"No, Kitty - this is MY pot pie!"
~ Eric Cartman, South Park
Happy Pi Day!
I love pie. Who doesn't? One of the things (if not THE thing) I like the most about pie is the crust. I also love cookies, and I believe a great pie crust is just a huge cookie surrounding whatever delicious filling is inside (for pot pies, I still adhere to my cookie ideal, I just like a more savory cookie in that instance).
As you know, Nick and I try to eat more Paleo when we can. This means NO PIE CRUST! Or does it? You can make a lot of things without grain or processed sugar (two big things to avoid on the Paleo diet), but while they are technically following the Paleo ingredient rules, they still are a very big treat and shouldn't just be "Paleo replacements" for things that really aren't good for you in the first place. Pie crust is an example here. A delicious one. Since it's a special day, we get a special treat.
While I didn't use a recipe for the pot pie filling (you really can just throw any bite sized things together in a dish and add some gravy), I got the crust recipe here (the recipe for the filling in this one does sound delicious though).
I took veggies from our Tuesday night, early St. Patrick's Day corned beef meal (not the one I brined myself - that's still chilling in the fridge) and cubed them, and put the cooking broth from the corned beef on the stove to reduce:
I placed the veggies in a casserole dish (I like a higher crust-to-filling ratio) and then cut up some cooked chicken to toss in there as well:
I also (of course) simply had to make a round (Pi Day!) version:
Here are all the ingredients you need for a delicious (special treat) Paleo-friendly pie crust - Almond flour, salt, an egg, and butter. The Matryoshka doll measuring cups (thanks again, Jing!) are just fun (I used the spoons too, but forgot to include them in the picture).
After mixing all the crust ingredients together, I patted the dough out onto a silicone mat, into the shape of the casserole dish I was using. The mixture is pretty moist, so rolling isn't really a good option. The silicone mat was great, because when I had my desired shape, I simply took the whole mat and inverted it over the casserole dish, then peeled the mat away.
Same went for the traditional pie pan: form, lift ...
… flip, peel!
I have to note that in my excitement about the pie crust, I totally forgot to add my reduced (and thickened with some arrowroot powder and water) broth! I had to lift some crust from each pie and pour the gravy in, then mash the crust back together on top of the pies. With not much effort, you can spot where I had to break the crusts. I didn't care - I knew they'd still taste delicious!
Here they are out of the oven:
The crust was absolutely delicious. It reminded me of how frozen pot pies were back in the day, when they used a more cornmeal-type crust. I can honestly say that I can make this crust for pot pies for the rest of my life and never miss the old flour ones. I am SO happy I tried this recipe. I'm going to stop writing now because I have pie to eat. Happy, happy, happy (.14) Pi Day!
Blanched Almond Meal Flour, 5 lb. (Amazon)
Honeyville Farms Almond Meal (Honeyville Site)
Arrowroot Powder Organic - Manihot Esculenta, 1 lb,(Starwest Botanicals)
Fred M Cup Measuring Matroyshkas, Set of 6 Dry Measuring Cups
Fred & Friends M-Spoons Measuring Spoons
Matfer 321005 Exopat 11-5/8-by-16-3/8-Inch Nonstick Baking Mat
The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet