Week 6 - Pot Pies a-Plenty
by Lynley Jones
Pot Pies for All
This week, we continue our love affair with pot pies. And now, it's getting serious. Individual beef and mushroom pies. One for each of us. Really.
I designed this recipe so you could serve these pies standing on their own, removed from their tins. This presentation recalls the pies served in Medieval times, each in its own beautiful container made just of pastry. The experts cannot agree on whether these intricately-designed pastry containers were meant to be eaten or merely serve as a container for the filling. They were most often made of a hot water crust rather than our cold Pâte Brisée, so they were certainly not as light and flaky as ours.
For more information on authentic Medieval cooking and recipes, check out Historicfood.com, the website of European culinary historian Ivan Day.
How To Do It
Our pies this week are not nearly as elaborate as the Medieval version, but there is still something special about sitting down to a meal with a pie of your very own to eat.
Don't let them intimidate you. You'll make the filling, then fill the pies and bake them. Take your time - you can even make the filling a day or two ahead, then fill and bake the pies on the day you are ready to serve them.
For this recipe we use our standard Pâte Brisée recipe for the crust. With the help of 4-inch springform pans (like the ones we used for quiche and B'Stilla, only smaller), we can make individual pies, brought to the table without a container. If you don't have these, you can use a ceramic ramekin and simply top it with a pastry crust. Or you can just use a 2-quart baking dish to make one large pie instead of small ones, like we did for Chicken Pot Pie last week.
Pictures From Cooking Class
Each week, I am honored to bring all this sophisticated deliciousness to local public school children. Check out the pictures from these cooking classes below.
Bullock School, Montclair NJ