We have created a masterpiece, at least in our own eyes. This is the ticket of all tickets! Following the First Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival in San Francisco, we officially had the best mini pies in the history of the world. The best! Anyone who was there and also tasted The Pie Truck’s hand pies will probably agree. And then there were those Hog Island oysters that had raw oyster slurping virgins literally taking shots by the end of the night. We left San Francisco raving about the pies and oysters for days (weeks maybe). It didn’t take long for us to run through idea after idea. Somewhere along the line, there was a conversation about oyster stuffing that had all the lights going off in our heads. We had to make an oyster stuffing-style pot pie, and we had to make it taste good. With hopes of making the best little oyster stuffed pot pies in all of the land, we went to work.
Typically we would have made our own pie crust for a recipe like this, but Foodbuzz partnered with Pepperidge Farm to provide free samples of Pepperidge Farm’s puff pastry sheets. We decided it would be the best way to not only test out the packaged product but also submit an entry for the 1, 2, 3 Puff! Recipe Contest. The pre-packaged puff pastry (say that ten times fast) was just right for this idea, although we are dying to try it with our own crust. Smokey oysters, earthy shitake mushrooms and nutty gruyère cheese literally melt together on your tongue with each bite. We just had to throw in the fresh herbs at the end for a little bright bite. You can stop looking around now. There is no doubt in our minds that we have created the best little oyster stuffed pot pie in all of the land. No doubt!
Oyster & Gruyère Hand Pies – Serves 12
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot bulb, diced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
3/4 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 medium red potatoes, diced
2 bay leaves
1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup almonds, toasted and finely ground
1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1/2 pound gruyère cheese, grated
6 ounces smoked oysters, drained and chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fennel fronds, chopped
8-10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 box Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets, thawed
Black pepper, optional
1. Cook bacon according to package directions. Remove from pan and set aside to drain on paper towels. Crumble once cool. Drop butter and olive oil in the same pan and add garlic, shallot, celery, fennel, potatoes, bay leaves and mushrooms. Sprinkle brown sugar over vegetables and cook until potatoes begin to soften, approximately 4-6 minutes.
2. Pour vegetable stock, wine, 1/2 cup cream and almonds into the pan and bring to a low boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, cover and cook 5-7 minutes. Add nutmeg and stir to combine. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until sauce as thickened slightly. Remove from heat and stir in gruyère until melted. Cool filling completely.
3. While filling cools, quickly roll one sheet of thawed puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface to thin it out and cut into twelve squares. Press each one into a muffin tin and set aside. Repeat with second sheet of puff pastry. Set muffin tin and remaining puff pastry squares in the freezer to stay cold.
4. Once the filling has cooled, stir in oysters, crumbled bacon, parsley, fennel fronds, sage and salt. Add black pepper to taste if desired.
5. Remove puff pastry from the freezer. Spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling into each muffin tin and top with another piece of puff pastry, pressing the edges together to seal the pies.* Repeat with remaining puff pastry. Place in the freezer again to chill 10-15 minutes.
6. When ready to bake, whisk remaining cream and egg together. Remove chilled pot pies from the freezer and brush the tops of the puff pastry with the egg wash. Prick the tops lightly with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
*The bottom edge of these pies were twisted over the top in a circular formation. You can shape them in anyway. Just be sure the edges are tightly sealed, or the filling may spill out as the puff pastry bakes.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.