen, but I think I do pretty well with pot pie. Or maybe I just love it so much that it seems better than it is ;D In any case, goodness like this shouldn't be kept to ourselves, so I'll share my pot pie recipe. But not my blue pyrex dish. That baby is mine.
I have been known to use store-bought crust, but when I have time I make my
Nana's vinegar pie crust.
Mix together with a pastry blender (or a fork):
3 C flour
1 1/4 C shortening
1 t salt (or less, especially if you're making fruit pies)
1 T vinegar (I use cider vinegar)
3-4 T ice water, until the dough holds together
Adding a lot of flour when you roll it out will make the crust tougher, (and it's messy), so I learned a little trick. Sprinkle a few drops of water on your counter and smear them around a bit. Spread a sheet of wax paper on it. The water will sort of anchor your wax paper down. Plop a ball of pie dough on the wax paper, smoosh it down, and then cover it with another piece of wax paper.
I didn't take pictures of this. I think you can manage :D
Roll the dough out between the pieces of wax paper. Peel off the top piece of wax paper and use the other paper to lift it and lay it in your pie dish, and then peel the other piece off. Easy squeezy.
My Nana could roll her dough thin enough to make two pies (top and bottom crust) from that recipe, but I usually only get 1 1/2. Your mileage may vary. You'll need enough dough for two bottom and two top crusts.
You can prep your crusts ahead, putting the bottom crusts in the pie dishes and rolling out the top crusts in the wax paper. Or you might want to wait and make the pie crusts while your pie filling is cooling a little.
Now, for the Pot Pie... I usually make at least two, or even four at a time after I cook a turkey, so I'm writing this for two pies. In general, you'll want about 2 cups of meat and 2-3 cups of veggies per pie. (More is always good if you have deep pie dishes.) This is perfect for leftovers! A little of this and a little of that. Or use canned or frozen veggies. I often use the frozen carrot/corn/green-bean combo (no lima beans, thank you very much). I've included leftover potatoes, peas, and even a little bit of leftover stuffing, once. Sweet potatoes are somewhat controversial. I love them, but the family doesn't. I'll tuck them all into one corner of the pie and mark the crust so I can get that piece myself :D
So here we go.
1 small mild chopped onion, in
1 C butter (or less! I use less! But this is how the recipe came to me...)
1 C flour (if you use less butter, you'll have to add the flour carefully so it doesn't thicken too fast)
1+ t salt, (think about if your veggies are already salty or not)
1 t thyme
1/2 t pepper
2 C broth (chicken or turkey, whatever you have)
1 1/2 C milk
Stir carefully as it thickens, about two minutes.
How thick? Trial and error. Sometimes mine have been too runny, but that's better than dry. Err on the side of moist :D
4-6 C veggies, your choice (if frozen, simmer until all nice and blended)
Remove from heat.
4 C cooked turkey or chicken
Add to the veggie mixture.
(If you haven't made your crusts yet, now is the time...)
Line your two pie dishes with the bottom crust, divide the filling between them, and cover with the top crust. Be sure to cut holes or slits in the top. Seal the edges together and get as fancy as you like. Mine are pretty plain-jane.
Now you have a choice!
You can bake your pie(s) at 425F for 30-40 minutes, right away. (Everything inside is cooked, and it's already hot so just keep an eye on the crust - that's what you're cooking.) Or...
Wrap them tightly in foil and freeze them for later. I write the cooking instructions right on the foil, so I don't forget what to do when I take them out. When you do, don't thaw them! Cook them right from frozen. It takes longer to cook, but comes out much better. Trust me.
Bake your frozen pie:
425F for 30 minutes, then
350F for 70-80 minutes...
...which is a long, long time to smell such wonderful goodness wafting through the house.
Fancy people make a little foil ring to shield the edges of the crust so they don't burn. I've never bothered and we've never been troubled.
I do, however, put a baking sheet under the pie, in the oven. Mine always bubble over.
In fact, true confession: I set off the smoke alarm nearly every time I bake a pie. *sigh*
But, oh, it's worth it. Especially with some cranberry sauce :D