05 January 2012

East Coast Pot Pie

As far as I can tell pot pies are something very American. At least I had never heard of them before when I encountered them all over the American food blogs on Tastespotting. But, oh, did I fall in love!
I'm already a sucker for open pies but top them with a lid of pastry and I'm in heaven. Even more so if they're made in cute little individual pots. Awwww!

So, last week their time had finally come. We had some mushrooms and prawns left over that had to be eaten, and I was in charge of dinner. (Errm, to be honest: I put myself in charge of dinner by chasing everybody who wanted to help out of the kitchen. Everybody being my mum.) Pot pie, here I come (or you, depending on the point of view. But that is beside the point. I'm babbling. Again).

It's not like I've ever been to a beach on the American East Coast (or anywhere on the East Coast, for that matter) but this pie tastes exactly like what I imagine an afternoon there to feel like. It tastes like a fresh breeze with a hint of sea and salt, like summer holidays, long, sunny days, and some lazy hours on the veranda of a pastel-coloured wooden house overlooking the sea. And that's why I named it East Coast Pot Pie. Feel free to give it another name if you wish to do so.

They looked very promising, coming out of the oven, all golden and crusty. But then hacking one's fork into the crust, cracking it open, and being hit by that heavenly smell of the filling... ... oh my god, it was heaven! Grade: A+. Do come again.

East Coast Pot Pie
(Recipe for the crust loosely based on one by Naturally Ella)

75 g/3/4 cup flour (wholewheat or all-purpose)
6 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp curd
2 egg yolks
A generous pinch of salt
A generous pinch of sugar

2 shallots
Half a clove of garlic
8-10 button mushrooms
Half a lemon
180 g/0.5-0.75 cup prawns (cooked)
100 g/0.5 cup feta cheese
A generous glug of white wine
0.5 bunch of dill
Olive oil

First, make the pastry: Put flour, salt and sugar in a food processor (or a blender or whatever). Cut in the butter and pulse until you have a crumbly substance. Put that into a medium bowl, add the curd and the egg yolks, and knead into a smooth dough, adding more butter or flour if necessary. Wrap the dough in cling foil and refridgerate.

Chop the shallots, the mushrooms, and the dill. Mince the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the shallots and garlic until translucent. Turn up the heat, add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt, and fry for another few minutes, then add the prawns. Continue frying until the mushrooms are almost done, then deglaze with a healthy glug of white wine. Squeeze in the lemon juice, then take the pan of the heat, add the dill, crumble in the feta cheese and give it a good stir.

Preheat the oven to 200° C/400° F.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide it into thirds. Take two small pie pots, line each with a third of the pastry, then add half of the filling to each. Make the remaining pastry into two disks, put one on each pot. Now you can either brush the crust with olive oil or forget it like the blithering idiot that I am.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, then serve with some fresh cucumber and a glass of white wine.

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