At first bite, you taste the flaky golden brown piecrust that holds the rich treasure inside. And with the second bite, the spicy crawfish filling coats your taste buds with one delicious mouthful. Once more, and then it’s gone. But the taste lingers on as you grab another, and another; these Mini Crawfish Pies are big on flavor.
As the song goes, “Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, Filé Gumbo,” and to capsule a culinary culture in terms of the dishes that represent it, that tune is right on. Today we tackle crawfish pie in a mini version that is the perfect party food, before-dinner appetizer, or an accompaniment to a side salad for a delicious lunch. Regardless of your dining objective, you will love both the taste and the ease of preparation of my Mini Crawfish Pies.
For the crust, all you’ll need is a package (or two) of store-bought piecrust. For this recipe, I like the rolled kind that unrolls without creases or folds. They usually come refrigerated and pre-packaged in two 9-inch crusts. And to make this even more convenient, I use the individual disposable aluminum foil pie pans that are sold in most supermarkets. It’s simple: Measure a circle that is larger than the diameter of your pie tin, cut it out, insert it, pinch the edges, and you’re done.
The filling is equally as easy and is just a thickened variation of my étouffée recipe. With a quick sauté in butter and spices, the sweet crawfish tails infuse their flavor and are thickened for a filling that bakes to perfect pie consistency.
But one word of caution: These Mini Crawfish Pies are addictive and will go fast; make plenty!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
- ½ cup finely diced green onion tops
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup seafood stock
- 1 pound Louisiana crawfish tail meat
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Dash of hot sauce
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 packages (2 crusts in each) rolled 9-inch piecrusts, thawed to room temperature
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Kosher salt
- In a large cast-iron pot or skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, and sauté until they turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, lower the heat to simmer, and stir to combine. Sprinkle ½ cup of the flour over the mixture, stir to incorporate, and cook the flour until it turns light brown, about 10 minutes. Add the stock, and stir until you reach a stew-like thickness.
- Add the crawfish tail meat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the paprika, Cajun seasoning, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. At this point, you want to thicken the mixture until it achieves the texture of a filling or stuffing by gradually stirring in the remaining flour. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and turn off the heat. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or until ready to use.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- On a large countertop surface (granite or marble works well), sprinkle lightly with bench flour. Unwrap and unroll one of the piecrust sheets; sprinkle lightly with more of the flour. Using a rolling pin, roll until it spreads out and expands to a thickness of ¼ inch. Using the top of your pie tin as a guide, cut around the dough with a sharp knife leaving enough of a border to form the edge of the crust. Do the same with the remaining piecrusts. Place the dough into each pie tin and crimp the edges. Chill the crusts in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until ready to fill.
- Spoon the crawfish filling into the center of each piecrust and fill. Place the mini pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat with all the pies.
- At this point, you can refrigerate (or freeze) the pies until ready to bake. Just before baking, lightly brush the edge of the piecrust with egg wash. Bake in the oven until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve in a basket as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to a side salad.
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