Crawfish Pie

April  2, 2015
Photo by Gabrielle Geiselman
Author Notes

Crawfish Pie is a double shelled savory pie filled with onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, breadcrumbs, butter, and crawfish mixed together with milk and lots of seasonings.  It's a delicacy in a very small part of the South limited mainly to Southern Louisiana and, even within that, common only to the rural areas with a greater preponderance of inhabitants with Cajun heritage. —Belle Année

  • Serves 6
  • For the crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted, diced cold butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp cold buttermilk
  • For the filling:
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 Bellpepper (red or green or a combo)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 pound pack Louisiana crawfish tails (do not rinse, preserve any liquid)
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsely, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped (green and white parts)
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Tony Cachere's or Old Bay seasoning
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • red pepper
  • white pepper
  • 1 egg white whisked with 1 tablespoon of water
In This Recipe
  1. For the crust:
  2. To make the pie crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and use your fingers to work it into the dry ingredients quickly, until the butter pieces are the size of peas.
  3. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Use a fork to bring the dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect.
  4. Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  1. For the filling:
  2. To make the filling, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until they start to soften. Add the garlic, give it a quick stir, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, being very careful not to let the garlic burn.
  3. Add the milk and crawfish tails (along with any liquid that came out of the bag). Give a gentle stir, being careful not to over mix the crawfish tails (as you risk breaking them up). Add the parsley, green onions, breadcrumbs, Tony Cachere’s or Old Bay seasoning, and salt and peppers to taste; bear in mind that the blend of all four is important to round out the seasoning
  4. Cook for 5 minutes until the entire mixture is warm. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Keep in mind the seasoning doesn't change while the pie is cooking, so you want to have plenty of flavor at this point. Turn the heat off and cover the mixture while you start on the crust.
  5. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375° F. On a well-floured surface, roll one of the disks of dough to about 1/8-inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a 9-inch to 11-inch pie pan. Trim the edge almost even with the edge of the pan. Prick with the tines of a fork a few times all over.
  6. Spray one side of a piece of foil with nonstick cooking spray and place, greased side down, onto the bottom crust. Fill with dry beans or pie weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until just golden brown. Lower the heat to 350° F.
  7. Spoon filling into the pie crust. Roll out the other disk of dough in the same manner as the first and lay it carefully over the filling, crimping the edges with a fork to seal the top and bottom crusts. Prick pie with tines of a fork a few times so steam can escape while baking. Brush the top of the pie with the egg white and water mixture and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. If your crust starts to turn brown too quickly, remove it from the oven and cover with aluminum foil, then return it to the oven.
  8. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with a green salad and crisp white wine.

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Jessica Bride is the creator of Belle Année, a food and lifestyle blog dedicated to eating, drinking, living and loving in New Orleans and London.