No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls

Small white bowl filled with several no-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls sitting on gray table
No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls

Sometimes called energy balls, power balls, protein balls, or bliss balls, these trendy snacks are tasty little morsels.  The recipe I am sharing today is for No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls, so named because they are, well, blissfully divine!

Single Chocolate Almond Bliss Ball covered in toasted coconut and sitting on gray table
No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Ball Rolled in Crushed Toasted Coconut

These bliss balls are a great energy burst, particularly in the “slump” period of mid-afternoon when you might find yourself a bit low on energy and maybe need a little pick-me-up.  These balls go great with a cup of tea, such as Earl Grey in the afternoon, or a more robust Kenyan Tinderet if enjoying them as an after dinner treat.

These are a staple in my freezer and I will often pop one into a small container for my work lunch bag.  They are great travelers and I frequently pack some to take along on road trips.

Small white bowl filled with No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls Rolled in Hemp Hearts set against a pink and gray backdrop
No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls Rolled in Hemp Hearts

These no-bake bliss balls are not difficult to make.  Essentially, the majority of the ingredients are pulsed in a food processor with the chopped chocolate bar, hemp hearts, and toasted coconut added by hand at the end.  Pulse the dates first. Depending on the size of the food processor bowl, the dates will either form a paste-like consistency (if a small food processor is used), or clump together into a ball (if a large food processor is used).  Either consistency is fine.  If you have a mini food processor, it is great for this step but use the larger food processor for incorporating all the ingredients together. Use the pulse feature on the machine as you mix the ingredients. The idea is to incorporate them, not crush or mash all the ingredients into a paste.

I use my favorite chocolate bar for this recipe.  That would be the Toblerone bar that I first discovered many years ago in Basel, Switzerland.  With its honey and almond nougat, it blends well with the other ingredients, including the finely ground almonds, in these bliss balls.  However, other kinds of solid chocolate bars could be substituted. Chop the chocolate into small morsels.

Interior of Chocolate Almond Bliss Ball
No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Ball

The bliss balls can easily be made gluten free by using gluten-free rolled oats and, of course, ensuring all other ingredients called for in the recipe are gluten free.

Top-down view of bowl filled with Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls set against a medium-brown cutting board
Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls

If the mixture seems a bit too dry to form into balls, add small amounts of water, a teaspoon or two at a time, and pulse mixture.  Be careful about adding too much water as it can make the mixture too soft, moist, and “mushy”. The reasons that could cause the mixture to be a bit dry might be dates that are dry and/or the size/quality of rolled oats used.

Chilling the mixture for 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator will make it easier to form the balls.  For size consistency, and as a frame of reference for these bliss balls, use 28-30 grams of mixture per ball. The balls can be left plain or they can be rolled in hemp hearts or crushed toasted coconut.

Close-up of Chocolate Almond Bliss Ball sitting on a wooden board
No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls Rolled in Hemp Hearts

These No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls can be stored for up to five days in an airtight container in the refrigerator or frozen for longer storage.  Place the balls in single layers between sheets of wax paper in the storage container.

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls

Ingredients:

4 oz honey dates (pitted), coarsely chopped (apx 12 large dates)

2/3 cup quick rolled oats (gluten-free, if required)
½ cup smooth almond butter
2½ tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup finely ground almonds
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
2 tsp vanilla whey protein powder
1/8 tsp fine sea salt

1½ oz Toblerone chocolate bar, chopped small
3 tbsp hemp hearts
1/3 cup toasted coconut

Additional hemp hearts and/or toasted coconut for rolling balls (optional)

Method:

Pulse dates in food processor until they form a paste or clump into a ball.  Add the rolled oats, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, ground almonds, cocoa, ground chia and flax seeds, vanilla whey protein powder, and sea salt. Pulse mixture until ingredients are completely blended.

Mix in the chopped Toblerone bar, hemp hearts, and toasted coconut by hand.  If mixture seems too dry, two to three teaspoons of water may be blended into ingredients.  Place mixture in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to chill.

Roll mixture by hand into balls.  For frame of reference, each ball should weigh approximately 28-30 grams.  If desired, roll balls in hemp hearts or crushed toasted coconut. Place balls on parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for 20-25 minutes to firmly set.  Store, in single layers separated by waxed paper, in airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator or freeze for longer storage.

Yield:  Apx. 20-22 balls

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No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls

These tasty No-bake Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls are the perfect pick-me-up during the mid-afternoon slump period or enjoy as an after-dinner sweet treat.
Course Snack
Keyword Bliss Balls
Servings 20
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 4 oz honey dates pitted, coarsely chopped (apx 12 large dates)
  • 2/3 cup quick rolled oats gluten-free, if required
  • ½ cup smooth almond butter
  • tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil melted and cooled
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup finely ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 2 tsp vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • oz Toblerone chocolate bar chopped small
  • 3 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut
  • Additional hemp hearts and/or toasted coconut for rolling balls optional

Instructions

  1. Pulse dates in food processor until they form a paste or clump into a ball. Add the rolled oats, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, ground almonds, cocoa, ground chia and flax seeds, vanilla whey protein powder, and sea salt. Pulse mixture until ingredients are completely blended.
  2. Mix in the chopped Toblerone bar, hemp hearts, and toasted coconut by hand. If mixture seems too dry, two to three teaspoons of water may be blended into ingredients. Place mixture in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to chill.
  3. Roll mixture by hand into balls. For frame of reference, each ball should weigh approximately 28-30 grams. If desired, roll balls in hemp hearts or crushed toasted coconut. Place balls on parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for 20-25 minutes to firmly set. Store, in single layers separated by waxed paper, in airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator or freeze for longer storage.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 20-22 balls

 

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Chocolate Almond Bliss Balls

 

 

Tulips and Easter Eggs Tablescape

Wooden table set with large bouquet of pink and orange tulips and Royal Albert Lavender Rose China
Tulips and Easter Eggs Tablescape

This Easter-themed tablesetting is perfect for the host or hostess who is not overly knacky with arranging flowers.  Tulips make a stunning bouquet as they come in such an array of fabulous colors. With their stately long stems, tulips practically arrange themselves!

Large glass vase filled with bright pink and orange tulips in the center of a table
Tulip Bouquet

This bouquet came from Bernadette’s Flowers in Stratford PEI and these tulips are greenhouse-grown here on the Island at Vanco Farms in Mount Albion.  You can read my story following my visit to Vanco Farms by clicking here.  While Vanco Farms, as of January 2019, no longer operate a retail outlet at their greenhouses, their wonderful tulips are available at local florist shops and supermarkets from January through to mid-spring.  They also ship off-Island as well. They are a top quality product.

Single bright pink tulip stem
PEI-grown Tulip

What makes this bouquet so easy is that, if you get tulips from a local florist shop, they will arrange the bouquet for you with some filler flowers as accents.  Basically, all you need to do is carefully remove them from their packaging and place them, already arranged, into a favorite vase as I have done here. Easy-peasy.

Bouquet of bright pink and orange tulips
Pink and Orange Tulips

Because it’s Easter, I am bringing out the good Royal Albert china for the occasion.  It’s light, bright, and airy and the deep pink in the tulips and the purple filler flowers pick up the floral colors in the Lavender Rose pattern of the dinnerware.

In this tablesetting, I have opted to use white cloth placemats and to expose the wood in my dining table.  The charger plates are a soft shade of pink-mauve, in keeping with traditional pastel Easter colors. Charger plates are one of the easiest ways to change out the look of dinnerware.  For this pattern, I have about four different colors of chargers I use and each will bring a different look to the table.

Close-up of placesetting featuring dinner plate, salad plate, and cream soup bowl. Dinnerware is white background with small pink and purple flower border. Pink napkin folded into the shape of bunny ears is placed inside the soup bowl
Lavender-Rose Pattern – Royal Albert China

 

The napkin fold I have selected for this tablesetting is the whimsical bunny ear fold.  Easy to do, this adds a touch of whimsy to each placesetting. The design also produces a small cavity in which to tuck a special little treat. These napkins have a sparkly silver thread running through them that gives understated bling to the tablescape.

Pink napkin is folded into the shape of bunny ears and placed inside a soup bowl at an Easter-themed tablescape
Bunny Ear Napkin Fold

Scatter a few Easter eggs around the centre of the table and you’re done!

Maple table is set with Royal Albert's Lavender Rose dinnerware. Centerpiece is a large bouquet of pink and orange tulips in tall glass vase
An Easter-themed Tablesetting

I hope you have enjoyed a little glimpse into my Easter-themed tablesetting.  Have a wonderful Easter!

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Easter-themed tablesetting with Royal Albert "Lavender Rose" dinnerware on pink charger plates. Napkin fold is the bunny ear fold with pink napkins. A large crystal vase of pink and orange tulips is in center of table.

For other Easter-themed tablesetting inspiration from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Easter Tablesetting
A Casual Tablescape for Easter Brunch
The Bunnies Are Ready for Easter Breakfast Tablesetting
Springtime Yellow Tablescape
Tulip Time Tablescape
Peter Cottontail Tablesetting for Easter
Tulip Clusters Springtime Tablescape
Tip Toe Through the Tulips Easter Tablesetting

 

 

 

Double-crusted Chicken Pot Pies

Small Chicken Pot Pie on white dinner plate with small dish of cranberry sauce
Double-crusted Chicken Pot Pie

Comfort food has an emotional, nostalgic, and/or sentimental aspect to it.  It evokes reactions to the senses of sight, taste, and smell.  Think of walking into a kitchen where, for example, a roast chicken or turkey dinner is cooking.  Can you visualize the golden roasted chicken or turkey?  Recall the aroma? The satisfying taste? The mere sound of someone talking about homemade apple pie can summon both the smell and taste sensation of such a fabulously simple dessert.  Maybe you remember the smell of bread baking in the oven at your mother’s or grandmother’s house.  Can you recall the heavenly taste of the homemade bread?

These are a few classic examples of traditional comfort foods.  They are typically hearty foods (not necessarily devoid of calories) that conjure up great taste sensations and perhaps wonderful memories of special people in your life with whom you associate specific foods or special events.

One of my special memories of comfort food is arriving at my grandmother’s house just as a batch of big, fat, soft molasses cookies was coming out of the oven.  This particular grandmother was the epitome of the typical picture of a grandmother – gray hair in a bun, floral pinafore….and you get the picture.  Even as I write this, decades later, I can still conjure up the spicy scent of the molasses cookies and the memory picture of my grandmother removing the pan of cookies from the oven of her wood stove and her sheer pleasure, sitting in her Boston rocker beside the stove, watching little hands reaching for a warm cookie and savoring every bite.  Sweet memories of simple pleasures.

Small, individuall sized chicken pot pies in little tin pie plates sitting on top of a green and white tea towel
Individual Double-crusted Chicken Pot Pies

Today, I am sharing my recipe for individual-size Chicken Pot Pies that, in my view, fall nicely into the comfort food category.  Getting the right seasoning and consistency for the sauce and a flaky pastry in which to encase the filling are the two big aspects of making a tasty and satisfying chicken pot pie.  Once you have a good recipe for those, you have a good chicken pot pie.

These pies are filled with a mixture of vegetables and chunks of chicken (or turkey – either works) surrounded by a gently seasoned creamy sauce.  All encased within tender and flaky pastry, these Chicken Pot Pies are the full meal deal.  I typically serve them with nothing but the condiments of homemade mustard pickles and/or cranberry sauce.

Small individual chicken pot pie on dinner plate beside small dish of cranberry sauce
Chicken Pot Pie

Making homemade Chicken Pot Pies can be a bit time-consuming but, if you break the task down into logical steps, the work is accomplished quite efficiently and the end result is all worth it. There are four key steps in making this classic comfort food:

  • Get organized
  • Prepare the filling
  • Prepare the pastry
  • Assemble and bake the pies

Step 1 – Get Organized

Breaking down the tasks and preparing and measuring all the ingredients before beginning to cook will make the work of preparing Chicken Pot Pies efficient.  Of course, the first step is to read through the recipe thoroughly to ensure you understand the steps and procedure.  Make the grocery list of any items you don’t already have on hand.  Plan the shopping excursion to the supermarket.

The recipe is written in logical format, calling for ingredients in the order in which the method is laid out.  Break down the tasks.  Some parts can actually be prepared the day before.  If you need to cook chicken for this recipe, complete that task the day before. The vegetables can be peeled, chopped, and stored in the refrigerator overnight. The pastry can be made the day before and refrigerated. In fact, the entire filling can be made a day ahead and refrigerated and the pies assembled the following day.

Set out all the pots, pans, and cooking utensils needed.  Remember those Home Ec class days when we thought these tasks were mundane and tedious and all we really wanted to do was get to the actual cooking? Turns out the teacher really was giving great advice on how to efficiently organize cooking activities. There is nothing more frustrating than looking for a grater or big spoon just as you’re ready for it!

Before starting to make the recipe, group the ingredients according to different aspects of the pie-making – i.e., pastry ingredients, vegetables, and sauce.   By doing this upfront organization, it will ensure you don’t leave out an ingredient, the actual making of the dish will go faster, and the work area will be less chaotic and cluttered than it would be if several containers and ingredients are all over the counter.

Look for items in the recipe that need the longest cooking or chilling times and prepare those first.  Start with the filling and know that the filling has to be completely cold before assembling the pies so be sure to allot time for the chilling process.  Otherwise, hot or warm filling will break down the fat in the pastry, causing a soggy bottom crust. The pastry needs chilling time, though less than the filling, so make it while the filling is cooling.

Step 2 – Make the Filling

Cooked poultry (either chicken or turkey) is required for this recipe.  This is a great recipe to use if you have leftover roast chicken or turkey.  Chicken or turkey breasts can, of course, be cooked (using your preferred cooking method) specifically for this recipe.  A supermarket BBQ chicken can also be used to save time.

Sauté the vegetables. Having the vegetables already chopped means they can be quickly added to the pan when needed since some vegetables require shorter cooking times than others. It also means that some vegetables in the pan are not getting over-cooked and limp while you stop to chop up the ones needed next.

Prepare the sauce.  Either wheat-based or gluten-free flour can be used as the primary thickener in this recipe.  The recipe calls for either chicken or turkey stock and either homemade or commercial stock can be used.

The sauce needs to be cooked until thickened to the consistency of a very thick chowder.  Add the cooked chicken and frozen peas. Cool the filling completely before assembling pies.

Step 3 – Make the Pastry

The pastry for this pie can be made with either wheat-based flour or gluten-free 1-to-1 flour. The 1-to-1 flour can be used in the same quantity as the recipe calls for for the wheat-based flour.  Other gluten-free flours cannot automatically be substituted, cup-for-cup, so you’d need to know their individual properties, substitution weights, and how they would interact with the fat and liquid content called for in the recipe in order to use them in this recipe.

Here are some basic hints on successfully making pastry, regardless if you are making wheat-based or gluten-free pastry.  All ingredients, even the flour, should be super cold.  Use only enough of the water-egg-vinegar mixture that the dough will cling together.  Too much water will yield a tough crust and, as we all know, the hallmark of the best pastry is a tender and flaky texture.  Adding some vinegar to the liquid ingredients helps to tenderize the dough.  I use one part butter and one part lard in my pie pastry. Using all butter in pastry will give a wonderful flavor and a lovely tanned crust. However, it can be a bit finnicky to work with because it softens very easy and can quickly be over-blended with the flour. If overworked, a tough crust is likely. While lard is easy to work with and will give layers of flakiness in the pastry, it lacks the flavour that butter gives. I find the best combination of fats to provide flakiness, tenderness, flavour, and structure to pastry is to use one part lard and one part butter.  I coarsely chop/cube the butter and lard into the flour then take my pastry cutter and blend the fats to the consistency of large peas.  There is no need to mash it or blend it finely.  Use flour sparingly on the work surface on which the pastry is rolled out as too much flour toughens pastry. Roll the pastry to desired thickness, generally between 1/16” – 1/8” thick.

Hands on rolling pin rolling out pie pastry with three disks of pastry in the foreground
Rolling Pie Pastry

The pastry can be made several days ahead and refrigerated up to three to four days or frozen for up to 2-3 months.  Because pastry dough freezes well, I will often mix up a large batch of pastry to have on hand in the freezer.  Simply divide the dough into desired size portions, form into disks, and freeze individually wrapped in plastic wrap inside airtight freezer bags.

This recipe is designed to be made into individual personal-sized pies, about 4” – 5” in diameter.  These small individual pies have been designed to be double-crusted pies.  I prefer presenting them as individual personal pies versus baking them in large pie plates because the smaller pies stay intact and plate well.  By making them double-crusted, they are easily slid out of the pie plates on to dinner plates and the filling stays inside the two crusts. The filling is the consistency of thick chowder so, if it was made in a large pie plate and wedges were cut, it is likely that it would not cut out well with the filling staying intact inside each pie wedge and, for lack of a better description, it would go “splat” when cut and transferred to a plate.

Individual chicken pot pie on white dinner plate with a small dish of cranberry sauce
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

I have a supply of small tin pie plates I typically use for these pies but tinfoil meat pie plates work equally well and, if I run out of the tin plates, I do use the tinfoil ones.  These will often be labeled as meat pie plates and can be obtained at reasonable prices at supermarkets and even dollar stores.

Eight mini tin and tinfoil pieplates on table
5″ Individual Pie Plates

 

Step 4 – Assemble the Pies

Place the cold filling in the prepared and chilled pie shells.  Cover with the top crust pastry.  Ensure there are slits in the top of the pastry to allow the steam to escape while the pies bake. Glaze the tops of the pies with an egg wash, if desired.  Use a light touch when applying the egg wash – don’t saturate the tops of the pies. The egg wash will add more color and a lovely gloss to the tops of the pies.  Place the unbaked pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the filling to settle and to chill the pastry.  This will help to reduce pastry shrinkage during baking.

Hands rolling pie pastry with small chicken pot pies in the foreground
Making Double-crusted Chicken Pot Pies

Place the pies on one or two large baking sheets and transfer them to the lowest rack in the oven that has been preheated to 425°F. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 375°F and bake the pies for about 35-40 minutes or until the filling starts bubbling out through the steam vent holes in the tops of the pies. Using the bottom rack heats the bottoms of the pies, yielding a more crispy and stable crust.

These pies are best if they rest after baking for 15-20 minutes at room temperature before eating.  This allows the filling to set and the pie to be at comfortable eating temperature so its flavor is best enjoyed.

Two baked Chicken Pot Pies on brown background
Chicken Pot Pies

If making the pies to have for later use, freeze them unbaked then bake them from frozen state.  Allow an additional 10-15 minutes for the frozen pies to bake.

Individual chicken pot pie on white dinner plate with knife and fork in background
Chicken Pot Pie

These Chicken Pot Pies are part of my “batch cooking for the freezer” repertoire.  They are super handy to have on hand and make a weeknight dinner easy to pull together with minimal work and kitchen clean-up at the time.  The added bonus is the divine aroma in the house as the pies bake, whetting the appetite for a tasty dinner to enjoy.

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Double-crusted Chicken Pot Pies

 Ingredients:

1 batch pastry (recipe follows)

1½ tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
½ cup onion, finely chopped
¾ cup carrots, diced into ¼“cubes
2/3 cup celery, finely chopped
¼ cup parsnip, diced into 1/8“ cubes
¼ cup turnip, diced into ¼“ cubes

2 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced or chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp dried summer savory
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 cup warm poultry stock (either chicken or turkey)
8 oz Russet potatoes, diced into ½” cubes (apx. 1 cup diced)

1 tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour (or 1-to-1 gluten-free flour)
1½ tbsp cornstarch
2 cups warm poultry stock (either chicken or turkey)
1/2 cup whipping cream (35% M.F.)
2½ tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2½ tbsp medium cheddar cheese, finely grated
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1½ tbsp dry white wine (optional)
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt and Pepper, to taste

2½ cups cooked diced chicken
½ cup frozen peas

 Method:

In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat then add the butter.  When butter is melted, add the onion, carrots, celery, parsnip, and turnip.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 minutes.  Add the mushrooms, garlic, summer savory, oregano, and rosemary.  Cook 2-3 minutes longer, stirring continuously.  Add 1 cup chicken or turkey stock and the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to low and simmer for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften.  Remove from heat.

While vegetables are cooking start preparing the sauce by heating second amount of oil in separate saucepan over medium heat.  Add the butter.  Stir in the flour and cornstarch (mixed together).  Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of warm chicken or turkey stock along with the whipping cream, cheeses, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, white wine, cayenne, parsley, and salt and pepper.  Reduce heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens to the consistency of a very thick chowder.

Add the cooked chicken and frozen peas to the saucepan or Dutch oven containing the vegetables.  Stir.  Pour the sauce into the mixture.  Stir. Remove from heat and cool for about ¾ hour at room temperature, stirring occasionally, then refrigerate until mixture is cold.

Pastry

Ingredients:

5 cups all-purpose flour (or, for gluten-free pastry, 5 cups gluten free 1-to-1 flour)
1¼ tsp salt
3 tsp granulated sugar
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup lard
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3¾ tsp vinegar
Enough ice-cold water to make 1 cup liquid (combined with egg and vinegar)

For egg wash:  1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp water (optional)

Method:

In medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and sugar together.  Cut the butter and lard into chunks and add to the flour.  With a pastry cutter, cut the butter and lard into the flour until the fats resemble the size of large peas.

In a measuring cup, whisk the egg and vinegar together.  Add enough cold water to measure 1 cup.  Add the egg-vinegar-water mixture to the flour, small amounts at a time, and mix with a fork.  Add only enough water that the dough clings together and can be formed into a ball.

Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces.  Form disk shapes with each piece. Wrap disks individually in plastic wrap or place, single layer, in large airtight container. Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill. Remove one disk at a time from the refrigerator and roll pastry to desired thickness, generally between 1/16”and 1/8” thickness. Transfer pastry to a 4” or 5” pie plate that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray or greased.  Cut off excess dough so pastry is flush with the pie plate edge.  Place pie shell in refrigerator to keep chilled. Repeat with remaining disks.

Prepare pastry for the top crusts in the same manner as for the bottom crust.  Remove pie shells from refrigerator and equally divide cold chicken filling between the prepared cold shells. Brush outside rim edges of bottom crust pastry along pie plate edge with a bit of water to moisten. Transfer rolled-out pastry to the top of pie filling in each pie plate. Trim excess pastry flush with the pie plate edge.  Press the edge of the pastry all around the pie plate rim with tines of fork to adhere top crust to bottom crust.  Cut slits in top of pie pastry to allow steam to escape as pie bakes. For additional venting, prick each pie in several places with tines of a fork.

For pastry egg wash, lightly beat the egg yolk with 1 tbsp water in a small bowl.  With a pastry brush, lightly brush the pie with the egg wash.

Place pies in refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow filling to settle and to chill pastry to reduce shrinkage while pies bake.

While pies are chilling, place oven rack in lowest position in oven. Preheat oven to 425°F.  Place pies on large baking sheet(s) and bake for 10 minutes then lower oven temperature to 375°F and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until filling is bubbling through slits in tops of pies.  For unbaked frozen pies, bake at same temperatures for approximately 50-55 minutes, or until filling is bubbling through slits in tops of pies.

Yield:  Ten – 4 or 5-inch individual pies

Note:  If making this recipe gluten free, ensure that all ingredients, not only the flour, called for in the recipe are gluten free.

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Double-crusted Chicken Pot Pies

Individual made-from-scratch double-crusted Chicken Pot Pies are chock full of poultry and vegetables in a delectable creamy filling, all encased between tender flaky pie crusts. The supreme comfort food!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword Chicken, chicken pot pies
Servings 10
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 batch pastry recipe follows
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup carrots, diced into ¼“cubes
  • 2/3 cup celery, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup parsnip, diced into 1/8“ cubes
  • ¼ cup turnip, diced into ¼“ cubes
  • 2 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp dried summer savory
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 cup warm poultry stock, either chicken or turkey
  • 8 oz Russet potatoes, diced into ½” cubes (apx. 1 cup diced)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour or 1-to-1 gluten-free flour
  • tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups warm poultry stock, either chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream, 35% M.F.
  • tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • tbsp medium cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • tbsp dry white wine (optional)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • cups cooked diced chicken
  • ½ cup frozen peas

Pastry:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour or, for gluten-free pastry, 5 cups gluten free 1-to-1 flour
  • tsp salt
  • 3 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup lard
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • tsp vinegar
  • Enough ice-cold water to make 1 cup liquid (combined with egg and vinegar)
  • For egg wash: 1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp water (optional)

Instructions

  1. In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat then add the butter. When butter is melted, add the onion, carrots, celery, parsnip, and turnip. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, summer savory, oregano, and rosemary. Cook 2-3 minutes longer, stirring continuously. Add 1 cup chicken or turkey stock and the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to low and simmer for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften. Remove from heat.
  2. While vegetables are cooking start preparing the sauce by heating second amount of oil in separate saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter. Stir in the flour and cornstarch (mixed together). Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of warm chicken or turkey stock along with the whipping cream, cheeses, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, white wine, cayenne, parsley, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens to the consistency of a very thick chowder.
  3. Add the cooked chicken and frozen peas to the saucepan or Dutch oven containing the vegetables. Stir. Pour the sauce into the mixture. Stir. Remove from heat and cool for about ¾ hour at room temperature, stirring occasionally, then refrigerate until mixture is cold.

Pastry:

  1. In medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and sugar together. Cut the butter and lard into chunks and add to the flour. With a pastry cutter, cut the butter and lard into the flour until the fats resemble the size of large peas.
  2. In a measuring cup, whisk the egg and vinegar together. Add enough cold water to measure 1 cup. Add the egg-vinegar-water mixture to the flour, small amounts at a time, and mix with a fork. Add only enough water that the dough clings together and can be formed into a ball.
  3. Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces. Form disk shapes with each piece. Wrap disks individually in plastic wrap or place, single layer, in large airtight container. Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill. Remove one disk at a time from the refrigerator and roll pastry to desired thickness, generally between 1/16”and 1/8” thickness. Transfer pastry to a 4” or 5” pie plate that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray or greased. Cut off excess dough so pastry is flush with the pie plate edge. Place pie shell in refrigerator to keep chilled. Repeat with remaining disks.
  4. Prepare pastry for the top crusts in the same manner as for the bottom crust. Remove pie shells from refrigerator and equally divide cold chicken filling between the prepared cold shells. Brush outside rim edges of bottom crust pastry along pie plate edge with a bit of water to moisten. Transfer rolled-out pastry to the top of pie filling in each pie plate. Trim excess pastry flush with the pie plate edge. Press the edge of the pastry all around the pie plate rim with tines of fork to adhere top crust to bottom crust. Cut slits in top of pie pastry to allow steam to escape as pie bakes. For additional venting, prick each pie in several places with tines of a fork.
  5. For pastry egg wash, lightly beat the egg yolk with 1 tbsp water in a small bowl. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the pie with the egg wash.
  6. Place pies in refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow filling to settle and to chill pastry to reduce shrinkage while pies bake.
  7. While pies are chilling, place oven rack in lowest position in oven. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place pies on large baking sheet(s) and bake for 10 minutes then lower oven temperature to 375°F and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until filling is bubbling through slits in tops of pies. For unbaked frozen pies, bake at same temperatures for approximately 50-55 minutes, or until filling is bubbling through slits in tops of pies.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Ten – 4 or 5-inch individual pies

Note: If making this recipe gluten free, ensure that all ingredients, not only the flour, called for in the recipe are gluten free.