I met MyThy at Sister Pie, where she works prepping pie filling and mixing dough for cookies, scones, crumbles, and pie crust. Plus, she has a killer Instagram account and blog. Like Lisa, who owns and operates Sister Pie, MyThy also has a creative culinary mind and bakes amazing cookies and breads. This is why I asked her to submit a recipe to Michael’s blog.
When she is not in the kitchen you can find her saving lives as an ER nurse at a local hospital in Detroit. She cares for people during the day, saving lives on- and off-hours. She nourishes people by feeding them her latest concoctions. MyThy then takes leftovers back and feeds her coworkers baked goodies to boost morale for those with grueling ER shifts. The staff call them “Mighty Treats!”
MyThy is a Southern Californian native, transplanted to Michigan, aka the Mitten State (which plays a role in her online name MyThy in the Mitten). She is discovering where to find Vietnamese produce in Detroit since she is from Orange County, which has one of the biggest Vietnamese populations in the U.S. and is known as “Little Saigon.” MyThy is also learning about the culture of Detroit, critical information such as what distinguishes the regional variations on a Coney dog (Detroit vs. Flint vs. Jackson), she is loving the Lebanese and Halal cuisine, and she has learned to forage for morels and ramps.
MyThy aspires to have her own bakery/cafe someday, featuring the Hokkaido Milk Bread that she and her mother have tweaked over the years. Today she shares with us her Savory Fall Pie. Enjoy.—EJ
By: MyThy Huynh
I am by no means a baker or a chef. But having spent the past 6 months with Lisa Ludwinski at Sister Pie, I’ve had pie on my brain for quite some time. Lisa makes unique pies reminiscent of Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn and is a veteran of Momofuku Milk Bar.
STOP. Just Stop, now. Milk Bar? As in Christina Tosi Milk Bar?
I’m obsessed with Christina Tosi and her Milk Bar recipes. It was why we first went to NYC! She’s so bubbly, innovative, smiling, and energetic. Her adoration of her grandmother and learning how to bake resonates with me. Every Milk Bar recipe reminds me of a chemistry lab experiment. Where you have to write the hypothesis, list the materials and equipment, and write each procedure is to be carried out in order to arrive at your conclusion. As a biochemistry major, she appeals to the science nerd in me. But as a passionate food obsessed adult, she bridges both aspects in all her recipes. Each recipe has a meticulously weighed ingredient that I have to search online or all of the ethnic markets to find. (Hello, feuilletine? Freeze-dried corn? Guava puree?) Head-scarf-rockin’ Tosi challenges me, and I like it.
So I patiently waited upon returning to Detroit to be one of the first to grab slices on their grand opening day. I went home with a Salted Maple pie and added homemade vanilla bean whipped cream. The Fiancé and I fought over the last bite as I posted about how I won’t be traveling to Brooklyn anytime soon when I’ve got Sister Pie a stone’s throw away! When Lisa commented on my Instagram picture of her pie and invited me to come bake with her, I was floored. Like gushing and blushing floored. I emailed her right away and the following Friday was in Sister Pie’s kitchen as though I was always meant to be at the back of the house preparing pie filling and making crusts and crumbles.
And then I had a dream about a Savory Fall Pie. What about roasted butternut squash? And maybe tart apples for sourness and texture? Throw in some greens—leeks and kale? Should I keep it vegetarian? No, I’m really into lamb right now (lamb kafta obsessed, actually). Vegetarian can wait till next Monday. But how am I going to tie it all together? What’s my sauce going to be? Or maybe I’ll make a side sauce to pour on top of the pie. Nah, lets incorporate it all into the pie. How about a gravy? A mushroom gravy. A cheesy mushroom gravy! Yesssss.
Savory Lamb Meat Pie with Gouda Sauce
For the crust: Makes enough dough for one double- or two single-crust pies
- 1 cup water
- Handful of ice cubes
- 2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
- 2 sticks (8 ounces, 225 grams tablespoons or 1 cup) cubed unsalted butter, very cold
For the filling: Makes a lot of filling!
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 4 links Moroccan Lamb Fig Sausage from Corridor Sausage (may substitute with any type of sausage)
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage leaves
- 2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled
- 2 kale leaves, washed and torn
- 1 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced in half
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- Egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon milk)
- To make the crust: Fill a 1-cup liquid measuring cup with water and drop in a handful of ice cubes. Set aside.
- In large, wide bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the cold cubed unsalted butter and toss in the flour mix.
- With a pastry blender, work the cubed butter into the flour mixture until the mixture becomes coarse and all the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas. Its okay if some are bigger than others.
- Drizzle 1/2 cup of the ice-cold water over the flour mixture and with a plastic bench scraper (or sturdy silicone spatula), gather the dough together. The butter and flour mixture may need an additional 1/4 cup of cold water, but add it 1 tablespoon at a time. Not all the water needs to be used. The butter and flour mixture should be a shaggy but clump together.
- Turn the dough onto itself and divide in half. We’re making a double-crust pie! Wrap in plastic wrap to chill in the freezer for 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.
- To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 425°F/218°C. Cut the butternut squash in half and reserve half for another dish. Peel and remove the seeds from the remaining half, and dice it into 1” cubes. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the garlic salt, and the chili flakes. Place on an oiled sheet tray and avoid over-crowding. Roast for 35 minutes, flipping at the halfway point.
- You’re going to use one large sauté pan for the entire filling and gravy. Remember to cook on medium to medium-low heat so as not to cause any burning on the bottom of the pan. If you do, you can always deglaze the pan with a splash of water or chicken broth. Remove the casings from the lamb sausages. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and cook the sausage, breaking it with a spatula into chunks until cooked through. Transfer the cooked sausage to a large bowl, leaving the drippings in the pan.
- Add the shallot and onion to the sauté pan with the sausage drippings. Cook on medium heat until translucent, stirring them so they don’t burn.
- Add the minced garlic and thinly sliced leeks and sauté until limp, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the dried sage. Transfer the filling from the pan to the bowl with the cooked lamb sausage.
- Dice the Granny Smith apple into 3/4” cubes. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to the same pan. Add the diced apple and sauté over medium-low heat until just soft and tender but not mushy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the kale to the apples and continue to sauté until the kale wilts. Transfer the apples and kale to the bowl with the sausage mixture.
- For the Mushroom Gouda Gravy: In the same pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until the water is released. Move the mushroom to the edges of the pan and melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the center of the pan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Whisk in the chicken broth and milk slowly to avoid clumping and cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in the gouda cheese in a figure-eight motion until melted, about 2 minutes, and remove from the heat.
- Pour three-quarters of the filling into the mushroom-cheese sauce and toss to coat all the filling. The sauce will not be too runny.
- Remove the pie dough from the freezer and flour your work surface to start rolling out the bottom pie crust. Roll it a few times in one direction, lift, and rotate it a quarter-turn. Continue rolling a couple times, lift the dough, and rotate it. Re-flour the work surface and the top of the dough as needed. There should be no bits of dough on the counter and none should be stuck to the rolling pin. Roll the crust to 12” in order to fit a a 9” pie pan with 1” overhang.
- Transfer the crust to a pie pan and wait to crimp the edges since we’re doing a double-crust pie.
- Pour as much filling as will fit into the pie pan and transfer the entire pie pan to the refrigerator.
- Roll out the second crust to 10” using the roll, rotate, turn method. This will be the top crust of the pie.
- Remove the pie from the refrigerator. Place the top crust over the pie and pinch the edges together. Trim to just 1” overhang and fold the crust under. Crimp the edges until you have sealed the top and bottom together.
- With the pie dough scraps you can get crafty by rerolling the dough and using cookie cutters to make fun shapes like leaves and acorns to decorate the top of the pie (using egg wash as glue). Make a few slashes in the pie to allow steam to escape during baking.
- Return the pie to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the crust to keep its shape before baking. I like to clean up and wash the dishes at this point. (Multitask win!)
- After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 425°F/218°C. Place the pie on a baking sheet, brush with the egg wash, and bake for 15 minutes. Then, lower the heat to 375°F/190°C and bake until bubbly, 40 to 50 minutes, checking halfway through that the crust is not burning. If it starts to brown, tent with foil.
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting. It will be hot! This allows the gravy to settle into the filling, too. Slice and enjoy with a side salad.
If you enjoyed this post check out these links
- My past posts for the holiday season are My Tools, Holiday Books, and My Books.
- Sister Pie’s Lisa Ludwinski’s guest post on Rhubarb Walnut Crumble Pie.
- Pleasant House Bakery in Chicago bakes up some of the tastiest savory pies around.
- BBC America shares where to find the best British pies in the USA.
© 2015 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2015 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.