All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012
Well – so much for a grocery budget. If I include the black market wine I recently bought with cash out of a van in a parking lot this week – I have already spent $585 on groceries this month. Seems insane as I’ve eaten little else than my leftover broccoli & cheese torte, leftover black beans & coconut rice, leftover pizza cupcakes, and now leftover deep dish pizza since the start of the month – and I will have MORE deep dish pizza & now pot pie & pot pie cupcakes to contend with for days stretching far into my future. The good news is – I won’t be spending money on wine for a while but still. OUCH!
So – yesterday I posted an Indian Spinach Curry Cupcake but I made regular vegetable pot pie cupcakes at the same time. I also made a full-sized pot pie. This recipe should provide you with enough tart dough & filling to make 6 cupcakes & one full-sized pot pie. I actually had half an herbed tart dough recipe in the freezer – and made another whole batch without herbs. So – 1.5 quantity of the recipe was enough dough for 6 spinach cupcakes, 6 pot pies & a full-sized pot pie. This recipe HERE should be enough for the six pot pie cupcakes & the full pot pie. There was even a little extra with which I made a braided treat.
I used canned peas because they were cheaper than the larger bag of frozen ones. I used canned corn because – BIZARRELY – my grocer had zero fresh corn on the cob. I recommend buying two ears & cutting the kernels off & using fresh corn here – if you can.
I used the cans of Campbell’s soup because 1) I had them and 2) they seemed less fatty (and easier & cheaper) than a fresh milk & flour or heavy cream & flour replacement. I used one can of creamed mushroom & one of creamed celery – because that was what I had. Two of either is fine. You could do this in a fancier way – making your own roux or whatever but really. Why? Sodium, you say? Well, yes. Yes – you got me there. But at least now I can blame my middle-aged bloat on Campbell’s free hand with the salt rather than my carbohydrate, cheese & black market wine loaded diet. A girl needs a scapegoat – and right now, for me, Campbell’s fits the bill. And my budget. So fuck it.
As to celery root – I am kinda having an affair of sorts with those guys. I have long said that parsley & celery get the short shrift in the culinary world – often written off as garnish or soup stock staples to be tossed once drained of their flavors. But I love them both. Clean & fresh – they add more than they get credit for. And celery root has a cool, creamy, light celery aroma & a completely different texture. It makes the greatest soup – as in a celery root bisque sort of thing. I used it in my stuffing this past Thanksgiving – and I used it here. I recommend trying it – but it might not be available near you. I am surprised to see just how available it is near me because I don’t ever hear anyone talking about using it but the stores wouldn’t carry it if it didn’t sell – so – there. Mainstream stores like Pavilions carry it here – so look around for some near you. It is that big, brown rooty-softball looking thing below. Also – I was going to include sweet potato in this but I baked it into a mush & decided against including it.
Vegetable Pot Pie & Cupcakes
Homemade Herbed Tart Crust Pastry
NOTE: – this is enough for 6 cupcakes AND extra to line the bottom & top of a full-sized pot pie.
3 cups flour
12 TBS butter (salted, if possible) – CHILLED and cubed
1+ TBS fresh thyme (or diced fresh sage or fresh parsley or fresh oregano) OPTIONAL
1/4 tsp salt
Mix the salt & flour together in your food processor (or in a bowl – as this dough could be made by hand – just not by me).
Pulse in the butter until it is incorporated into the dough. Pulse in the fresh herbs. Pulse in the two eggs. Add water 1 TBS at a time until small lumps of dough form.
Divide the dough in half. Roll the dough out on a floured surface. Roll out half for the cupcakes. I used a small bowl to cut out 12 circular disks. I made them all the larger size required to line the bottoms of my cupcake pan. I had to ball up the extra bits & roll it out again to get my 12 disks.
I divided the remaining dough in two. I rolled them out flat, lined the bottom of my pie dish & left the other (the topper) flat on a plate.
Spray your cupcake tin with cooking spray and line each cup with pastry.
Refrigerate your pastry-lined cupcake pan, the pie dish & the topper for at least 30 minutes.
(the dough below is sans herbs)
Vegetable Pot Pie & Cupcakes
Tart dough (recipe above)
4 TBS butter
1 medium onion – diced
1/2 celery root – peeled & diced (optional but DELICIOUS!)
2 carrots – diced
2 celery stalks – diced
1 baked potato (or boiled) – diced
handful of chopped parsley
2 TBS Fresh Thyme – chopped
1/2 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
8.5 oz canned corn (or half a 15 oz can) – OR – the kernels cut from two ears of fresh corn
8.5 oz canned peas (or half a 15 oz can)
1 10 3/4 oz can Cream of Celery soup
1 10 3/4 oz can Cream of Mushroom soup
up to 1 cup milk (optional)
1 egg – whisked – for the crust wash (optional)
Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery root, celery stalks & saute for about ten minutes or until the harder veggies are tender. Add the potato, corn, peas, parsley, fresh thyme, dry thyme, oregano, both soups and S&P to taste. CAREFULLY fold these ingredients together being careful not to mush up the soft potato. If you like the contents of your pot pies to be wetter & creamier – add some milk to thin up the veggies to your taste. Set aside.
Get the cupcake tin out of the fridge & fill each cup with the veggie mix. Top with the cupcake tops & pinch the rims closed with your fingers. VENT with a fork or knife.
The images below include 6 spinach curry cupcakes. I added the soup directly atop each cupcake with the veggie mix but I now recommend that the soup & liquid (milk – if using) be added in the saute pan – as it blends better.
For the full-sized pie, fill it with the remaining veggie mix. Top with the crust & trim, seal & flute the edge. Brush all your pastries with egg wash (if using). VENT each pie with a fork or the tip of a knife.
Brush all your pastry with egg wash (if using).
Like my little black bird pie vent??? I do!
You will see below that I began to doubt the moisture level of this pie so I drizzled heavy cream on top. You will also see in the end result that the cream pretty much stayed where it landed – offering no moisture to the veggies below – so do not make this calorie adding & useless step.
There is the drizzled heavy cream. Blow that off. Add any moisture you want to add (like some milk) to the veggie blend in the pan & stir it up before putting the mix into the pastry. Trim & flute your edges.
I washed the crust of just the full-sized pie with a watered down heavy cream because I was too cheap to waste an egg. The cupcakes went in dry. Anyway – either use a Goddamn egg or use nothing. Sometimes I am really an ass. Black market wine by the case? OF COURSE! One egg to make my blog a success? Uhm…..nah.
Bake the cupcakes 20-25 minutes – or until their crusts look nicely golden.
Bake the full pot pie 25-35 minutes – or until golden – checking frequently to be sure you do not burn the crust.
Let the cupcakes & pot pie sit for ten minutes before serving.
Note the heavy cream just under the crust in the sliced image. It trickled down a little – but not like I’d hoped. (Insert scathing political joke about the Republican “trickle down” theory of economics.)
Not wanting to waste anything – I used the extra dough & braided & baked it. It was yummy!