A classic New Orleans dinner pie made with crawfish tails and spice.
For the Crust:
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cold buttermilk
For the Filling:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 heaping cup)
- ½ cup diced green bell pepper
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 pound package Louisiana crawfish, thawed (don’t drain, we’ll use the juice)
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- ½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 ½ teaspoon Tony Cachere’s (or Old Bay) seasoning
- Black pepper, kosher salt, red pepper flakes, white pepper to taste
- 1 large egg, beaten for egg wash
- To make the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, grated butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes.
- Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in 1/2 cup cold buttermilk. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. Add more water if necessary. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. If you find the dough needs more moisture, add a tablespoon more. Press and knead the dough into a disk.
- Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- To make the filling, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until they start to soften. Add the garlic, give it a quick stir, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, being very careful not to let the garlic burn.
- Add the milk and crawfish tails (along with any liquid that came out of the bag). Give a gentle stir, being careful not to over mix the crawfish tails (as you risk breaking them up). Add the parsley, green onions, breadcrumbs, Tony Cachere’s or Old Bay seasoning, and salt and peppers to taste; bear in mind that the blend of all four is important to round out the seasoning
- Cook for 5 minutes until the entire mixture is warm. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Keep in mind the seasoning doesn’t change while the pie is cooking, so you want to have plenty of flavor at this point. Turn the heat off and cover the mixture while you start on the crust.
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375° F. On a well-floured surface, roll one of the disks of dough to about 1/8-inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a 9-inch to 11-inch pie pan. Trim the edge almost even with the edge of the pan. Prick with the tines of a fork a few times all over.
- Spray one side of a piece of foil with nonstick cooking spray and place, greased side down, onto the bottom crust. Fill with dry beans or pie weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until just golden brown. Lower the heat to 350° F.
- Spoon filling into the pie crust. Roll out the other disk of dough in the same manner as the first and lay it carefully over the filling, crimping the edges with a fork to seal the top and bottom crusts. Prick pie with tines of a fork a few times so steam can escape while baking. Brush the top of the pie with the egg white and water mixture and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. If your crust starts to turn brown too quickly, remove it from the oven and cover with aluminum foil, then return it to the oven.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with a green salad and crisp white wine.
• This recipe calls for a par baked bottom crust. If that feels very fussy to you, you can skip this step but you will have a softer crust bottom for your final pie.
• Par baking often creates a slightly sunken bottom crust no matter how hard you try to fight it. A tip: really fill the unbaked crust to the very brim with dried beans or pie weights. And if your crust still sags a bit, don’t worry much about it and place the top crust over the edge of the pie pan without connecting it to the bottom crust. This is one of those rustic but incredibly delicious pies.
Keywords: crawfish, pie, louisiana, southern, savory pie, joy the baker, new orleans,