A lot of you have written to me, asking for me to bring back my “Favorite Things Friday” feature… a place where I “feature” my favorite things, or what I’m currently loving. It could be a book, movie, music, clothing, etc.
Today’s “Favorite Things Friday” feature, is a cookbook…
“Magpie” By: Holly Ricciardi with Miriam Harris
I picked this up a few times, just to flip over it, before I actually sat down to read it. I guess I was savory the book, and didn’t really want to “finish” it – anyone else feel that sometimes!?
The book features pies (both sweet and savory) that will literally have you want to start licking the pages… And it’s not just because the recipes sound so delicious…the photographs are amazing!
This book is divided up into four main “chapters”.
Chapter 1 – Flaky Piecrust
Chapter 2 – Fruity Pies
Chapter 3 – (Mostly Creamy Pies)
Chapter 4 – Quiches, Potpies, and Other Savories
I can’t really pick a favorite – but I will say that my favorite recipe is in Chapter 4…more on that later…and a recipe posting later!
The first chapter is dedicated completely to the piecrust, which I really loved and appreciated. Who knew there were so many different variations of piecrusts?! I didn’t! But I’m glad I know now…because I’m wanting to try them all!
The recipes in this book are delicious. Just a few examples!? “Caramel Apple Pie” (page 46), “Pear Chocolate Pie” (page 58), “Hummingbird Pie” (page 64), “Lemon Gingersnap Pie” (page 67), “Peach Lattice Pie with Bourbon Caramel” (page 93), “Peach Raspberry Orange Blossom Pie” (page 102), “Plum Cherry Almond Crumb Pie” (page 116), “Breakfast Oatmeal Pie” (page 135), “Roasted Sweet Potato Pie” (page 142), “Oatmeal Cookie Pie” (page 150), “Chocolate Blackout Pie” (page 163), “Eggnog Cream Pie” (page 172), “Banana Nilla Pudding Pie” (page 183), “Cookie Dough Hand Pies” (page 189), “Tomato Cheddar Corn Pie” (page 204), “Ham Loaf Pie” (page 220), “Savory Beef Potpies” (page 226), “Pulled Pork Potpies with Coleslaw” (page 234) and “Chicken Corn Pie” (page 246).
Plus several more…
BUT – do you want to know my favorite recipe!? Their “Macaroni and Cheese Potpies”!!! Yes – they are just as amazing as they sound… and guess what!? I got permission to share the recipe here with all of you!
I highly recommend you BUY THIS BOOK, here…
AND I highly recommend you make this recipe…
Reprinted with permission from Magpie © 2015 by Holly Ricciardi, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
Macaroni and Cheese Potpies
Mac and cheese in a pie? Hell yes! This is a perennial Magpie bestseller, whether topped with Old Bay Cheez-It Crunch or BBQ Pulled Pork.
Makes 8 potpies
1 recipe Magpie Dough for Flaky Piecrust (page 17), chilled overnight
2 cups / 226 g elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons / 56 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large eggs
1 (12-ounce / 340-ml) can evaporated milk
½ teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon dry mustard
3 cups / 340 g grated sharp Cheddar cheese
Old Bay Cheez-It Crunch (page 214)
Follow the instructions on pages 36–37 to roll, pan, and bake the potpie shells. Set the baking sheet on a wire rack and let the shells cool to room temperature while you make the filling.
To make the filling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and follow the package instructions to cook the macaroni al dente. Drain the macaroni, return it to the pot, and stir in the butter over medium-low heat. Continue stirring to melt the butter and coat the pasta. Whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and dry mustard in a mixing bowl.
Stir the milk mixture into the pot of buttered pasta. Add the cheese and set the pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until creamy. To assemble the potpies, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with a rack in the center.
Carefully unmold the potpie shells, set them on a baking sheet, and rewarm for 5 to 7 minutes. Divide the mac and cheese among the warm shells, top with Cheez-It crunch, and serve immediately.
Old Bay Cheez-it Crunch
Some people top their macaroni and cheese with toasted breadcrumbs, crushed potato chips, Ritz crackers, or even corn flakes. At Magpie, we thought crushed Cheez-Its made sense, so we gave that a try and sprinkled the mixture with Old Bay seasoning to add a bit of spice. Bingo!
Makes 2 Cups:
4 ounces / 113 g Cheez-It crackers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
Preheat the oven to 275°F (135°C) with a rack in the center. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly crush the crackers in a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and toss to coat. Sprinkle in the Old Bay and continue tossing until the crackers are evenly coated with the spices. Spread the mixture on the lined baking sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, just until lightly toasted. Let the crunch cool before using as topping.
Mac and Cheese Potpie with BBQ Pulled Pork: Instead of Cheez-It Crunch, top the potpies with spicy BBQ pulled pork (page 234)—a perfect complement to the creamy, cheesy macaroni.
Recipe for Magpie Dough:
Makes Enough Dough for any of the Following:
2 (9-inch / 23-cm) single-crust pies,
1 (9-inch / 23-cm) double-crust or lattice-top pie,
8 (4 x 2-inch / 10 x 5-cm) potpies,
12 (2 x 1-inch / 5 x 3-cm) mini pies,
1 (9 x 3-inch / 23 x 8-cm) quiche, or 8 (4-inch / 10-cm) hand pies (plus trimmings)
312 grams / 2½ cups all-purpose flour
28 grams / 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 grams / 1 teaspoon fine salt
170 grams / ¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes and frozen
60 grams / ¼ cup vegetable shortening, preferably in baking stick form, frozen, cut into ¼-inch pieces, and put back in the freezer
130 grams / ½ cup + 1 tablespoon ice-cold water
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse the machine 3 times to blend. Scatter the frozen butter cubes over the flour mixture. Pulse the machine 5 to 7 times, holding each pulse for 5 full seconds, to cut all of the butter into pea-size pieces. Scatter the pieces of frozen shortening over the flour-and-butter mixture. Pulse the machine 4 more 1-second pulses to blend the shortening with the flour. The mixture will resemble coarse cornmeal, but will be a bit more floury and riddled with pale butter bits (no pure-white shortening should be visible; see figure 1, next page).
Turn the mixture out into a large mixing bowl, and make a small well in the center.
If you find a few butter clumps that are closer to marble size than pea size (about ¼ inch in diameter), carefully pick them out and give them a quick smoosh with your fingers. Pour the cold water into the well (fig. 2, next page). Use a curved bowl scraper to lightly scoop the flour mixture up and over the water, covering the water to help get the absorption started. Continue mixing by scraping the flour up from the sides and bottom of the bowl into the center, rotating the bowl as you mix (fig. 4), and occasionally pausing to clean off the scraper with your finger or the side of the bowl, until the mixture begins to gather into clumps but is still very crumbly (fig. 5). (If you are working in very dry conditions and the ingredients remain very floury and refuse to clump together at this stage, add another tablespoon of ice-cold water.)
Lightly gather the clumps with your fingers and use your palm to fold over and press the dough a few times (figs. 6–7; don’t knead!—just give the dough a few quick squishes), until it just begins to come together into a single large mass. It will be a raggedy wad (fig. 8), moist but not damp, that barely holds together; this is exactly as it should be—all it needs is a good night’s rest in the fridge.
For single- and double-crust pies, mini pies, potpies, or hand pies: Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, gently shape each portion into a flat disk 1½ to 2 inches thick, and wrap each tightly with plastic wrap. For quiche, leave the dough in one piece, flatten it into a single large disk 1½ to 2 inches thick (fig. 9), and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
No ifs, ands, or buts, the dough must have its beauty sleep. That means 8 hours in the refrigerator at the very least. Extra rest is just fine; feel free to let the wrapped dough sit in the fridge for up to 3 days before rolling. (The dough may discolor slightly. No worries. This is merely oxidization and will not affect the flavor or appearance of your finished piecrust.)
Note: At this stage, the wrapped dough can be put in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before rolling.
Potpie-making becomes a less time-consuming proposition if you bake the shells in advance and freeze them. They keep well for a month when wrapped, and you’ll be set to whip up a batch whenever the mood strikes or cold weather blows in. Thaw frozen shells at room temperature, then refresh them in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 5 to 7 minutes before filling.
Makes 8 Shells
1 recipe Magpie Dough for Flaky Piecrust (page 17), chilled overnight
Divide each disk of chilled dough into four equal portions; flatten each portion into a disk, then roll out into eight 7-inch circles that are ¼ inch thick (see Tips for Dough-Friendly Rolling, page 28). Set the rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill 30 minutes before panning.
Fit each chilled 7-inch circle of dough into a 4½ x 2-inch (11 x 5-cm) springform pan, pleating here and there as needed to fit and pressing lightly to snug the dough up against the bottom and sides of the pan. If there is any overhanging dough, simply fold it in, making sure the top edge is even all around (see photo on page 33).
Chill the panned dough in the freezer until firm, 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut eight 8-inch squares of aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Line the shells with the foil squares, gently smoothing and pleating the foil into place up close against the bottom and sides of each crust and leaving the corners of the foil standing straight up. Fill each shell to the rim of the crust with beans, stirring with a finger to settle the beans and topping up as needed.
Set the pans on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Slide the sheet into the oven and bake the shells 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.
Set the sheet on a wire rack and let the shells cool all the way to room temperature before carefully gathering the corners of each foil square together to lift out the beans.
Prebaking—also known as blind baking—is used for two types of pies: those with no-bake fillings (such as mousse), and those with fillings that do get baked but at low temperatures that aren’t sufficient to fully bake the crust (lemon curd, for example, and all Magpie quiches). Weights are needed to hold the panned shell in place and prevent the crust from shrinking while it bakes. The Magpie way: Line with parchment or foil and fill to the brim with dried beans.
Special thanks and shout-out to Philadelphia’s favorite pie boutique – Magpie!