Individual pot pies have become my go-to for portion control. Four inch springform pans have taken the place of the family-sized casseroles I once made because the two of us could/would consume 47 times our weight in excess pot pie without batting an eye. Starting off with finite amounts has helped, tremendously.
Since watching The Great British Bake Off, I’ve been having fun with different crusts, too. Last month, I made a hot water crust for the first time, and this time around, I made a crust with whole eggs and black pepper. Old dog, new tricks…
The filling was a simple chicken stew using half white wine and half chicken broth, leeks, carrots, celery, fennel, mushrooms, and a hot pepper I canned last summer.
The crust was a take on a recipe I found on BBC.com.
- 12 oz all-purpouse flour
- 7 oz cold butter, cubed
- 2 lg eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp water
- salt and ground black pepper
To make the pastry, put the flour, butter and a little salt into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and a tablespoon water and mix until a ball of dough is formed.
Turn out onto counter and form into two disks, wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
To assemble, roll out dough, place in pie plate. Fill with cooled filling – it should definitely not be hot – and top with second crust. Crimp and seal well. Brush with egg and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for about 35 minutes.
A bit of a rule of thumb…
If you’re using a pie crust or puff pastry, your filling should be cool to cold to keep the crust from melting before it’s actually cooked.
If you’re using a drop biscuit, you want the filling to be hot so the biscuit starts cooking from the bottom as well as from the top, otherwise, you can end up with a doughy biscuit bottom.