Savory Pie — Your Way!

savory pie

savory pie

This is really very easy to do. You all have the skills, I know you do. It’s just a lot of baby steps leading towards something visually stunning and delicious.

You’re going to be layering different fillings in a pastry, sealing it, and baking it. Everything going inside the pastry is already cooked. You’ll simply be baking the shell to meld the flavors.

What you put inside is entirely up to you. In traveling through France I’ve eaten several versions three of the layering suggestions I like best are:

You’ll notice I did not specify which cheese or ham. That’s intentional. You are all in different parts of the world with access to different things. Also, I don’t want anyone to feel any culinary snobbery. Trust your likes and buy what’s in your means. Personalize this, but most of all enjoy it.

savory pie and some suggestions for filling

savory pie and some suggestions for filling

Layering the savory pie

Layering the pie. If you don’t feel confident sealing the pie with pastry, go with a “rustic” look and leave the pie open. The top piece of meat will become dry, so either place a small piece of wax paper on top and remove it when it comes out of the oven, or layer two on top and eat that crispy top piece. 

First, make your filling ingredients and put them in the refrigerator. You’ll be putting them into a pastry. To prevent the butter in the pastry from melting prematurely it’s important you put the filling ingredients in either cool or at room temperature. Also, preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius/about 420 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next, decide whether you’d like to seal the top into one pie (as in the second photo above) or have a more rustic look? The first requires more pastry. Either buy or make the pastry and when you’re ready roll it out. Place in a cake ring, cake pan, or spring form pan. (Make sure you’ve rolled the dough wide enough to come over the lip of the pan.) Take out your fillings.

The order in which you layer depends on the look you’d like. For me, I like several different layers divided by cheese and meat, but layers all of one filling each is fine.

Savory Pie with sealed crust

Savory Pie with sealed crust. Notice the juice flowing from the pie. That’s normal. You can minimize it by putting a layer of dry bread crumbs on the very bottom layer and by making sure your fillings are not too moist. 

To seal the crust, as in the pie above, there are three ways:

  1. Apply beaten egg white to the trimmed edges hanging over the pan to create adhesion. Place the top crust over and either trim around the edges with a sharp knife or kitchen sheers.
  2. Apply the egg white as above but when you place the top crust gently tuck its edges into the filling around the edge of the pan, then fold the overhanging dough onto the top crust. Do not pinch or it will interferer when the pastry rises in the oven.
  3. Fold the outer edges onto the filling, brush the egg white on that and place the top crust on the pie. Gently press around the edges with your fingers. 

With the extra bits of pastry you have you can layer them on top of one another and gently roll again lengthwise. Cut them into long strips or use a cookie cutter to cut shapes. Affix them to the top of the crust by brushing the bottom with a little beaten egg white.

Before you place it in the oven decide if you’d like to glaze it (to add color). In the pic directly above I brushed egg yolk diluted with a little milk all over the top. It gives the finished pie a beautiful color.

Bake it at 220 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes then lower it to 200 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour to brown the crust to your liking. Depending on the pan you used and how much butter is in the pastry you can expect that there will be a thin pool of butter or fat from the crust. (The butter and moisture in the side of the pie crust has no where to go but out of the pastry.) Let the pie cool to room temperature after which you can serve it. Abroad, I’ve only ever eaten it cold for brunch. At home, I occasionally heat it up for a quick breakfast or lunch.

Savory Pie Your Way!

  • Difficulty: easy -- you're assembling what you've already prepared
  • Print


tier one (you must use)

  • Pastry, pie crust, puff pastry (store bought is fine, but homemade give you control on the fat content)

tier two (suggested)

  • Sautéed spinach (enriching with cream improves the flavor)
  • Sautéed mushrooms (use whatever variety you have on hand)
  • Thin slices of ham, pre-cooked bacon, roast beef, chicken or duck (let your budget or preference be your guide)
  • Thin slices of cheese (let your budget and preference be your guide, but I tend towards Swiss cheeses or other lighter flavors)

tier three (optional)

  • Roasted red peppers
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Sautéed turnips, carrots, parsnips
  • Caramelized onions
  • French scrambled eggs
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon milk (for glaze)
  • 1 beaten egg white + 1 teaspoon of water (to seal the top crust, if using)

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 220/420, take out your filling from the refrigerator and roll your dough so that it comes up just over the edges of the pan you’re using. Layer the fillings into the dough as you please. Either take the lose ends of the dough and fold them over the top (you don’t need to close it), trim off the sides, or add the top crust.

If adding a top crust brush the edges of the bottom crust with the egg white mixture and place the top crust over the filling gently pressing around the edges of the pan. Fold the portion of the bottom crust which is hanging over the edge onto the top crust and gently press into place. Roll out the scraps of remaining pastry to make decorations and adhere them to the top crust with the egg white mixture. Brush the surface of the pie with the egg yolk and place in the oven for 15 minutes then lower to 200/400 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes, or until the crust reaches the a beautiful golden brown.

(Oven vary. If your pie browns before the 45 minutes place a sheet of aluminum foil over it and continue baking. The core needs to reach temperature to mix all those flavors together.)


40 Comments on “Savory Pie — Your Way!

  1. Lovely – you can also do this as a picnic sandwich if you hollow out a loaf of bread and layer in the same way, then refrigerate it overnight and it slices like a dream.


      • You can use anything you like, as long as it has enough area to slice the top off, scoop the bread out of the middle and layer everything in it, if you put a layer of pesto all around the scooped out parts that is really delicious, I like a large round crusty loaf though – yum.


  2. Beautiful!! How wonderful would it be to have this on a picnic with a glass of white wine… There is an Italian recipe that I used to make that was similar. there was a layer of pasta. Your photos are amazing . Great job using macro!! ♥


  3. Ooh! Like Cornish pasties. Nom-nom.

    Ever try Brioche style dough, or choux pastry? – Oh the glory! One of those “just throw em down on the floor, strip down, and roll around in ’em”, hallelujah experiences.


    • I’ve made this several times with brioche as the shell and there’s something in Portuguese cuisine in which these ingredients are baked into the dough of a leavened bread. I’ve been practicing that one this week.

      Choux. I like savor applications, but I’m more a fan of creamy fillings. Though I haven’t done it, I could imagine enjoying a whipped spinach version in a choux shell.

      Tell me what you’ve made with brioche and choux!


      • Brioche, cut open and filled with sauteed chanterelles. Chanterelles are a specialty all over the region, and readily available. Must me eaten in moderation due to high levels of radioactive caesium 137. But who am i telling?
        Then we are fond of baking cooked hams in either a short dough, plain yeast dough, or brioche.

        The most fun i had with choux was adding a bit of grated cheddar to the dough before baking and then filling them with guava paste, like the Brazilian street vendors do with a manioc and cheese pastry. Nasty, sticky, good!


      • Sounds fun.

        So you add it to cooked brioche and not wrap the brioche around the filling?

        Caesium in the mushrooms? (shudders)


      • Yeah, use the brioche the way you would mille feuille cups, Except that you have to hollow them out a bit. They are great for serving composed salads and the like in as well: Shrimp with mangos, what have you.
        But you can use it as a crust as well just like you would use plain yeast doughs. Baked as a cover over little stoneware pots of soup is a real crowd-pleaser as well. Guaranteed “oo’s” and “ah’s”.

        Yes, radioactive caesium from the fall-out from Chernobyl. Should come as no news to you. I imagine the radioactive contamination in Japan is merely a non-issue because likely no one is testing for it. We have official health warnings from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture as to how many grams of wild mushrooms you can eat from where without endangering your health. Its not just another of my mad-cap ideas. 😉


      • The government here tests all the time. For example, if you go online daily tests of the water supply are available prefecture to prefecture — and not just for radiation.

        The radiation is in the sea water. That which got onto the land is in a specific area which, now, everyone knows. When you go to the maker here everything is clearly labeled as to where it comes from, so you can chose to eat foods from that region or not.

        I’ve seen accounts in the western press about the the radiation here. It’s overblown. It is a problem and it was totally mishandled, but it’s no where near the mess they make it sound. Still, I only eat imported fish or fish from the Japan Sea, not from the Pacific.

        Spring has come! It’s going to be a Cherry Blossom weekend here.


      • We needed the sense of doom around Fukushima to cook up a domestic political debate. Liberal / Conservative coalition government at the time wanted to capitalize on the wave of ecological, anti-nuclear sentiment that came about as a result of the Fukushima disaster in order to plug themselves as friends of the environment and the like. Total hog-wash, of course, but the voters have swallowed the story hook, line, and sinker.

        Though it would be self-deception to down-play the seriousness of the Fukushima break-down, yes, the Europeans are always quick to point fingers particularly at non-Caucasian sorts. We outsourced our labor abuses, outsourced our pollution, and ecological disasters, and are keen to outsource the sense of urgency. If you want a good laugh read the BMW hype on low emissions vehicles. They aren’t even beginning to do what Toyota and the rest have been doing for over a decade (whether the later is earth shattering or not i will leave up to the reader), and yet BMW and VW behave as if they invented electro-mobility etc. Very amusing. The next question is whether electro-mobility taken by itself is a great contribution to a more ecological society. But that is a whole new can of worms.

        Cherry Blossoms – how glorious.


  4. Steven dulling … can I make this as a totally vegetarian thing ? I mean, without any meat content, will it be moist enough ? Please?


    • You can. I asked you about cream for that reason. Fat is what makes things moist, lovely, and flavorful (unfortunately). To the cooled sauté stir in 1 – 3 tablespoons of cream to improve the flavor and texture. You can omit it and it won’t be dry, but you said you weren’t a fan of spinach so me thinks you need that little extra something to make it divine.

      Also, if you do make this dish the seasoning in the mushrooms matches the spinach, so together they’ll compliment each other. If you make this on it’s own I recommend the boiled eggs to give it heft and flavor. It’s very nice in a tart shell, or if you’d like a lower calorie version, one of the filo shells (coming tomorrow).

      Lastly, I have a vegan tofu version of this coming. It’s all written and waiting for a bit of time to pass.


      • Oh ! You know, I’ve never got into tofu. But that’s because I haven’t a clue how to use it properly.
        I shall wait with bated / baited breath for the tofu version, as an intro to how to involve it properly !
        X !


      • You should also make a tofu steak. They really are easy. Just wrap, press out the water, coat and fry.

        Do you eat seitan? How do you get your proteins?


      • It’s fake meat from vital wheat gluten. It originates from China, but American vegetarians appropriated it in the 60’s. A lot of the fake meats are made with it. It’s not so difficult to work with. You ought to try. You mix, wait, slice, boil, and then prepare as you like.

        Looking at the ingredients from the link you sent, you are eating seitan. Their version is fortified with soy protein, but it’s exactly what you can make at home. Btw, the yeast in the recipe gives it the “umami” meat flavor. 😉


      • Ah, the wondrous new flavour ! 🙂
        Does your comment mean you aren’t going to whip my hide ?


      • Oh, I’d never whip you with anything other than flattery and good cheer. (Strangely, it really can berate certain people.)


      • Oh, agreed ! 🙂
        And believe me, I take any comment from you seriously – unless it’s one of your snide remarks … [grin]

        Liked by 1 person

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