pie for dinner

Bon appétit has inspired me to pull myself out of the jicama dipped in guacamole and carrot soup rut that I have been living in.  A little extra time on my hands today flipping through the pages of Pie for Dinner, and I realize I have everything I need to make PIE 4 DInner!


I really want to make Cock-a Leekie Pie…. because I like the way the name rings.  But this would require two things I am not in the mood for on this rainy dark post-gym evening;  going to the grocery store and eating meat.  for the record, it sounds delish…  So I added the recipe below.


I think I’ve got the guacamole Seahawk blues… Here in the PNW, we took quite a loss on Sunday.

Selfishly I always think my guacamole will win the game. Not so much this time.


meanwhile… I will make a version of the Caramelized Garlic, Spinach and Cheddar Tart  simply because I can fudge it

Substituting arugula for spinach,  left over lite cream cheese for Creme fraiche,  Agave for maple syrup and

Mosto Cotto Grape Must for Balsamic Vinegar, just because.  I also had about zero patience  for braiding an elaborate and decorative crust trim as demonstrated in bon appétit version.   Simply too worn out to braid bread.   I wish I were Rumi, but i am not.







  • All-Butter Pie Dough (click here for recipe)
  • All-purpose flour (for surface)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 heads of garlic, cloves peeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ¾ cup crème fraîche
  • ¾ cup heavy cream


  • Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350°. Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 14” round. Transfer to a 9”-diameter pie dish. Lift up edge and let dough slump down into dish. Trim, leaving about 1” overhang. Fold overhang under. Freeze 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, roll out second disk of dough on a lightly floured surface until about ⅛” thick. Cut into ¼”-thick strips. Transfer to a parchment–lined baking sheet. If dough is soft, chill until just pliable. Working with 3 strips at a time, braid dough, returning braids to baking sheet as you go. Chill until just pliable.
  • Beat 1 egg in a small bowl. Brush edge of dough in dish and bottom sides of braids with egg. Arrange braids along edge, trimming and gently pressing sections together as you go. Freeze 15 minutes.
  • Line dough with parchment paper or foil, leaving some overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until crust is dry around edge, 25–30 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and brush entire crust with egg. Bake until crust is dry and set, 10–15 minutes. Let cool.
  • Meanwhile, cook garlic in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes; drain. Wipe saucepan dry and heat oil in pan over medium-high. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until cloves start to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until garlic is tender, 10–12 minutes. Add maple syrup, rosemary, and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy and coats garlic, about 5 minutes.
  • Scatter cheese over crust; top with spinach. Whisk crème fraîche, cream, and remaining eggs in a medium bowl; season with s/p. Add garlic with any syrup bake until custard sets and is golden brown in spots 35-45 minutes.

IMG_1968-0     Cock-A-Leekie Pie

The chicken and leek meld together as they cook in the filling.


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 slices bacon cut into ¼” pieces
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped
  • ½ cup quartered pitted prunes
  •  cup all-purpose flour, plus more
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • All-Butter Pie Dough (click here for recipe)
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend


  • Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 375°. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook bacon, stirring often, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook in same skillet until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Add a splash of water to skillet. Cover, reduce heat, and cook until chicken is cooked through, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add leeks to skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add a splash of water, cover, and cook until leeks are very soft, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Shred chicken and add to leeks along with thyme leaves and prunes.
  • Melt remaining 4 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in ⅓ cup flour and cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Whisk in broth, adding a little at a time, until smooth. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5–7 minutes. Mix sauce into leek mixture; season with salt and pepper. Let cool.
  • Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 14” round. Transfer to a 10” cast-iron skillet or a 9½”-diameter deep pie dish. Lift up edge and let dough slump down into dish. Trim, leaving a 1” overhang. Spoon filling into skillet. Roll out second disk of dough to 11” round. Drape over filling and trim to a 1” overhang. Fold overhang under; crimp with a fork. Cut a few vents in top; brush with egg.
  • Bake until crust is golden brown, 50–60 minutes. Let pie cool slightly.
  • Do Ahead: Filling can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Ahhhh, Pie for Dinner.   Dad, if I could deliver this to you via angel pathways I would, and I do.  Via this labyrinth  of love.  The aroma of garlic, thyme, rosemary and pie crust will FOREVER smell like you…… IMG_1956   IMG_1705

Bon appétit.

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