Daring Baker - October 2013: Savory Pot Pies

Hannah of Rise and Shine was our October 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to bake our own double crusted savory pot pies. Using any from-scratch crust and filling we choose, we were allowed to get completely creative with our recipe, showing off the savory flavors and fillings from our own home or region.

Some food is really delicious, though not "pretty", which doesn't always make it the first choice when you have a food blog, unfortunatly I would said, because I love stews for instance, but you can't really make it look gorgeous, unless you're a professional, which I'm not.

This pot pie, kind of belongs to that category, it was scrumptious, tasty, great to warm you up on a colder evening, but I couldn't make it look as good as it tasted. Nevertheless you should try this one, it has been a big hit around here.

I but down the original recipe, mine was slighty adapted, I didn't have any chicken, but I used mushroom instead (in the quattro stagioni spirit) aswell as a bit of salami/pepperoni, just because I like it! Substituted the spinach with basil and provolone with gorgonzola. The dough got a bit too thin in some places and opened up during cooking, it was still delicious!

Mediterranean Pizza Pot Pie:

Servings: about 8 (one 10 inch (25 cm) pie)

Tender Pizza Pot Pie Crust:
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (¾ oz) (21 gm) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) warm water
1/2 teaspoon (3 gm) salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) (7 ½ oz) (210 gm) bread flour, plus more for dusting

Creamy Garlic Gravy:
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1-2/3 oz) (45 ml) butter
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1 oz) (26 gm) flour
1 cup (240 ml) milk (I use 2 percent)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup (120 ml) (1½ oz) (45 gm) shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 cups (500 ml) (280gm) (10 oz) cooked chicken, chopped
1 small onion, sliced into thin wedges
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup (120 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) shredded provolone cheese
1/2 cup (120 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup (120 ml) (½ oz) (15 gm) tightly packed fresh spinach leaves, slivered
4 medium-large artichoke hearts, diced
1/3 cup (80 ml) (2 oz) (60 gm) kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh oregano leaves
Pinch of salt, black pepper, dried oregano (for topping)


1. Mix together yeast, sugar and warm water in a medium bowl. Let it rest several minutes until foamy.
2. Add salt, oil and up to 1 1/2 cups of bread flour, one half cup at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon until the dough picks up most of the flour and pulls together in a wad around the spoon. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
3. Sprinkle the dough with flour and knead for several minutes or until the dough is smooth and not sticking badly to clean hands as you knead (add sprinkles of flour as you knead until the stickiness subsides).
4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator overnight or prepare dough in the morning and leave it in the fridge until dinner. An hour before you start prepping the pizza, punch down the dough in the bowl. Leave it in the bowl to rest at room temperature for an hour.
5. Melt your butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle flour over the butter and whisk together. Cook for a short minute as it bubbles, then pour in the milk. Whisk and bring it to boil, then stir in salt, pepper and garlic. Whisk until it’s as thick as honey, which should take about a minute. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese. Set aside while you prepare the components for your filling.
6. Preheat the oven to hot 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.
7. Lightly grease a 10-inch (25-cm) cast iron skillet or similar sized baking dish. Roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface with flour sprinkled on the top of the dough, so it spreads six inches beyond the edges of your pan on all sides. You will need plenty of flour under the dough and on the top surface to keep it from sticking to itself and the counter. Lay the dough into your pan, without pulling it, so it fits into the pan with the extra dough hanging over the edges. Repair any holes that may have appeared.
8. In a large bowl, stir together the garlic sauce and filling, reserving the salt, pepper and dried oregano for the top of the crust. Pile all of the filling into your pan.
9. Wrap the dough up over the top of the filling. Seal tightly in the middle by pinching the dough together. Using kitchen scissors, snip away any large sections of excess dough. Sprinkle a bit of salt, pepper and dried oregano onto the top of the dough.
10. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the lower third of your oven, until the crust is golden brown. Serve immediately while warm.


Swiss Apple Pie

They say "time flies when you're having fun", well apparently it also rushes by when you're really busy. I can't believe we're in October already, that I'm getting christmas toys catalogues in the mail and the annual letter for paying the rest of my taxes (yeah, it's all about the fun, isn't it). I feel like I'm talking like my grandma, complaining about the world spinning around way too fast.

So let's dig into on of my grandma's book for the sunday family lunch, maybe it will help us slow down things a bit, or take us back in time. This is a swiss apple pie, original name: Zürcher Pfarrhaustorte (gesundheit!) for those of you who want to practise some swiss-german food vocabulary. The picture in the book looked good, the pie tasted even better, what else do we need. Let's go for a slice of old-fashioned apple pie.

Swiss Apple Pie (From Betti Bossi)

For a 27cm pie dish

for the crust
250gr Flour
25gr Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Salt
125gr Butter
1 Egg
2-3 Tablespoon Cream

for the filling
150gr Ground Almonds
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
100gr Sugar
5-6 Apples
1 Lemon, juiced
2 Tablespoon of Jam (Raspberry)

Start with the pie crust: In bowl, mix the flour, the sugar and the salt. Cut the butter into little cubes and add to the bowl. Using your hand rub the butter into the flour mixture.

When well combined, add the egg and the cream. Using a wooden spoon try to make it into a dough without working it too much. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Now we can work on the filling: in a large bowl, pour the ground almonds, the egg yolks (save the whites for after), the cinnamon and the sugar and combine.
Take 1 of the apple, peal it and using a cheese grater, grate it into the almonds mixture with the lemon juice.
Beat the 2 egg whites to a soft peak and add gently to the rest of the mixture.

Take you pie dough out of the fridge and roll it out to fit your pan. With a spoon, make a layer of your almond mixture on top of the pie crust.
Now clean, peal, cut in half and core your apples. Before placing them on top of the almond mixture, slice the top carefully (not all the way thru, see picture).

Heat up the jam for a couple of minutes, than brush the apples with the jam. Place it in the oven for about 35minutes.

This can made a day in advance and you can sprinkle some icing sugar on top before serving it.