Crawfish Pie

 

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Crawfish season is upon us here in Louisiana.  Mardi-Gras has come and gone with many crawfish boils prepared as part of the celebration.  But the real crawfish season is still in full swing.  I enjoy the boils but what I really like are the richer versions from etouffee to fried.  The crawfish pie here is a favorite and really offers the chance to serve the cajun crustaceans in both of my prefered ways: encased in a buttery pie crust pastry (the pie) and etouffee style over long grain rice using the leftover filling from the pies.  This recipe for crawfish pie is one I developed after reading and researching different methods of for the filling and uses my basic pie crust that I use for both sweet and savory dishes.  One somewhat radical departure from the normal pie, which is prepared essentially the same as a chicken pot pie, is that I have blind baked the crust and then filled them with the crawfish filling just before serving.  This makes it easier to control the thickness of the filling and also helps preserve the crispiness of the crust.  The pies could certainly be made in one large pie and baked with the filling enclosed and served family style.

 

Crawfish Pie Recipe

1 Ib. of Crawfish Tails

2 Celery Stalks with Leaves Attached Finely Diced

1 Bell Pepper (any color works) Finely Diced

1 Medium Onion Finely Diced

2 Green or Spring Onion Finely Diced

3 Tbs.  Butter

3 Tbs. Flour

Cajun Seasoning To Taste

3/4 Pint Half and Half

1/4 Cup Cream Sherry

Pastry Crust For  9″ Pie

Instructions:

      1.  While dicing all the vegetables melt 3 Tbs. of butter in a medium sauce pan and add 3 Tbs. of flour.  Whisk together and leave on medium heat checking from time to time.  When the bubbles reside and the butter flour mixture starts to brown slightly add the diced vegetables and cook them until all of the vegetables are coated with the flour and butter mixture and are tender.
      2. Once the vegetables are nice and tender set aside and divide the crawfish tails into equal 1/2 Ib. portions. Take one portion and place it in a food processor and process until finely minced. Do not over process.
      3. Turn up the heat of the vegetables and slowly add the Half and Half until the mixture is smooth and has thickened enough to coat the back of  a spoon.  If your mixture is too thick add more Half and Half.
      4. Add the minced crawfish tales and season with the Cajun seasoning and salt to taste.
      5. Add the cream sherry and mix thoroughly.  Add the final 1/2 Ib. of whole crawfish tales. Allow mixture to remain cooking on low heat while you prepare the individual pie crusts.
      6. Blind bake 2 to 4 pie crust shells in small pastry molds and cut out tops to fit the molds like lids once they are baked. You should have a flat lid (pastry top) for each shell you are baking.
      7. When the shells are baked and cool enough to remove from the mold plate them and fill them with the crawfish filling placing a lid on each one. More filling can be poured around each pie as desired.

Note: Any remaining crawfish filling can be served etouffee style over rice; garnish with additional chopped green onions!

Chocolate Meringue Pie

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Here is a recipe for Chocolate Pie that is super simple and really delicious. I have also include my recipe, a fairly standard one, for pie crust that I use for both sweet and savory dishes. The pie filling can easily be prepared with a whisk so save the electric mixer for the meringue. Enjoy!
PieCrustIngredients

Pie Crust Recipe

1 Stick of Chilled/Frozen Butter (salted or unsalted)

1 Cup of All Purpose Flour

4-6 Tbs. of Ice Water

Salt to Taste

Instructions:

  1.  Cut the chilled butter into small pea size bits and chill in the freezer until very firm.
  2. Combine the flour and salt and mix thoroughly and chill in the freezer with the butter. The flour mixture can be poured directly over the butter pieces and chilled together.
  3. Remove from the freezer and work the butter into the flour to break down as much of the butter as possible. The texture should be somewhat sandy with some pea size pieces of butter remaining. Place back in the freezer until well chilled.
  4. When well chilled make a well in the center and add 4 Tbs. of ice water and mix the ingredients together.  Gradually add additional ice water to moisten all the flour and butter mixture creating a cohesive dough.  DO NOT OVER MIX. Once the mixture comes together and is smooth flatten slightly and wrap in plastic wrap and chill.  This recipe makes enough dough for one 9″ pie plate, bottom crust only. If you are making a covered pie such as apple simply double the recipe.

Chocolate Meringue Pie Recipe

3 Egg Yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)

3/4 Cup of Sugar

3 Tbs. of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 Tbs. Flour

2 Tbs. Melted Butter

1 8oz. Can of Evaporated Milk

1 Cup of Water

1 Tsp. of Vanilla Extract

Instructions:

  1.  Mix the yolks and sugar until pale yellow.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly making sure there are no flour or cocoa lumps.

 

3.  Roll out chilled dough and place in pie plate. Pour chocolate pie filling into the plate and place in a 350° oven for 45 minutes or until filling has set.

4.  Place reserved egg whites into a stand mixer and slowly mix until soft peaks form. Add 4 Tbs. of sugar and finish mixing until stiff peaks form.
Whippedwhites

5.  Pour over baked pie and spread evenly with a spatula. Use a whisk to create peaks in the meringue. Return to the pie to the oven until the meringue has browned.
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