Thursday, October 11, 2007

Turkey Cream Puff Pie

This is one that's been in the (virtual) recipe box for a while, just waiting for the first cooler day of the fall. It does not involve dessert cream puffs in any way; I think it acquired that name because the crust is a choux pastry, like what you use to make cream puffs... but it should probably be "turkey cheese puff pie" or "turkey gougere pie".

Turkey Cream Puff Pie

Making choux pastry is one of those times when you feel like something magic is happening in front of you. Every time I make a batch, I can't believe what happens. You dump the flour into your butter/liquid mixture and think, "Oh, this will never smooth out, I'm going to have a lumpy mess." Lo and behold, it smoothes out and all the lumps disappear. You add your eggs one at a time, and it looks like there's no way the dough will absorb each additional egg... and then you look and the egg you just added is gone. And all of this comes before you even bake it, which causes your sticky, buttery paste to rise and puff and turn a gorgeous golden brown.

Turkey Cream Puff Pie

I've made choux pastry a bunch of times, mostly for gougeres. The idea of using it as a savory pie crust, however, came from Gourmet magazine (recipe available on Epicurious). I subbed in my usual veggie combo of carrots, corn, peas, and broccoli, and also added a couple of tablespoons of sherry to my filling.

The smell of this baking is out of this world, by the way--my whole apartment is filled with the aroma of butter and cheese. The finished pie is pretty darn delicious. There's absolutely no confusing the choux pastry with a typical pie crust. It's dense and eggy and moist, with pockets of Swiss cheese throughout.

Something healthy next time, I promise.

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