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Did you have a crawfish boil on Mother’s Day? Do you have leftover crawfish languishing in your refrigerator? Peel those sweet little crustaceans and make some pies. No crawfish in your area? That’s sad, but fret not, these delicious pies can also be made with shrimp. Just cook them first and give them a rough chop and you’re ready to go.

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This is actually one of the first recipes I came up with after starting Little White Apron last spring. However, I was not happy with the crust recipe so I never published the post. Now I have found the best crust recipe, ever. Granted, it makes a lot of crust. A lot of crust. I usually freeze half. The filling recipe will use about half of the dough recipe. Sometimes I have a little filling left and sometimes I have dough left. I have trouble with my filling to dough ratio apparently.

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For the dough: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 3¾ cups (470 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, very cold
  • ¾ cup very cold water

Whisk together flour, and salt in the bottom of a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and place in the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of tiny peas. Gently stir in the water with a rubber spatula, mixing it until a craggy mass forms. Get your hands in the bowl and knead it just two or three times to form a ball. Divide dough roughly in half (it’s okay if one is slightly larger). Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten a bit, like a disc. Chill in fridge for at least an hour or up to two days or slip plastic-wrapped dough into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 to 2 months. To defrost, leave in fridge for 1 day.

For the filling:

  • 1 pound Louisiana crawfish, cooked and peeled (see notes)
  • 4 T butter
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped finely
  • ½ large onion, chopped finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup crushed canned tomatoes
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken stock or white wine
  • 2-6 dashes Tabasco
  • 1 T worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, scrambled mixed with 1 T water

In a large skillet or straight sided sauté pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Cook bell pepper, onion and garlic in butter until vegetables are soft, but not browned. Add salt, cayenne and tomatoes. Cook about 10 minutes until tomatoes have thickened slightly. Mix cornstarch in stock or wine. Add to tomato mixture and cook over medium-high heat until liquid has thickened. Add tabasco and worcestershire. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add crawfish to mixture and cook until crawfish are heated through. Remove to a bowl, cover and set in the refrigerator to cool. Can be made a day ahead.

Assembly:

After filing and dough have been thoroughly chilled, remove from refrigerator and let rest at room temperature 10-15 minutes. Place dough, one disc at a time, out onto a lightly floured counter and roll to a 1/8″ thickness. To make dinner-sized pies, I used a 6″ plate as my guide. Cut as many pastry circles as will fit. You can use the scraps piecing them together with a ¼” overlap, then roll out, covering holes with scraps as needed. Working with one circle at a time, roll each one out in the middle slightly to form a slightly oblong circle. Place ¼ cup of filing onto center of pastry circle. Brush edges with egg wash and fold to seal, being careful to squeeze out most of the air. Crimp with a fork. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. After all pies are formed, place baking sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour to re-chill dough. Just before baking, brush remaining egg wash over pies.

Preheat oven to 350˚. Bake pies in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes until dough is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

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Notes:

  • For the love of all things holy, please use LOUISIANA crawfish. If you can’t find Louisiana crawfish, use shrimp. Do NOT use Chinese crawfish. There is no telling what’s in those things.
  • If you’re using shrimp, you can cook them in the butter before you add the vegetables. Just make sure you give them a rough chop before so they’re the right size.
  • You can also make mini crawfish pies. Instead of a 6″ round, use a 3″ biscuit cutter or glass with a 3″ opening. Spoon 1 Tablespoon filing into dough and proceed as directed. Baking times might be slightly shorter so keep an eye on them.

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This is what they looked like before they became pies. They were delicious both ways.

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