Wind, rain and pies…

by Sunita on July 7, 2008

After a weekend of tennis overdose, it’s time to start another new week…hope you all had a great start to it. We were greeted by howling winds and lashing rain. At times, the sun does seem to peek out of nowhere for a few seconds…probably reassuring us of it’s existence. Sonny boy was not in the highest of spirits today, has come down with a slight cold, but, was raring to go back to school. They’ve still got a couple of weeks to go before breaking up for the summer holidays…really looking forward to it!

But, now , the best part. I had made a few mini pot pies quite some time ago ( make that 3-4 months).

A pot pie is a type of baked savory pie with a bottom and top completely encased by flakey crusts and baked inside a pie tin to support its shape (more here). But, although enjoyed long ago, I still remember the way in which we relished them and how much joy they gave us. In fact I thought that I had posted them and have been ransacking the archives to revisit them…seems almost criminal not to have shared them. The brain does seem to be playing tricks nowadays…I must be getting old :-(

While grazing around, I also found this interesting bit on pastry, and I quote…

Today pastry is a form of dough which can be made using a variety of different ingredients. However the main ones seem to be flour, butter, shortening, eggs as well as baking powder and will then be used to make a variety of different dishes.

In most cases today pastry will be rolled out using a rolling pin in order to be the base for a variety of different baked foods including pies, tarts and quiches. So in order for a person to make perfect pastry they must time the time to blend the ingredients correctly. It is important that the flour and fat are mixed together thoroughly before any liquid is added. By doing this it will ensure that the flour coats the fat adequately and prevent the production of gluten which can cause the pastry to become tough as it cooks.

But pastry has been around for many centuries now and was originally used by those living in the Mediterranean regions of Europe during ancient times. However it was until the crusaders began to return home from the wars that pastry begun to become much more popular in the Western parts of Europe including Britain. But as well as the people of the Mediterranean using pastry in their cooking there is strong evidence to show it was also being used by Egyptians, Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans as well.(more here)

I usually try to keep away from the butter in most of my pastries. The pastry for these pies were olive oil based and did come out quite nice.

Now, before the brain plays havoc again, here’s the recipe for the pot pies…

What’s needed-
For the crust-

2 and 1/2C of whole wheat (chappati) flour
1/4 C chilled water(more or less)
7 tblsp of plain yogurt
1 tsp salt
6 tblsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tblsp of dried rosemary
1 egg, beaten

For the filling-
3/4 of a medium sized butternut squash, chopped, boiled and peeled
1 C peas
5-6 spring onions, chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 stalks of asparagus, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp each of dried rosemary and sage
1/2 tsp crushed red chillies
1/2 tsp sugar
a few raisins
2 tblsp of olive oil
100 gms of grated cheddar cheese

How to-

  1. Mix together the flour, salt and rosemary.
  2. Add the yogurt and oil and rub in.
  3. Add the water, a little at a time and knead very lightly to make a dough ( you may need slightly more or less water, just add enough to form a soft and smooth ball of dough.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
  5. Meanwhile, make the filling…heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds.
  6. When the seeds splutter, add the peas, spring onions,ginger, garlic and asparagus and fry for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the squash, roughly crumbling it, along with the salt, pepper,chilli, rosemary, sage and sugar.
  8. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Keep aside and cool completely( a hot filling makes for a soggy crust).

  9. Pre heat the oven at 200 deg C.
  10. Divide the dough into five portions.Roll out each portion into about 2mm in thickness and line the bottom and sides of mini tart pans of 4 and 1/2 inches. Trim the edges and keep aside the trimmings.
  11. Prick all over gently with afork and bake in the centre of the pre heated oven for approximately 10-12 minutes or till lightly browned, and keep aside to cool If it puffs up while baking, gently press it down.
  12. With the trimmings, roll out some 4 and 1/2 inch discs and make a4 intersecting cuts in the centre.
  13. Fill the crusts in mounds, with the butternut squash mixture and sprinkle some cheese over it.
  14. Brush the sides and of the crust with the egg and cover them each with a disc, taking care to seal. Brush the tops with the rest of the egg…

    and bake in the centre of the oven (200 deg C) for about 20-25 minutes or till nicely browned and bubbly.

  15. Cool in the pan for a minute and remove to a rack to cool completely if saving for later. Reheat before serving.

Apart from the ones in the pans, I also made a couple of free form(not made in a pan) pies. So you need not fret if you do not have the pans :-P . I rolled out the dough into 4- 4 and 1/2 inch discs, pricked them all over with a fork and baked them on a lined tray till very lightly browned and cooled them. The filling was placed in mounds in the centre,sprinkled with cheese, the edges brushed with beaten egg, covered with another disc with cuts like in the other tarts and the edges sealed with a fork; they were then brushed with egg ; I also cut out small leaves with the tiny bits of leftover dough and stuck them onto the lid…not seen in the following picture, though :-( .

They were then baked till nicely browned and bubbly. They came out equally nice…so not having the pans should not be a reason, but the filling has to be a dry one.

I can vividly remember how crazy we all were about these cute pies…great for a snack, and along with some salad makes for nice meal too. They can also be packed for picnics and lunchboxes. These are very versatile too and is quite forgiving with various fillings.

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SMN July 7, 2008 at 12:06 pm

hey Sunita first one to comment. loved the shape of the pie really nice one..
i was so upset the way fedex played.. didnt see the match after the second set:(


2 sunita July 7, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Thanks…we did love them a lot…as for the match, I felt that both of them played like true champs :-)


3 Asha July 7, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Chicken pot pies are our fave, we have it for dinner atleast once a month. Looks fab Sunita!:)
We had rain too as I wrote on the 4th of July. It poured and then stopped before the fireworks.Posted videos! We had a fun and a very busy weekend!:)
I saw highlights of Nadal winning, didn’t have the time to watch!:)


4 arundati July 7, 2008 at 1:57 pm

the pies look fab and the pictures are simply beautiful….its interesting to make the dough with yogurt and olive oil…this is being bookmarked….as for the match….Rafael played like a champion…but federrer has made us so used to seeing him win, it was difficult to accept!!


5 JZ @ Tasty treats July 7, 2008 at 2:38 pm

ooh yummy!! the mini pot-pies look delicious, sunita! and the vents are also creative :-) they look like pouted lips of the lil pot pies :-)

it was super-duper hot in MN, esp yesterday (almost 100F)!! lucky you! ;-) Hope ur son is doing better..


6 jj July 7, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Your pot pie looks fantastic! We’re getting depressing rain again in my neck of the woods and something like this sound great for a dreary day!


7 Dee July 7, 2008 at 4:43 pm

love the potpies you have made sunita, we make individual ones , but rarely…. Rafael is great!!! Well my vote was for rafael and K’s was for federer… we didnt see the match , but checked on it now on then…


8 Cham July 7, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Love the indivual size of pie :) They are cute and yummy


9 sunita July 7, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Thanks…will check out your videos :-)

Thnks…so give them a try…yes, everyone’s got used to F’s winning streaks :-)


10 sunita July 7, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Thanks…pouting lips,hmmm :-P …the rains have toned down the weather a bit…Agastya isn’t doing very badly, thank you :-)

Thanks…it’s been raining on and off the whole day today, here as well :-)


11 sunita July 7, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Thanks…as for the match, me and Dinesh were divided exactly like you…and we didn’t get to watch the match at a stretch as well…did so only in the third set, after the kiddos were tucked away in bed…before that, the little guy was too busy in front of the telly, imitating shots…even glued two bits of paper round his wrists as wristbands :-P

Thanks…we did love them :-)


12 Usha July 7, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Hi Sunita,this looks yummy,There is a surprise for you at my blog,please check it out.


13 Medhaa July 7, 2008 at 10:04 pm

these look delicious, bookmarked. love the pictures


14 TBC July 7, 2008 at 10:41 pm

I used to follow tennis and the W championships very closely when I lived in India. Sadly, not anymore!

I’ve never tried my hand at making any kind of pie. You are a fabulous baker, Sunita!


15 A&N July 7, 2008 at 11:45 pm

Gorgeous. That is all I can say.

Also, I’m J!


16 delhibelle July 8, 2008 at 2:04 am

Thoroughly enjoyable match, truly a clash of the titans!
Your pics are as gorgeous as ever:P


17 Ben July 8, 2008 at 2:28 am

I love potpies, and the fillings you chose look really good. It’s making me hungry.


18 Mona July 8, 2008 at 2:59 am

Sunita, that looks so good, and yummy! Your family might be enjoying devouring upon them dear!


19 Rachel July 8, 2008 at 3:36 am

ur veg pot pies look make it sound so easy….I would have never thought of butternut squash…great…it’s been ages since I made one….it’s time I guess :)


20 Maheswari July 8, 2008 at 3:36 am

That’s a perfect looking pot pie.Was planning to make chicken pot pie this week.Yours looks delicious.Filling YUM


21 Jyothsna July 8, 2008 at 9:26 am

Pie and butternut squash…wow! That does look delicious!


22 Richa July 8, 2008 at 12:34 pm

yes, it was such a thrilling final :)
ur pot pies look adorable, Sunita!


23 Trupti July 8, 2008 at 2:07 pm

I also enjoyed the match.
wow Sunita. pies looks very delicious and as usual nice photos.


24 Sia July 8, 2008 at 3:05 pm

gorgeous one suni…
and talking abt weather and wimbledon i am so sad and dissapointed. more cos roger lost :( (


25 Sia July 8, 2008 at 3:06 pm

but what a match it was… my heart still starts to beat fast just thinking abt it :)


26 Aparna July 8, 2008 at 6:01 pm

These are so beautiful, Sunita.g I tried making them once but they were nowhere near this good.


27 ttfn300 July 8, 2008 at 6:17 pm

these look fabulous!! and that match! I picked it up at the end of the 2nd set, and kept saying “I’ll go to work after this set”… needless to say i didn’t get there until quite late–oh well, it was worth it :) I must say while I have no problems with federer, i want pete to have his records!!


28 Sireesha July 8, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Pies look delicious, bookmarked it. Pics are drooling…


29 pritya July 9, 2008 at 12:42 am

Hi Sunita, That looks groovy. Looks like a grand recipe and needs an occassion. I am going to make it for my daughter’s homecoming next week…without the eggs. I think it will turn out great. if you have any tips for the eggless version, kindly share. Congratulations on a fabulous post.


30 sunita July 9, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Thanks for thinking of me :-)

Thanks…do give it a try :-)

Thanks..We’ve got to watch it after a long time…with two kid’s vying for attention, it’s hard to keep glued to the match :-P

Thanks :-)

It was, wasn’t it ?…thanks :-)


31 sunita July 9, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Thanks…we did enjoy them a lot :-)

Thanks yes, we did love them a lot…actually fell short :-)

Thanks…well they aren’t that complicated at all…I’m sure you’ll do a wonderful job with them :-)

Thanks…will look forward to your version :-)

Thanks :-)


32 sunita July 9, 2008 at 9:16 pm

It was exciting, wasn’t it ? Thanks :-)

Thanks :-)

yes, the match was nailbiting..and as much as I like roger, I felt that he had handed over the trophy to a very worthy successor :-)

Thanks…btw, I’m sure you must have done a good job as well :-)


33 sunita July 9, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Yes, it was a very gripping match indeed :-)

Thanks…do give it a try sometime :-)

Thank you…as for the eggs, they really give a wonderful glaze…but you could try that with some milk instead…hope this helps :-)


34 mimi July 10, 2008 at 12:37 am

i hope you were rooting for rafa! what an amazing match!

and these pies look absolutely scrumptious, i love pot pies, love them! i’m definitely marking this one to try out when fall arrives.


35 Miri July 14, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Can you imagine, I had a pot pie in a restaurant once (which prides itself on its authentic Continental cuisine – whatever that means) and has branches in different cities) and the pie didnt have ANY pastry – just the filling on a plate!!!!!

Your pies look scrumptious, thanks for the authentic recipe!


36 Suganya July 16, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Sunita, I made this for lunch yesterday. Absolutely delicious. Quite filling that I skipped making salad. My crust didn’t come out as flaky as yours (I took great care not to overmix). But I guess with practice, it will be a cinch. Thank you for yet another winning recipe.


37 Namratha July 17, 2008 at 1:10 am

Sunita, you are having me drooling so much that I got to make this pot pie as soon as I can! Looks perfect! :)


38 sunita August 20, 2008 at 8:59 am

I like them both, but yes, probably a bit more for R.

…do give the pies a try :-)

I fine the word ‘authentic’, a bit scary, to be honest.

you’re most welcome sweetie…glad you liked it :-)

Thanks…do give it a try :-)


39 Anjali September 4, 2008 at 11:12 am

Sunita, what’s butternut squash? Is there an Indian substitute I can use? Thanks, Anjali


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