Apr 5, 2011

Oh My! Crawfish Pie!

Hank Williams sings about crawfish pie in this peppy, easy-going, yippy-skippy way.  Kinda makes you want to get in the kitchen and make one.  And some jambalaya and filé gumbo for good measure.  Listening to him sing, you'd swear nothin' but good could come outta dat, cher.

It's taken me a while to get crawfish pie to turn out like I want.  But I think I'm finally on my way.

Grab a pie, grab a beer, grab a seat!

Spring means crawfish season.  I get excited when I see the farmers putting out their traps.

When you live in a place surrounded by crawfish ponds

...it's more than a little embarrassing to suck at crawfish pie.  Truth is, it's more likely that you'd find this dish at a restaurant or a festival than in the average kitchen.

Except for my aunt's kitchen.  Crawfish pie is her signature dish, I think.  It's something she always brings to parties--is asked to bring to parties. 

So how is it that I can follow her recipe and not get the same results?
Yeah, I don't know either.  But I'm very, very suspicious.

The problem was I was thinking big when I should have been thinking small.  I thought one big pie would be more practical.  Easier to work with.  Less mess.  Well, try cutting a wedge.  Soup city.  My aunt makes her pies in tiny 2-3 bite cute lil' baby pie shells that don't have to be cut into wedges. 

Mini.  Compact.  That's the ticket.     

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Mise en place for Crawfish Pie:
* butter and flour for the roux

My aunt uses cream of celery soup instead.
But I like the flavor of roux.
And I like to make roux (in case you haven't noticed).

* onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic

* half and half, diced tomatoes, water, Tony's, hot sauce, salt and pepper

* green onion and parsley

* and crawfish

Louisiana crawfish.
Practically from my backyard.

Or from down the road a piece.

I used refrigerated Pillsbury pie crusts.
Four of 'em.
Feel free to one up me and make your own.

It starts like so many other good things.
With a roux.
A roux the color of a penny.
Step-by-step Cajun (dark) roux instructions here

The trinity (plus garlic) sizzles in the roux and smells heavenly.
No aroma is better than that.
The half and half will help create a rich, creamy sauce. 
Even richer and creamier once the crawfish fat goes in.
And if I'm making roux, you know green onions and parsley get involved.

Cut the pie crust to your desired size.  Place cooled filling on one half.
Dip a fork in water and crimp edges.
Vents wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Worthy of a song

Linking this week with:
Make a Foodie-"e"-Friend Mondays @ The Saturday Evening Pot
Tuesdays at the Table @ All the Small Stuff 
Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Tip Day Thursday @ Around My Family Table

Friday Potluck @ EKat's Kitchen
Seasonal Saturday at la bella vita

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Crawfish Pies

4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
1 onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
about 1/2 can diced tomatoes (with juice)
1/2 c half & half
1/2 tsp Tony's
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
few shakes hot sauce
1 lb crawfish tails with fat
1/4 c water
1/4-1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/4 c chopped parsley

3-4 sheets of refrigerated pie crust (for individual pies)

Start a roux by melting the butter.  When melted, sprinkle in the flour.  Stir and scrape over medium heat until the roux is the color of a new penny.

Immediately add the chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic.  Cook in the roux until softened.

Stir in the tomatoes and half & half.  Season with Tony's, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.  Simmer on medium low for about 15-20 minutes, until thickened.

Stir in the crawfish and water.  Simmer about 15 minutes to cook the crawfish through.  Add the green onion and parsley and stir.  The mixture should be thick with very little liquid.  Taste for seasoning and adjust.  Allow to cool while you prepare the crust.

Preheat oven to 350.  On a lightly floured surface, cut the pie crusts into desired size with a floured cutter, glass rim, or small bowl.

Place filling on one half of the crust and fold.  Dip the tines of a fork in water and press the edges of the crust to seal.  Cut air vents on the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake at 350 until golden.  Pies made from 5" diameter circles took about 25 minutes.


  1. Oh yum! I can almost taste them! These look wonderful!!

  2. Maybe you can fly me some of those crawfish to Hawaii, and I'll whip up a few fine pies. Great recipe.

  3. I'd love to nab a crawfish pie right outta that basket. Sounds like the perfect little hand held treat.

    I loved seeing the pics of the crawfish. I've never seen it packaged up like that before. They don't sell it in stores up here.

  4. These crawfish pies are beautiful and I love the idea!

  5. These look so good! I love the idea of making individual pies. I'm also a fan of Pillsbury pie crust, such a time saver and easy to work with.

  6. Really glad I came upon your site - great cooking! I've chosen you for the Stylish Blogger Award! Get on over to my page and pick it up - www.patti-comfycuisine.blogspot.com. Congrats and have a great day!

  7. Oh wow - your crawfish pies look and sound fantastic! The photos are an excellent "walk through" of the whole process. Thanks so much for linking to the Hearth and Soul Hop - I'm definitely looking for an rss feed and twitter link when I finish posting :)

  8. Well, I have never HAD a crawfish pie. But from what I can tell, yours look fabulously delicious!

  9. Oh, I MUST try crawfish pie...it sounds awesome! I don't live anywhere near those awesome crawfish ponds, so I'll have to go packaged...but I don't mind!

  10. I'm coming to your house--again. If I showed up as much as I said I was going to, you'd have to give me my own room. But I really want to come have supper with you.

    And it is funny-in a good way--how we make friends in that six degrees of seperation way in the blog world.

    I'm glad! And I want crawfish pie!

  11. Oh, what a yummy little hand-held pie. I would so love to make those but I'm pretty sure crawfish are non-existent here. They look amazing, and I'd be using Pillsbury too. In fact it's all I use. Would I love one or two or three of those!

  12. I have some tails in my freezer so I know what I am making soon!!

    Where in Louisiana are you from? I am from Crowley but transplanted to Texas. I miss the local food markets so much!

  13. Those look so good I could cry. My Louisiana crawfish farming family out in Iota thank you for the shout-out. I never get to make anything with Crawfish exiled up here in CO because all I can get is the Chinese kind. :(

  14. Michelle,
    Thank you for linking this to my party. I love your post and the story. And I love the song Jambalaya on the Bayou, you have me singing now. Thank you showing my button.
    Wanda Ann


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