Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mushroom Pot Pie with 3 Ingredient Crust

Pot pie is one of my favorite comfort foods. This meatless version is features a tender crust, nourishing vegetables, and a rich gravy. 

Pot pie is a simple dish, consisting of two parts: a stew and a crust.

You can use any kind of stew that you like. In this recipe, I'm using a mushroom stew.

Pie crust is an art. My recipe calls for only 2 ingredients and a little water. A remarkable pie crust takes a bit of practice, but is a skill worth acquiring. 

For a vegan version, use a vegan butter substitute in the crust.

1/4 cup olive oil
6 carrots, sliced
1 potato, cubed
1 onion, diced
1 pint mushrooms, sliced
pinch of salt
1/4 cup flour
1-2 vegetable bouillon cubes or soup base to taste
approximately 2 cups water
1 bag frozen peas

Heat oil in a large pot. Cook carrots, potato, onion, and mushrooms till tender. 

Sprinkle vegetables with flour. Cook and stir over high heat for 2 minutes. 

Add bouillon cubes or soup base. Slowly stir in enough water to make a gravy. 

Cook and stir until gravy is thick and bubbly. 

Stir in peas. Remove from heat. Set aside. 

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter or substitute
1/4 to 1/2 cup water, or as needed

The key to a good pie crust is cold butter. Real butter is quite hard, which makes for a fine crumb and a tender crust. Substitutes tend to be softer, resulting in a pastier crust. If possible, you may prefer a stick form over a tub, or chill it in the freezer before beginning. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, mash butter into flour with tips of fingers, pastry cutter, 2 butter knives, or a fork. Continue mashing until fine crumbs form. These tiny chunks of butter will melt in the oven, creating flaky, buttery layers. Avoid using the whole hand, as the heat will melt the butter.

Add in water, 1 TBS at a time. Gently stir until a soft ball just begins to form. 

Turn out onto lightly floured surface.  Remove 1/4 of dough for top crust. If kitchen is warm, place in the refrigerator. Roll remaining dough out to the general shape or the dish, slightly larger than the diameter. Do not overwork the dough. Rolling it out twice or more will result in a tough, cracker-like consistency. 


Fold dough gently into quarters. Lift and place in the dish. Unfold. Press dough into bottom and sides of pan gently. If you have cracks or gaps, pinch the dough closed, remove excess dough from upper edges, and replace to fill gaps. Prick with a fork a few times. This crust does not have to be pretty. It won't show on the final pie. 

Prebake crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Dough should be firm, but not browned. 

Pour filling into pie. Roll out top crust. Place on top of filling. Score with a sharp knife to vent. 

Bake 15-20 minutes until top crust is golden brown. 

Cool 20 minutes. Serve hot and steamy. 

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