This is probably the best-tasting thing in the whole cookbook — we aren't supposed to say things like that, and I also know that I am likely to change my mind fifty-three times between now and when this book is published. But today, on this gray chilly day, I am imagining a creamy mushroom filling made of many mushrooms (as advertised), baked between two pieces of flaky, perfectly salty, almost-too-buttery pie crust. I am thinking of how creamy the filling is, how rich and meaty it tastes without any meat at all and how despite my obsession with chicken pot pie, this mushroom pot pie is admittedly better. I love this mushroom pot pie for dinner alongside a bitter chicory salad, for a late lunch with orange wine, for eating in front of the TV with no plates, just forks.
This could be made in the more traditional pot-pie style of one crust with the filling below, but I really love baking it as a "regular" pie with a double crust. While this isn't necessarily designed to be a perfectly sliceable pie, it is possible that with enough patience, this pie can be sliced. For the rest of us with no patience, you can serve it by scooping with a large serving spoon.
Technique tip: Baking the pie crust enough underneath is important to avoid a soggy bottom — this is where a glass pie plate comes in handy.
Swap option: If using water, consider adding a generous splash or two of soy sauce to season it a bit. This can be more a traditional pot pie with one crust, if you like. If you are just using one crust, simply fill a 9-inch pie plate or an 8- or 9-inch cast-iron skillet with the prepared mushroom mixture and top with the round of dough. Trim overhang and crimp the dough.
Special equipment: A glass pie dish.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2½ sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, chilled
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup ice cold water, plus more only if you absolutely must
- 2 discs Pie Crust (recipe above)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ pounds mixed mushrooms (such as maitake, oyster, cremini or button) torn or cut into bite-size pieces
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, oregano, or marjoram leaves
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups vegetable broth, chicken broth or water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, tender leaves and stems
- 1 large egg
- flaky sea salt
For the pie crust:1.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and toss to coat it in the flour mixture. Using your hands, smash the butter between your palms and fingertips, mixing it into the flour, creating long, thin, flaky, floury, buttery bits. Once most of the butter is incorporated and there are no large chunks remaining, dump the flour mixture onto a work surface.2.
In a measuring cup, combine the vinegar and ice water and drizzle it over the flour/butter mixture. Run your fingers through the mixture like you're running your fingers through your hair, just to evenly distribute the water through the flour until the dough starts coming together.3.
Knead the dough a few more times, just to gather up any dry bits from the bottom and place them on the top to be incorporated. You will be tempted to add a tablespoon or two more water now — resist if you can, add only if you must.4.
Once you've got a shaggy mass of dough (it will not be smooth and it certainly will not be shiny), knead it once or twice more and divide it in half. Pat each piece into a flat disc about 1-inch thick. Wrap each disc individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
For the pot pie:1.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.2.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll both discs of dough out to rounds 12- to 14-inches in diameter. Lay one into a 9-inch pie plate and gently drape the second round of dough over the first. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling. (If you are just using one crust, roll it out and refrigerate it flat on a baking sheet while you make the filling.)3.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms and season with kosher salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms shrink in size and begin to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the remaining mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook until all the mushrooms are about the same size and tenderness, on their way to golden brown, another 8 to 10 minutes.4.
Add the garlic and onion and continue cooking until the mushrooms and onions are deeply browned, frizzled, and caramelized at the edges (they should still be tender in the center), 10 to 15 minutes more.5.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter and thyme, letting the butter melt around the mushrooms. Add the flour and stir to coat the mushrooms. Cook until the flour starts to toast in the skillet (it should smell like browning butter or toast), 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add the broth, stirring to combine (it'll be quite thick at first, but will loosen up). Add the heavy cream and simmer until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon — not soupy, but not a paste, about 5 minutes. Add the parsley, season with kosher salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.6.
Remove the pie plate from the fridge and set it on the lined sheet pan. Set the second round of dough aside. Fill the pie plate with the mushroom mixture (it should come just up to the top of the pie plate). Lay the reserved dough round on top. Using the tines of a fork, press the top and bottom crusts together, sealing the mushroom mixture inside. Using a small knife or scissors, trim the excess dough so that there's not much overhang.7.
Mix the egg with a teaspoon of water and brush the top of the crust with the egg wash. Sprinkle with flaky salt and more black pepper. Make a few incisions or slits in the top of the crust (more toward the center than the sides).8.
Bake the pie until the crust is deeply golden brown all over, on the top and underneath (baking enough underneath is important to avoid a soggy bottom — this is where a glass pie plate comes in handy), 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes.9.
Let cool slightly before eating.