This is the concoction that Dear Hubby begins asking about as soon as he sees a turkey being prepped. It takes about 2 cups of turkey, light or dark or a combination of meat. You can also stuff some turkey in a freezer bag to have it on hand to make these later.
The crust bakes into a golden color and develops a nutty flavor because of the cheese that bakes into the crust. I have used left over ham or chicken as a replacement for the turkey, and both work out well. Believe me, in this case it’s all about the crust, so don’t be tempted to pick up a store bought crust this time. Some of those “ready mades” are great, and I use them frequently, but it will substantially altar the outcome on this particular recipe.
Every time the holidays call for a turkey, Dear Hubby asks if we can have the turkey pie again.
CRUST - This is one of the key elements of this pie
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup butter
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
4 tablespoons cold water
2 cups turkey, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup green pepper, chopped
2 oz jar of pimentos, optional (it is very pretty, but doesn't impact the flavor in a big way)
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded.
Combine flour and salt.
Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Stir in ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese.
Add cold water (one tablespoon at a time) and until dry ingredients are moistened.
Try to handle the dough as little as possible.
Shape the dough into a ball.
Roll dough to ⅛ thickness on a lightly floured surface.
Place in a 9-inch pie plate.
Trim off excess pastry along the edges.
Fold edges under and shape as desired.
NOTE: This works best in a shallow pie pan.
Prick the bottom and sides of the pastry generously with a fork.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.
Combine turkey and remaining ingredients (Except Cheese) stirring well.
Spoon mixture into baked pastry shell.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
When the pie is removed from the oven and still hot, sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top.
Garnish with green peppers, if desired.
Let stand an additional 10-minutes before serving.
FREEZE ME – you cannot successfully freeze the finished pie because it deteriorates during the thawing process. But you can easily freeze 2 cup portions of turkey, ham or chicken in freezer bags awaiting use the next time you area ready to put this one together.
Turkey is frequently for sale at reduced rates around the holiday season. We usually pick one up even if it isn’t the planned entrée because I simply cannot resist the sale. Recently we hauled the big bird out of the freezer on a Wednesday so it could defrost in the refrigerator until the lazy week-end when we were going to put it into the oven. It was a cold week-end, so having the oven on for a few hours was a welcome condition.
I never stuff the turkey. I think they look gorgeous when they are heartily stuffed, and it certainly makes a delicious stuffing after cooking inside the bird – but I’m too lazy. Today I gave the bird a good rub down with olive oil and I put him in a turkey sized baking bag. I have great luck with those baking bags because they cook the bird a little quicker and there isn’t a need for intermittent basting. Plus, the clean up is quick, which I appreciate significantly. Don’t forget to toss a little flour in the bag before you put turkey inside, otherwise you’ll have a mini-explosion in the oven before you are finished. That will create a mess far greater than you bargained for.
One of the positives about cooking a turkey is the anticipation of all the meals that can be planned around that one fine bird. We typically have one nice turkey dinner, several sandwiches for lunches, a turkey cheese pie, and we finish it off with a rich turkey stock that eventually morphs into a tasty pot of turkey noodle soup.
Before the turkey is cooked and the first meal has been served, Dear Hubby is already asking if we can have that good Turkey Cheese Pie. He’s like a dog with a bone – and he never forgets (that!).