Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King

Promises of Pie

posted by in Recipes

Last week, I promised you a pie. Here are two.

I think I’ve said before that pie is my favorite type of dessert, and that my reason for eating pie is the crust. The very first pie crust I ever made made me sick – rendered tough by over handling, I forced myself to eat it (all), believing that the next bite would be better. I was forced to believe otherwise when I spent the whole night in the bathroom.

So I persisted and taught myself how to make a proper crust with butter for flavor and some shortening for flakiness. My secret: the food processor. Quick and gentle handling makes for an exceptional crust. There’s also the adage that when making pie, one needs “cold hands and a warm heart.” I’ve been told that my hands stay remarkably cool even when it’s hot, and thus when I’m in an air-conditioned room, my hands become absolutely glacial. So I try to avoid shaking people’s hands as much as possible. “Cold hands, cold heart,” I like to joke. Ah well, it works well for pie-making.

Chicken under cover

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This is my new pan, the Revol Plats Froissés Crumple pie dish*. Its aubergine hue stuns, its curves glint in the light. Its deep well allows for thick crusts and generous fillings, perfect for my chicken pie.

Also known as chicken pastel and chicken pot pie, this is fine comfort food. I add Vienna sausage because that’s how my mom made it plus plenty of potatoes. Now that I’m married, I have to give in to my Bin’s requests to add more carrots (eew!) and to add a bottom crust in addition to the top crust. I haven’t quite come around to this “crust (and carrot) compromise” yet.

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Some of the ingredients for chicken pie.

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Chicken Pie
Makes one 9-inch deep dish pie.
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  1. 1 ready-made pie crust made from your favorite recipe
  2. Olive oil
  3. 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  4. ¾ kilo boneless chicken thighs, chopped into sizable chunks
  5. 2 large carrots (or less, if you dislike carrots as I do), cubed and parboiled just til fork-tender
  6. 2 large potatoes, peeled, diced, then boiled
  7. 1 small can Vienna sausage
  8. 1 bay leaf
  9. ½ cup canned, sliced mushrooms (optional)
  10. Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Set aside a baking sheet.
  2. In a large saucepan set over medium heat, sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the chicken thighs and cook, stirring occasionally until they are opaque (white) in color. Stir in the carrots, potatoes, Vienna sausage, and the bay leaf. Add the mushrooms if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Roux
  4. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  5. 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  6. 1 cup whole milk
  7. Get a smaller pan and over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Once it’s melted, whisk in the flour all at once. Once the mixture has incorporated and begins to brown around the edges, pour in the milk and stir until smooth and thickened.
  8. Stir the roux-milk mixture over the chicken, making sure it’s completely incorporated. Place the chicken mixture into the deep-dish pie pan and top with the pie crust. If desired, brush the crust with an egg wash of 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and divine chicken juices have begun to sputter out from under the crust.
Dessert Comes First

Lemon Lover
When it comes to citrus desserts, you either love ‘em or leave them alone. I can’t get enough. I eat lemons raw, sometimes sprinkled with coarse salt. Of course a more pleasant way to enjoy lemons is in pie, and here’s one of the best lemon meringue pies I’ve ever made. Mine is adapted from this recipe.

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Lemon love ready to be made into a pie.

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Hot from the oven. If I could have it my way, I wouldn’t have meringue in my lemon meringue pie. I don’t like meringue but I make it because my Bin adores ADORES it. Though I don’t like to eat meringue, I like making it. I’m enchanted with its swirls and spreads.

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Light and love in a lemon meringue pie.

*Prop credit: The Revol Plats Froissés Crumple pie dish featured here will soon be available at Rustans and at exclusive delis. For inquiries, please email Garden Barn Inc. is the exclusive local importer and distributor of Revol.

7 Responses to “Promises of Pie”

  • Nice pie pan. Does it require special handling?
    Hehe, I’m pro-carrot and prefer no bottom crust on a chicken pot pie.


    Lori Reply:

    Hi K,
    Thanks, it’s made from culinary porcelain so it’s durable and ovenproof and a beaut to boot!


  • As always, great photos Lory. A small suggestion, you might add a little bit of bechamel to give the pie a little bit of moisture :)


    Lori Reply:

    Thanks, Hershey! The sauce for the filling is a type of bechamel. As it is, the filling tends to be a little runny when hot.


  • Your pies look stunning Lori!

    I’m with you in the bottom crust issue of the chicken pie. I also checked out the base meringue recipe. It’s so old school! But I guess the cornstarch in the meringue will prevent weeping. I prefer to make a stable Italian Meringue (which is also old school) and call it a day.

    Cold hands are indeed useful in pie dough mixing and rolling. I am not as fortunate as you in that department so I usually roll my dough between two sheets of parchment (for small batch production). If the dough gets too warm/soft, I simply lift the paper enclosed dough and chill it in the fridge. No excess flour to clean off the counter and no excess flour that might dry the dough if I had rolled it straight on the counter.

    If you have a good buko pie recipe, I (and the rest of your readers) would love to know it. Did I say that your pies look stunning?


    Lori Reply:

    Why, thank you, Rainie! I used the rolling pin you gave me to make these pies :p This doesn’t have a recipe but did you see my buko feature written some years ago?


  • Lemon Meringue Pie ♥ ♥ ♥


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