Military Martha in the Kitchen

Once Christmas has come and gone the last thing we want to do is spend more money or spend hours in the kitchen cooking a meal.  Whatcha need is a good way to use up what you have leftover from the holiday meal. If your family is like ours we have more turkey than Santa has tired elves after Christmas.  A simple, hot, delicious meal that doesn’t take hours to make using the leftover turkey is what you need- and my Granny Martha would make this turkey pie from scratch.  I’ll give you the family recipe- and I’ll tell you how to use short cuts if you’re busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest.

Granny Martha’s Turkey Pie-

You’re going to need a pie plate, a pastry cutter (or two knives), and a rolling pin

Crust;

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup Crisco shortening

5 Tablespoons ice cold water

Shredded Turkey meat (white and dark meat)

Turkey gravy- (if you have it leftover be sure to heat it up before using)

4 cups of liquid can be turkey pan juices and chicken broth

1/4 cup corn starch

1/4 cup water

seasonings to taste- I use salt, pepper and garlic but any spices that appeal to your family is fine

** SHORTCUT ALERT ** Now if you’re going to make the pie crust from scratch here’s the technique… but if your schedule won’t allow it- Pillsbury makes ready made pie crusts that can be used instead. You can find them near the biscuits in the refrigerated  aisle.  If you don’t have time to make gravy from scratch you can also purchase ready made gravy near the soup aisle.

Pie Crust directions:

HEAT the oven to 425 degrees

In a large bowl mix flour and salt.

Cut in the Crisco with a pastry blender or two knives (one knife in each hand pulling through the flour in opposite directions, like scissors) until the flour is blended with the Crisco into pea size chunks.

Sprinkle the water one Tablespoon at a time into the flour mixture tossing gently with a fork until the dough forms a solid ball.

Divide the dough into two equal parts one for the top crust and one for the bottom crust.

Press each part into a 5-6 inch “pancake”- with a lightly floured rolling pin on a lightly floured flat surface roll one “pancake” into the bottom crust, a circle that is 1 inch wider than the upside down pie plate.  Loosen the dough carefully from the surface and fold lightly into quarters.  Transfer into the pie plate and unfold to cover the bottom.  Lightly press down into the pie plate, trim the excess from the edges and set aside.  Lightly prick the bottom with a fork- so that air can be released in cooking, and brush the edges lightly with water, this  helps seal the two crusts together.

At this point add the filling, turkey and gravy- if your family likes veggies, you can add them as well.

REPEAT rolling of the dough with the second “pancake” to form the top crust.  Place the top crust over the filling and the edges touching the edges of the bottom crust.  Trim the edges at least 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pie plate.  Fold the top edge under the bottom crust, pinching with your fingers to seal the bottom crust with the top crust.  To make it pretty you can flute the edges by pinching both the top and bottom crust together with your fingers, or by pressing with the tongs of a fork to make a ruffled edge.

Cut slits into the top of the crust so steam can escape- otherwise your pie might explode in the oven.

Now the excess dough cut from the crusts can be made into shapes to add to the top of your pie if you want to make it pretty.  I usually roll it out and make leaves for the top.  Granny Martha would roll out the excess dough, sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar, bake it on a cookie sheet for a special treat for us grandkids.  Either way- you don’t have to waste the excess dough.

Now the pie can be put in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes- or until the crust is golden brown.

If you are making the gravy from scratch here’s the recipe for that-

Turkey Gravy;

Bring the Turkey “liquid” to a rolling boil (rolling boil is when bubbles are bursting in the liquid)

In a separate bowl (or I use a Tupperware bowl with a lid) dissolve the water and cornstarch.  With the Tupperware bowl I put the cornstarch and water together and shake with the lid on vigorously… otherwise you can stir with a spoon.  Stirring with a spoon doesn’t always dissolve as well- so I prefer the shaking method.

Once the Turkey liquid is boiling, add the dissolved cornstarch and water- leave the heat on high.  Stir constantly until the gravy reaches the desired thickness.

Add the spices as desired and stir in- turn down heat or the gravy will keep thickening.  Use the gravy with the Turkey as pie filling and set some aside for pouring over the pie when serving.

If the turkey gravy isn’t thick enough you can add more dissolved cornstarch and water, it’s always one per one- one amount of cornstarch per the same amount of water.

Canned gravy works just as well, but I personally don’t think tastes as good… its your choice of course, and honestly no one will fault you for taking a short cut.

The best way to serve the Turkey pie is a big slice  smothered in gravy with a side of mashed potatoes or leftover stuffing.  However you slice it, it’s a delicious way to use up that excess turkey!

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