Broccoli Cheddar Pot Pie

by angelika on December 3, 2011

We took a turn for Thanksgiving this year. Instead of making our traditional Root Vegetable Pot Pie, I decided to try something completely new. I wanted to make a broccoli cheddar pot pie, but with a twist. The cheddar sauce in this pot pie is complied of both sharp, and smoked cheddar. This gives the whole pot pie a smoky flavor that had some of our guests asking if we were sure there wasn’t any meat. Instead of all broccoli, I snuck in carrots and potatoes which I think give the pot pie depth, and you know…sneak more nutrition into my kids. There is something about pot pie, apparently any vegetable in there, no matter how shunned on a daily basis, is now delicious and awesome. The pot pie crust is buttery and flaky, thanks to the combination of butter and shortening, not to mention 50% whole wheat. I flavored the crust with garlic and parmesan, which just takes the whole thing to the next level. Pot pies take some time, but in the end you are so thankful for your investment.
Broccoli Cheddar Pot Pie
Crust 
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt 
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/4 cup shortening (non hydrogenated)
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
3-4 TBS ice water 
 
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
 
Filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 carrots, diced
2 cups diced yukon gold potatoes
4 cups broccoli fleurettes
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups cream
2 cups milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar
6 ounces smoked cheddar
1/4 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
optional:
one package smokey tempeh strips, baked and crumbled
Crust:
In a large bowl whisk together both flours, salt, garlic powder, and the parmesan cheese. If you don’t have WW pastry flour you can use all AP, but I prefer to add whole grains where ever I can, and I really like the nuttiness it adds to the crust. 
 
Using a pastry cutter mix in the shortening and the butter. I like to chop the butter into pieces and then put them back in the fridge. You want the butter really cold. The blend of butter and shorting is essential. The butter gives a gorgeous flavor and the shortening a flaky crust. You want to keep mixing until the dough resembles peas and cornmeal. 
Add ice water, 1 TBS at a time, stirring with a fork until it just comes together. You will use a little less water than usual as the parmesan cheese has some water content. I used 3TBS. 
You want the dough to come together with the least amount of water possible to ensure that it is flaky. You should try to handle it quickly and gently so as not to melt all the butter.
Work it into a ball, cut the ball in half, work each half into a disk and then wrap it it wax paper or plastic wrap. You then want to let the disk rest in the fridge for at least 30 min. 


Preheat the oven to 350º. For the pot pie we are going to blind bake the bottom crust, and it is essential. This is the only way to ensure that the bottom crust is crispy instead of the dreaded mushy bottom. Roll out one of the pie crusts in between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap. Then lay it into your pie dish and trim the edges. Cover the crust with parchment or buttered foil, butter side down. Then fill the crust with beans.

 

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully remove the beans and foil. Prick the bottom of the crust a few times with a fork to prevent bubbling. Then put it back in the hot oven for 10 minutes. Don’t worry if there are small cracks or a few broken edges, the top crust will cover most imperfections. 

 
 
Filling:
Heat the oil on medium heat, then saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Add potatoes and carrots and a pinch of salt. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and saute for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and cover, steam for 5-10 minutes. You are looking for the vegetables to be al dente. Remove them from the pan and set aside to cool just a touch. Otherwise the steam can make the crust hard to manage.
At the same time, preheat the oven to 400º. Bake a package of tempeh bacon strips for 5 minutes on each side. Set aside.
 
 
Sauce:
Warm the milk and cream. Grate the cheese. I use a food processor for this. It just makes it so.much.faster.
Melt the butter on medium heat. Whisk in the flour and whisk for 3 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Add the cream/milk, and whisk continuously until the mixture reaches a boil. At this point it will thicken. You can feel it. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese with a wooden spoon. When the cheese is melted, salt to taste. If you usually don’t like things to taste “salty” you might want to go past your comfort zone a touch. The sauce really flavors the whole dish and the crust is not salty at all. 
 
Assemble:
Fill the pie shell with the vegetables and crumbled tempeh. Pour sauce over top generously. (you will only use half the cheese recipe)  Roll out the top crust and fit it to the top of the pie. Crimp the edges to seal. Poke a few vent holes in the top of the crust. Beat the egg and brush the top of the crust with the egg wash.
Bake at 400º for 30-40 minutes. You are looking for a golden crust. Remove from the oven and let the pot pie stand for at least 10 minutes. It makes all the difference in the way the pie slices up. If you cut into it too fast, it’s a mushy mess. If you let the cheese sauce cool a bit you get nice slices without a lot of ooze. I really loved the flavor of fume de sel sprinkled on top. It is an oak aged fleur de sel, super crunchy and briny like fleur de sel, with a smoky taste to it.
If you are wondering what to do with the other half of the cheese sauce, stay tuned. It makes an amazing cauliflower gratin. You can also serve it on top of left over pot pie. Reheating seems to dry it out a tad, and the extra sauce comes in handy.
A votre santé!
 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

tweal December 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Oh yum. I could go for some of that right about now – it would be a great breakfast, I think! Something about cheese and broccoli that is so perfect together, but I've never tried it in a pot pie. Good idea.

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