Yesterday at the library we saw one of my son’s classmates. They had a blast playing puppets together and I was sad to have to take him away. However, it was Pi day and we had an important job to do (baking apple pie!). When I told him we had to go he initially protested. Then I reminded him it was Pi day. He ran over to his friend, grabbed her by the shoulders & jumped up and down and enthusiastically said “It’s Pi day!!! The day that we eat pie!!!!!!” I was cracking up. He was so excited!
Clearly, we don’t do treats very often 🙂 Pie is reserved for Thanksgiving and Pi Day. For his birthday, he usually wants the Grazed & Enthused Stromboli and a piece of chocolate. For other occasions, we do some sort of a cooked fruit dish or something involving winter squash. So a legit pie was exciting for him. I have been tinkering with a dough and think I finally perfected it to my liking.
One thing I love about this dough is there is no added starch and no coconut. So many recipes use arrowroot or tapioca starch and I don’t tolerate either one of those very well. I can have them a couple times a year and that’s about it. After discovering I have issues with fructose, I have been staying away from coconut but I’m beginning to tolerate small amount of coconut oil. I was not prepared to try coconut in my pie dough though.
Last year, I found a recipe for pot pie dough from Petra8Paleo which I started working with for my crusts. I’ve been tinkering with it for pie dough, pot pie, pizza dough and have a couple other cooking plans for it as well. I’ve made a few changes and am enjoying having a pie dough to use!
Making The Dough
The dough does need to be made in advance. My only warning is it’s delicious… I may or may not have eaten about 1/4 of it before I got to pie making. It gets gooey and perfect when things are put on top of it as a base crust. Most of the time I only use a top crust for pies. When it comes to pot pie I use a bottom crust & top crust- there’s nothing like an ooey, gooey pot pie…. mmmm…
I have tried a variety of carrot & parsnip combinations. For something sweet, I like 3 medium parsnips and 1 carrots or 4 parsnips and no carrots. For pot pie dough I use equal amounts carrot and parsnip– I like to get the white carrots because I like the color better. This gives me enough dough to make three smaller pies or one big pie. I usually use the 2C glass Pyrex containers and make my pies single serving. A couple times I’ve used a standard size pie pan but I like the way it cooks better in the smaller pan. Plus this dough does tend to fall apart so they’re easier to serve!
After I select my veggie combination I peel and chop them. Usually, I use the “fry” slicer on my mandolin or chop them into small cubes (1/4 inch or smaller). Next, I stick them in my glass roasting pan and throw a generous scoop of leaf lard on the top. Leaf lard is the classic fat for baked goods and it makes all the difference for flavor. You could use any solid cooking fat.
Next, they need cooked, I use a 350-400 degree oven (depending on what else I have cooking in my oven alongside this, the temperature is flexible- you don’t even need to preheat). I don’t bother pre-melting the lard. I stir it all about 5-10 minutes after it’s gone in the oven & the lard has melted. Every 10-15 minutes I give it a good stir and cook until they’re soft (usually 30-45 minutes).
After I remove them from the oven I add a dash of salt and puree with my immersion blender. I taste it a few times to make sure the salt is to my liking. Once it’s all pureed it goes in the fridge overnight (or at least 4 hours to completely cool).
Filling The Pie
For the Pi day pie filling, I used green apples. We chopped 3 green apples and sauteed them low & slow in 4th & Heart Madagascar Vanilla ghee (you could use any other fat you tolerate, though). This ghee is decadent- I could eat it plain. It gave the apples the perfect flavor. We also sprinkled in some Ceylon cinnamon. I let it cool while I started dealing with the cooled dough.
This is also one of our favorite ways to use up leftovers and make our own unique meals. I’ll make the dough & let my family each fill their own pie crust with whatever they’d like for pot pie.
Assembling the Pie
If I make a bottom crust, I break the dough up into balls depending on how many portions I need. Usually, I am making 3 mini-pies so I need 6 portions of dough. For the bottom crust, I make sure the dough balls are a bit larger than the top crust sections. I have tried the traditional method of rolling out the dough & it is FRUSTRATING… everything falls apart when I move it to my containers. It’s just as easy to stick a dough ball in the container and work it with my fingers until it’s just right. This works well with a regular size pie pan too.
Then I fill my base crust or I start putting my ingredients directly in my pie pan. If I’m making pot pie, I usually add a dash of bone broth in as well.
The top crust is fun to play with. The dough is a similar consistency to a sticky play dough so you can get creative with it if you want. Or smoosh it out in your hand and plop it on top. I usually pour a bit of melted ghee or leaf lard very lightly over the top of the dough & sprinkle on some salt or cinnamon depending on what I’m baking.
The pies go in the oven at 350 or 375 (again, depending on what else I was cooking earlier) for about 30 minutes until they’re browned.
Typically we leave them to cool for about 10 minutes before we dig in, they get really hot. They also save extremely well as leftovers.
(AIP, Gaps, Paleo, Top-8 Allergen Free)
Serves: 3 single-serving pies or 1 large pie
Prep Time: 15 minutes (Dough needs to be made in advance & gets put in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours before baking)
Cook Time: 30 minutes on day 1 and 30 minutes on day 2
Veggies- Any combination of parsnips & carrots (For something sweet, I like 3 medium parsnips and 1 carrots or 4 parsnips and no carrots. For pot pie dough I use equal amounts carrot and parsnip)
Lard (or any other solid cooking fat) 2-4 T
Salt to taste
Making the Dough– Can be done up to 3 days in advance
1- Peel & chop veggies. They can be chopped as “fries” or cubes (1/4 inch or smaller).
2- Place veggies in roasting pan with cooking fat.
3- Put pan in oven at 350-400 degrees (temperature is flexible based on what else, if anything, you’re cooking).
4- After 10 minutes give everything a stir to evenly coat in fat.
5- Stir every 10-15 minutes until soft (usually about 45 minutes).
6- Allow to cool slightly & puree with a dash of salt.
7- Refrigerate dough overnight, or at least 4 hours.
Pie Time!! – (We often omit the bottom crust and make a nice, thick top crust)
1- Roll out bottom crust, if using, on a piece of parchment before transferring to the baking dish OR Place a portion of dough in pie pan and form crust directly in baking dish
2- Fill crust with delicious fillings.
3- Have fun making a top crust- the dough is like playdough! Enjoy being creative!!
4- Bake in a 350-375 degree oven (again, temperature is flexible if you’re cooking something else) for 30-45 minutes until browned.