Pie, pie, pie. It’s all anyone is talking about this time of year. Today I’m talking pie, too. But not just any pie. I’m diverting from the sweet side and heading South to savory to share my FAVORITE recipe: My mother-in-law’s Curry Turkey Pot Pie. And to make it even more special, it’s topped—and bottomed—with a heaven is waiting for this butter crust.
I may start making pies every day of the week because for this wanna be baker, this recipe proved that once you get the basics down, baking pies is really that easy.
The turkey, veggies and creamy filling of the pot pie are the heart of the dish, but the crust is where it finds its soul. And I like me a buttery, flakey soul.
As part of my ongoing partnership with Craftsy online classes, I’m sharing this free downloadable All-Butter Pie Crust recipe that will change the way you think of pie crusts. No cringing. No disasters. Life is good in the pie world now that I’ve seen the light. The online videos definitely made that happen for me.
I’m not really the take a class type of person. I don’t have a lot of extra time in my day so I tend to think I can take shortcuts and get the same answers. But what I LOVE about Craftsy classes is that I truly learn something new and super valuable that improves my cooking every time I take a class. It’s the video that does it. I can set it on the counter while I’m doing the dishes and watch and listen so I know what I’m in for. I’m a visual learner so having someone show me how to do it is going to make a much bigger impression on this almost full to the brim brain of mine.
I’m a bit obsessed with pie baking. Not that I bake many. I don’t. Because I’m intimidated by the crust. Forget that! I’ve been enlightened thanks to the Perfecting Pie Crust class taught by pie expert Evan Kleiman.
I watched the video twice (while doing dishes) before starting on my pie crust making adventure and thank goodness for canned air to blow the flour dust out of my keyboard as I hit rewind a few times, because it was a HUGE help to have Evan on my countertop as I pulsed, rolled and crimped my dough into perfect pie submission.
As with all Craftsy food technique classes you get several lessons within the one class that you can skip to at any point and go back and rewatch later along with downloadable recipes and discussion Q&A’s with the instructor. She shares how to her tips and techniques for making crusts with different types of fat, rolling out the crust, blind-baking, assembling double crusts and whew, pie decorating.
About the Homemade Butter Pie Crust
There was so much I took away from the Craftsy Perfecting Pie Crust class, but here are a few highlights that spoke to me:
One of my favorite anecdotes of Evan’s when it came to rolling out the dough was, “You’re not a steam roller putting out the tarmac on a new road. You’re unfurling a flag.” Well now, that makes sense.
Evan shared her 1-2-3 ingredient ratio that produces a flavorful, perfect crust every time. She doesn’t use cups for measuring, but instead ounces for accuracy.
You want to have chunks of fat in your dough, in this case, butter. And there should be a combination of sizes of butter in the crust. Evan recommends butter chunks in your dry dough in the size of cornmeal, peas, almonds and walnuts. Smooth, small and big for the flakiest texture.
Evan also suggests using baking powder in your dough for extra lift. I’d never fathomed it. So smart and it certainly made a difference.
She uses 9-inch glass baking dishes so she can monitor the browning of the crust. Not as picture pretty, but who cares what your dish looks like when the pie itself steals the show. For a novice baker, I have somehow acquired and ungodly number of pie dishes. Now that I’m a pie maker, I have one for every day of the week.
When I’ve made pie dough in the food processor I’ve added the cold liquid to the bowl of the processor. Not with this recipe. Evan’s video showed me the right way to do it: on the counter. You can see the layers of butter in the light rows of the shaggy dough mixture above.
For butter crusts, use the bench scraper to fold and mix, not your hands so the butter doesn’t melt. Don’t knead your dough or it will make too much gluten and make the crust tough. She also shared her trick for crimping. Bonus: it doesn’t have to be perfect. Music to my ears.
This kitchen accessory will help even the most novice of pie rolling enthusiasts produce a great, rolled crust.
About the Curry Turkey Pot Pie Filling
This is my mother in law’s recipe and is the dish I request whenever she makes me a birthday dinner. She’s a great cook, learning comfort food tips and tricks from her mother and relying on her Southern Arkansas roots.
Of course this is a terrific recipe for leftover Thanksgiving turkey meat, mixing dark and light meat as you desire. But when I go to someone else’s house for T-day dinner and come home minus a turkey doggie bag, I pick up a turkey breast from the store and roast it on it’s own. This is my favorite recipe to do so. It makes for great sandwich meat too.
I prepped my veggies the night before I cooked this meal. I was in the groove and accidentally peeled and diced my potatoes at the same time. Why is this bad? Because potatoes will brown when oxygen hits them so storing them overnight was going to be dicey (pun totally intended). So, I stored one cup of potatoes in a zipclosed bag with water added in, and one cup sealed on its own. You can see the difference above with the left potato grossly oxidized. Drain the water off the potatoes and add to the veggies.
Making a great pot pie isn’t rocket science but it is all about the ratios. The ingredients are basic in every way but how you prep them is what makes them shine. Cut your veggies and turkey at about the same size so they cook evenly and you can get a bite of each with every forkful. If you have a few more carrots than potatoes or a little more onion than celery, that’s perfectly okay. Be fluid. Make it yours.
The aromatic veggies are all cooked in melted butter, which later helps create the cream base when flour is tossed onto them and cooked for a few minutes to lose the flour-y taste. Add the peas frozen straight from the bag, no need for thawing here.
The cream base comes from a combination of chicken broth and half and half. You could substitute whole milk if desired.
The basics are bumped up by adding a few teaspoons—to taste—of curry powder. Besides the salt and pepper, it’s the only spice you need.
This filling makes enough for 2 9-inch pies. I decided to make mini pies in these cute crocks because isn’t everything more fun to eat when mini?
Next time I’m going to make my vents a little bigger in my crust. Because it’s a butter crust everything shows up better when exaggerated. I learned that in my class too!
- *This recipe makes enough filling for two 9-inch pie pans or for one 9 X 13 baking dish. If using 9-inch pie pans, make 2 recipes of the pie dough for 2 pies with a double crust. If using a 9 X 13 pan, one recipe of pie crust will top one single top crust pot pie.
- 12 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 6-8 pieces and frozen in a zip-top bag
- 4-5 ounces ice cold water
- ½ cup Real® butter
- 1½ cup diced onion, about 1 medium onion
- 1 ½ cup diced celery, about 2 stalks
- 1 ½ cup diced carrots, about 2 carrots
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups diced turkey
- 1 cup diced russet potatoes, about 1 medium
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup half and half
- 2-3 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 recipes pie crust (for 2 double crust pies)
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion, celery and carrots for 10-15 minutes until the onions are translucent stirring occasionally so the vegetables don’t brown. Season with salt and pepper and add the turkey, potatoes and the peas and stir to combine. Sprinkle the mixture with flour, stir to combine well and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the flour taste been cooked out. Add the chicken broth and half and half. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and cook until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder to taste. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- To roll out the dough, place one half of the dough on a countertop sprinkled with flour and sprinkle the dough with flour. Rub flour on the rolling pin and rap the dough with the rolling pin 6-8 times to soften it. Flip the dough over, lightly dust it with flour and rap the dough again, this time in the opposite direction.
- Starting from the middle of the dough, roll the dough away from you, giving it a quarter turn after each couple of passes. Flip the dough over and once again roll the dough from the middle outward, giving the dough a quarter turn each time, dusting the flour and the roller as needed.
- If any of the butter breaks through the surface, sprinkle some flour over the exposed area then brush away the excess.
- Roll the dough to a few inches larger than your 9-inch glass pie pan. Gently fold the dough in half and in one movement and lift it off the rolling surface and into the pan. Unfold the dough circle and gently ease it into the pan. Don’t stretch the dough down into the pan or when it heats up in the oven, it will bounce back and shrink.
- Repeat with the other disc of pie dough. Fold and set aside.
- Scoop half of the turkey mixture into the pie pan. Top with the other rolled disc of pie dough. Trip the excess dough handing over the lip of the pan so it is 1 inch beyond the lip. Fold the top and bottom layers of pie dough under one another on the lip of the pie pan, making a big edge. Crimp the edge with the tines of a fork or flute the edge by pinching your knuckle into the middle of the index and middle finger of your opposite hand and repeat along the edges of the crust.
- Cut 3 to 5 vents in the top of the pie, Whisk 1 egg and brush on the top of the pie dough. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
See my other recipes thanks to classes I’ve taken from Craftsy.
This post is sponsored by Craftsy. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own.
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