Monday, August 8, 2011

Georgie Porgie Puddin’ and Pie…

I was pretty excited to find out this week that it’s the year of the homemade pie. Yeah, I know – with eight months already gone, celebrations on the virtues of the humble pie are a little late; but I’m all about embracing delicious things, so today I’m appreciating the goodness and loveliness that is all things pie-like.

Our pie maker gets a decent workout in our kitchen – almost on a weekly basis. Do you have one?
Our regular pie fillings include:
-         Leftover bolognaise with fluffy mashed potato and freshly grated parmesan
-         Basil pesto, chicken, bacon, pine nuts, fresh cherry tomatoes and roasted mushroom
-         Roasted vegetables (pumpkin, potato, red capsicum, mushroom, and zucchini), Danish feta and sweet chilli sauce
-         Leftover chicken curry

But my absolute melt-in-the-mouth all time favourite pie filling definitely has to be chicken and tarragon. So far, it’s the only recipe that sees Judah and Lou licking their plates clean and asking for more… which can be a rarity with toddlers!

Nat’s deliciously good chicken
and tarragon pie


About 40g of butter
2 tbs plain flour
1 leek, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
1 ½ cups of chicken stock
½ cup of thickened cream
1 ½ tsp dried tarragon
3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
4-6 large-ish mushrooms, thinly sliced
Olive oil
1 egg, whisked (if making a big pie)

And for the cheating bit:
Store-bought shortcrust and puff pastry, thawed just a little

What to do:

Add a splash of oil to a frying pan, and cook the mushrooms until soft. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon, and return the pan to the heat. Cook the chicken pieces in batches until cooked through. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat until bubby and foaming. Add the leek and cook for five minutes, or until the leek softens. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for five minutes, or until the mixture starts to bubble. Remove from the heat and gradually add in the stock, whisking until smooth.

Whisk in the cream, tarragon and pepper to the flour mix, and season with salt. Stir through the chicken and mushrooms. Set aside to cool completely.

If you’ve got a pie maker: Line the pie shell with store bought shortcrust pastry when just warming up. Spoon in the pie filling, and top with a circle of puff pastry. Close the lid and cook for 5 minutes, or until the base of  the pie is golden.

If you’re going for a more traditional pie: Line a 22cm springform pan with the shortcrust pastry and gently press to mould to pan. Spoon the chicken mixture in, and place another sheet of puff pastry over the pie filling, trimming the edges to fit. Pinch to close, and cut three small slits in the centre of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Brush the pie with the whisked egg before placing in the oven (at 180°C). Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until crisp and golden on the top. Set aside to cool slightly before eating.

Oh goodness, I do love pies. They’re just made to be shared, aren’t they?
Do you have a favourite pie recipe?


Ps. And my favourite pie movie? Waitress, with the gorgeous Keri Russell. ‘Bad Baby Pie’ still gets me giggling…

Image from here.

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