Let me just say this one thing first- I MADE SHORT-CRUST PASTRY FROM SCRATCH AND IT TURNED OUT FINEEEE!! YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!! *Jumping up and down*
Okay. Now that this is out of my system, we can proceed………
Yes, finally I got brave enough to make my own pastry crust and I am ecstatic that it turned out to be so perfect. Mind you, it wasn’t a smooth journey. There were a lot of obstacles and there was a lot of self-doubting. From the moment I took out the flour packet from the shelf in the kitchen, till the time when my pie was baking away in the oven and I was sitting cross-legged in front of it, praying that the pastry doesn’t shrink or my dough plaits don’t expand or the filling doesn’t break the surface bubbling up, IT WAS AN INTENSE RIDE….but….. I did it!
I wanted to try my hand at making a decorative pie-crust this time (I blame Instagram) and that was the reason I wanted a big batch of dough for the job. As it was my first time doing the fancy crust, I knew I’d be pretty bad at it. So I wanted to make sure that I had lots of extra dough handy, that gives me room to fail and try again. Let’s face it, buying multiple ready-to-use pastry sheets would have been expensive and thus, making my own dough made a lot of sense. So, I decided to dive straight into the deep end.
I was a nervous wreck throughout. First of all, my blender which specifically has a symbol of whisk painted on one of its buttons, proved to be utterly useless when I tried getting my pie-dough together in it. It somehow got the dough to a halfway stage, where it was neither completely dry flour nor similar to being solid dough like. So I had to scoop it all into a large bowl to finish it with my hands. This was not even the toughest part. Toughest bit was when I started to roll our my dough to assemble the pie……..
Now, we all know that there is a lot of butter in the shortcrust pastry. The reason why all the ingredients have to be super-cold is that the minute the butter in your pastry starts coming to room temperature, your dough gets very very crumbly and impossible to work with. I mean, you see the braided dough strings in the pictures? They would literally be cold and sturdy when I’d start braiding them at top and by the time I’d reach the bottom, butter woudl have started melting due to heat from my hands and the dough would start falling apart. You have to be very very quick and careful while working with this pastry dough. I somehow managed but could not go decorate the pie crust with the design I had in mind. I just decorated as per whatever ideas kept popping in my mind.
So, to sum up- it is not too easy but if I can do it folks, anyone can! 😉
The filling is a standard, creamy one with chicken and lots of veggies that is perfect comfort food for Saturday night. This is a pretty heavy meal and we just had a portion each of this pie with some salad and glass of wine. Also, I made a single-crust pie as the double-crusted would have been all the more heavy on our stomach but this recipe yields more than enough dough for you to make a perfect double-crust chicken pot pie!
Try it friends and have a great week up ahead! xx
For the short-crust pastry-
- 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (around 225 grams) of unsalted butter, chilled and cut in cubes
- 1 tbsn sugar
- A pinch of salt
- Around 1/4th cup of ice-cold water
For the chicken and vegetable filling-
- 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- 1 tbsn fresh minced garlic
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup steamed green peas
- 2 tbsn plain flour
- 1/2 cup light cream/milk
- 2 tbsn olive oil
- 1 tbsn butter
- 1 tsp dry Italian herbs
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 beaten egg, for brushing over the pastry
- To make your short-crust dough, transfer the flour, sugar and salt in your food processor and give a dry pulse for a few seconds so that all the ingredients are well combined. Please take note that you can do this entire process with your hands, in a bowl too.
- Throw in your chilled butter cubes and pulse again for around 10 seconds till you end up with a course, crumbly flour and butter cubes are nowhere to be seen except for maybe a few big chunks (that’s fine).
- Next, pour in your ice-cold water and pulse just until you see the clumps of flour being formed together. It should be scattered still but when you take a small portion between your thumb and index finger, it should hold its shape nicely and not fall apart. That’s how you know that it’s ready! If it still looks dry, sprinkle a little more cold water till you achieve that perfect consistency.
- Empty the contents of your food processor onto your clean kitchen counter and with light hands, gather the whole dough into a ball. Do not knead it into a smooth dough. Just gather together and shape it into a ball. If your dough has turned out right, then this should happen very easily.
- Wrap snugly in a cling-film and keep to chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- In the meanwhile, prepare your creamy chicken and vegetable filling! In a sauce-pan, heat your oil and butter.
- Add your chopped carrots first as they take the longest time to get cooked. Fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add your minced garlic along with the chopped onions and cook till they turn pink and translucent.
- Throw in the diced mushrooms and cook for further 1-2 minutes till they shrink and their water mostly evaporates.
- Add the flour, salt, Italian seasoning and black pepper. Cook for around 2-3 minutes, till the raw aroma of flour goes away. Flour is to thicken our filling.
- Turn the flame on low, pour in the cream/milk and stir continuously with a spatula or a whisk till there are no lumps of flour remaining. You should get a smooth and creamy white sauce.
- Now add the steamed peas and shredded chicken. Mix well and simmer for another couple of minutes, before turning off the flame.
- Set the delicious filling aside to cool completely.
- Time to assemble the pie- Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator and with a knife, cut it into two equal parts. Wrap one part again in a cling film and keep it back in the refrigerator to chill.
- Take the second part and sprinkling some flour on the kitchen counter as well as all over the dough-ball, roll carefully in a circle with the help of a rolling pin. The circle shouldn’t be too think or too thick. If your dough is of the right texture, it should roll easily and not crumble.
- Keep your round baking tin inverted on top of the rolled out dough and leaving a space of 1-2 inches all around it, cut a circle around it with a knife.
- Place the baking tin back on the counter and transfer your cooled chicken filling inside it .
- Very carefully and gently, pick up your rolled dough sheet and place on top of the baking tin as a cover. With your fingers, seal the dough all around the rim.
- With a pastry brush, brush your egg-wash all over your pie crust.
- Now, take the second dough ball out of the refrigerator and roll in a circular sheet in the similar manner.
- With a knife, cut it vertically into 2 halves.
- Cut one part of the rolled out sheet in thin, long strips and working quickly your hands, make three braids to decorate the top. Make sure that the ends are sealed and the knots are snug and close together so that they don’t loosen up or split open while baking. Set aside.
- Taking a heart-shaped cookie-cutter, cut multiple hearts from the second half of the dough-sheet.
- Place your braids on top of your pie crust at some distance from each other and again, gently seal the ends on the rim of the tin.
- Place the heart shapes anywhere between the braids and press gently so that they are well-set.
- Finally, brush egg-wash all over the decorated pie-crust one last time.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until you see the crust is the cooked beautifully and is golden-brown all over its surface.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
This is my entry for this week’s FoodieMonday Bloghop! The theme for the week was- Edible Food Art! ❤