Turkey Stuffing Pie with Cranberries

So the pie I submitted for the 2nd Annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off Benefit was a labor of love and, I think, some thought. I mean, it wasn’t something out of a recipe book and I wasn’t sure how well it would come out. But there’s nothing like a challenge to keep things interesting – I mean, why else do they have all those Top Chef shows?

First, I roasted a turkey breast. Sure I could have found some pre-roasted turkey meat, but I wanted to control the flavor profile in my pie and there’s no better way in doing that by roasting your own turkey breast. I used a butter rub and added some sage and rosemary, salt and pepper and roasted till the skin was a lovely golden brown. Once it was done, I let it rest and then pulled off all the breast meat and did a rough chop and set it aside.

In the interim I made the stuffing crust and the cranberry sauce.

The stuffing recipe was incredibly simple:

Ingredients (for 2 stuffing crusts)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery (I used locally grown, wild celery)
6 cups dry bread cubes (I used potato bread cubes from the supermarket)
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons fresh sage, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
2 eggs, beaten

In a skillet, melt butter and sauté onion until tender. Add celery, sage and rosemary and sauté until the celery is softened. Cool slightly. In a bowl, add the bread cubes, celery mixture, salt and pepper to taste and chicken broth. Taste the seasoning before adding the beaten eggs and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Press the mixture into 2 9-inch pie plates and set aside until ready to fill.

Cranberry Sauce

1 lb of fresh cranberries (from some farm upstate)
1 cup sugar
Zest of half a tangerine (or orange if you have that on hand)
1 stick of cinnamon

Boil all the ingredients together until all the cranberry pods pop. Then let cool for about an hour so the sauce has time to gel.

Assembling the pie

What I did was mix about 1 cup of the cranberry sauce with the chopped turkey breast. I added some more sage and rosemary and then as a binder – eggs, cream, stock and a little flour.

I filled the pie crusts with the turkey-cranberry mixture, poured on the binder mixture and dotted the top with some more cranberry sauce.

This went into a 375 degree oven for 45-50 mins, until the binder was set and the crust was golden brown.

The pie needs to rest until almost completely cool so that all the ingredients set and you can cut a clean piece of pie.

It was declared by my brothers and friends – a huge success.
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