Pot pies are one of the most comforting things in the entire universe to eat.
Especially this particular pot pie. I’m not just saying that because I created it.
Just pulling them from the oven with their golden brown crusts, bubbly filling and mouth-watering aroma made me feel all warm and cozy inside.
Underneath the tender, flaky crust you will find chunky bites of Italian sausage, soft cubes of sweet potato and corn swimming in a sea of smoked cheddar cheese sauce. Not your traditional pot pie.
I always hear how sweet potatoes and yams are the same things but I’ve found that to not be true. Sweet potatoes have a thinner skin that is easy to peel and the flesh is easier to cut through than yams. More like a white potato.
Yams have a thick, unyielding skin and cutting through them is similar to cutting through a raw butternut squash. It’s hard work. Even with the sharpest knife in your kitchen.
If given the choice I will always chose sweet potatoes. Not only because they’re easier to work with but they cook up creamier, sweeter and just all around more delicious.
The crust uses both butter and shortening. Shortening adds a tenderness that butter alone doesn’t and if you have to re-roll the scraps it won’t toughen out as much. If you’re against shortening you can use all butter or substitute your favorite double crust recipe. You can also use a good quality crust from the market.
I’m obsessed with smoked cheese. Especially cheddar. It has incredible flavor. I don’t even know if I can go back to the regular stuff. It is best friends with every single thing in this pie, especially playing nice with the sausage and crust.
Chunky bites of Italian sausage, soft cubes of sweet potato and corn swimming in a sea of smoked cheddar cheese sauce baked over a tender, flaky crust.
- Sift flour and salt together into a medium bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry blender or two knives used scissor fashion until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 4–5 tablespoons of ice water until dough just holds together.
- Divide into 2 uneven balls one a little bigger for the bottom crust (if using small ramekins make the 2 balls even). Pat each into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the filling.
- Add the sausage to a large, deep-sided skillet over medium heat and cook it all the way through breaking it apart as it cooks. Drain off the grease and remove the sausage to a platter or bowl.
- Add oil to the same skillet and cook onion until tender and translucent; add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the sausage back in along with the sweet potatoes, corn, Italian seasoning and red pepper. Gently mix to combine and remove from heat.
- In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat, whisk in flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in broth then cream. Bring to a simmer and cook 2-3 minutes. Whisk in cheese and parsley.
- Carefully pour into the skillet over the sausage mixture. Stir gently to combine, return to medium-low heat and cook 5 minutes stirring often. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and set a baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch drips.
- On a floured surface roll out the pie crusts (one 10-11 inch for the bottom and one 9 inch for the top). For individual pies roll both crusts to 10 inches. Cut with a biscuit cutter or use a small bowl or plate and sharp paring knife to cut 5 - 6 rounds to fit your ramekins. You may need to combine the scraps and reroll.
- Place the bottom crust into a 9-inch deep dish pie plate, spoon in filling and cover with the top crust. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush over top. Cut a few slits to allow steam to escape. Bake 30 - 35 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Allow to set 5-10 minutes before slicing.
- Place 5-6 well greased ramekins on a large baking sheet. Spoon in the filling leaving 1/2 inch of room at the top. Cover with crust, brush with egg and make a slit in the middle to allow steam to escape. Bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
Pie crust adapted from Saveur