Three Peas in a Pie

Three Peas in a Pie

Springtime, I think of sun, warm afternoon rain, flowers from bulbs bursting through the soil, birds, bees and spring vegetables.  Since peas are quite cold hardy, they are one of the first vegetables available for spring harvest. So with snow peas, snap peas and the newly arrived English peas I decided to make a Pea Pot Pie! 

 

This Pea Pot Pie is a vegetarian version baked it in a 9 inch pie plate.  I happened to an extra single pie crust already made so decided to make do. I skipped the bottom crust and just put on a top crust. It made a delicious meal - serious comfort food.  While enjoying this Pea Pot Pie I was inspired with ideas for all manner variations. If you are interested in ideas for including other vegetables, a hearty non-vegetarian version or serving ideas read through the NOTE section at the end. 

Three Pea Pot Pie Recipe
4 cups shelled English peas
1 cup each snow peas and sugar snap peas (trimmed and cut in half crosswise)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
6 oz sliced mushrooms
1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
1 cup vegetable stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce (Red Boat)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon cream
Dough for a single pie crust (use the recipe below or any crust recipe you like)
Salt to taste (I used homemade vegetable stock made with no salt. I needed to add quite a bit.  However, if you are using purchased stock containing salt, you make need only a little extra. Remember fish sauce is salty.)
9” pie plate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees 

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add 1 cup of the English peas, the snow peas and snap peas to the pot and blanch 1-2 minutes, just until the color brightens. Immediately drain and place in an ice bath to stop any further cooking.  Set aside. Heat a sauce pan, add olive oil and sauté the mushrooms.  When they are nicely golden brown season with salt and remove to a plate. Set aside. Add a bit more olive oil to the pan and sauté the onion until soft.  Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Add the remaining 3 cups of peas. Cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Place the stock, onion and peas in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add the butter, sherry vinegar and fish sauce. Blend again. Taste to see if more salt is needed.

Drain the peas in the ice bath and pat dry. Fold the peas, mushrooms and chopped mint into the blended pea puree and transfer to a 9 inch pie plate. Roll out the pie crust top and place atop the pie. Crimp the edges. Mix the egg yolk and cream together with a fork. Brush over the top and cut holes to vent. Bake at least 30 minutes until crust is nicely brown. 

Pie Crust Recipe (single crust) - just in case you need one

6 oz flour
4 oz butter ( cold and cut in 4 pieces)
2 oz ice water

Put flour in a bowl and rub 2 oz of the butter into the flour with you fingers, a pastry blender, or food process until the butter is the size of baby peas.  For the remaining 2 oz of butter, use your fingers  leaving large pieces(1/2 -3/4 “). This variation in working in the butter creates a flaky crust. Finally, sprinkle about 1/2 the water over the dough and quickly work in with your fingers.  Add the rest as needed and more if the dough is too crumbly to stick together.  Handle the dough as little as possible.   Gather the dough in a ball and wrap in plastic and chill for at least and hour or overnight. Keeps 3 days in the refrigerator or 2 weeks in the freezer.


NOTES:
If you don’t want to make a pie crust, substitute a sheet of Dufour Puff Pasty. You could also use frozen peas if you really want to make this and don’t have access to fresh English peas.
Make a hearty pie - use chicken stock.  Add bacon, prosciutto or bites of ham
Switch out some the pea varieties for other spring vegetables - asparagus cut in 3/4 inch bites, fava beans, baby artichoke hearts, edamame.
Using the whole plant - instead of making the puree with just the peas, use the leaves & pods as well.  They are edible and pretty much taste like the peas.
Make the pie like a French Apple pie - put the crust on the bottom & blind bake. Make a bread crumb topping. Make bread crumbs with left- over bread or Panko. Sauté lightly in garlic oil then toss some chopped mint and parsley and if you like, some finely chopped sun dry tomatoes. Sprinkle over the top. Bake until nicely toasted.
Make individual pot pies
This would make an awesome appetizer baked in a mini muffin pan, mini cast iron pans or tiny ceramic dishes.  Garnish with pea tendrils and pea flowers.