Individual Mac and Cheese Pot Pies


20140105-194509.jpgFromage Homage

After reading the details of Fromage Homage’s January challenge, along with a particularly hilarious post about an attempt to make homemade cheddar cheese, I decided I had a recipe that was challenge worthy: my mac and cheese pot pie. (See rules of the challenge here.) I figured my recipe was a shoe-in because it’s two comfort foods combined into one!

I decided to go with a version of Warren Brown’s recipe for a cheese pie crust, having just received his cookbook, Pie Love, from my dad for Christmas. I adapted his recipe to make by hand instead of in a food processor. I tend to over-process pie crusts when using a food processor.

Then I went with a bunch of white cheeses for the mac and cheese part, because that’s what I had in my fridge. This recipe made four individual pot pies. I would dare anyone to eat one whole pie in one sitting. I estimate it makes about 8 servings. Plus I had an entire bowl full of leftover mac and cheese sans pot pie crust.

cheese pie crust ingredients.

  • 2 ¾ c. flour
  • 1 tsp. superfine sugar
  • ½ c. hard aged cheese, finely grated (such as pecorino Romano or Parmesan), very cold
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  •  ¾ c. very cold  butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 to 8 T. ice water

cheese pie crust directions.

  1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add butter to flour mixture and cut butter pieces with two knives until you get pea-sized bits of butter.
  2. Stir water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate, at least 30 minutes or overnight.

20140105-194411.jpg

pot pie ingredients.

  • cheese pie crust
  • 16 oz. package of noodles (shells, elbow, penne, etc.)
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  •  3 c. whole milk
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 c. white cheese, finely shredded (I used a mixture of Pecorino Romano, Havarti, Monterrey Jack and Fontina)
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. bread crumb mixture*
  • salt and pepper, to taste

20140105-194420.jpg

pot pie directions.

  1. Prepare pie dough a few hours or a day ahead of time. When ready to start cooking, divide dough into four equal parts. Then divide the four equal parts into halves for a total of 8 balls of dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball into ovals or rounds fitting the appropriate size of the dish your using. Line your pie plates with one round and pat dough into place. Roll out remaining pieces of dough in the same manner. Refrigerate the individual dishes and crust tops until ready to assemble.
  2. In a small pot, heat the cream, milk and cream cheese over low heat until cream cheese is melted. Use a wire whisk to incorporate. Meanwhile, boil noodles according to package directions. Drain the water.
  3. Reserve a small amount of the shredded cheese – about a cup or so.
  4. Mix noodles in a bowl with a stick of butter until butter is melted. Add cheeses and mix until they begin to melt. Stir in cream mixture. Pour into prepared pie dishes, and top with generous amounts of salt and pepper and additional cheese.
  5. Cover pie dishes with remaining rolled out rounds of dough, trim the edges and crimp to seal. (This is easiest to do by pressing the back of the tines of a fork around the edge of the crust.) Brush the top of the pie gently with the lightly beaten egg yolk and top with finely shaved Pecorino Romano cheese.20140105-194431.jpg
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve immediately. (Let cool for a few minutes if you can stand to do so.)

Recipe rating: 

20140105-194446.jpg

20140105-194519.jpgRecipe rating: 

Per usual, the noodles soaked up all of the cheese sauce which means by the time I took the pies from the oven (45 or 50 minutes), the inside was slightly dried out. This can easily be remedied by adding some additional milk or cream to your noodles. Instead, I would recommend partially baking the bottom crust ahead of time (Mr. Brown actually recommends this, too, for his pies) and then reducing the total baking time down to anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. You can “brown” your crust nicely using the egg yolk. Regardless of the slight dryness to the pot pie, the taste was still there. Comforting, cheesy goodness.

My dad had the remainder of his potpie today for lunch and said it was just as good reheated. If you’re going to reheat, I would do so in the oven. Or you can use my dad’s route: heat in a cast-iron pan on very low heat (covered) for 20 to 30 minutes. He says the crust gets nice and brown on the bottom and the rest of the pie will be heated through.

11 thoughts on “Individual Mac and Cheese Pot Pies

  1. Oooh, I’ve never seen mac and cheese with a pie-crust; that looks like the ultimate comfort food. Lucky Dad. I tried to make a Bajan Macaroni Cheese on my blog and someone kindly commented that the top looked like ‘a thrush infection’, which was nice! Macaroni cheese / Mac ‘n’ Cheese is one of the ultimate winter warmers so thanks for sharing it with Cheese, Please! Delicious.

    Like

    • Well I don’t know many people who make this but personally I think everyone should! I had to google Bajan Mac and Cheese – ended up directly at your blog. (Looks and sounds good!)Then I googled images of thrush rash. Bad idea. Not recommended. But I cannot see the comparison between the infection and your dish. It sounds like you get comical reviews quite often which makes for a great laugh/read!

      Like

  2. This looks amazing… Similar to macaroni pie in Scotland – but they are not enclosed.
    I’ll have to try it (once I’ve worked out the UK conversions, does T = tablespoon?)
    I was wondering if this was freezable, do you think? Maybe freeze uncooked?
    Thanks including doing the pastry by hand – I don’t have a food processor so hearing someone else do it by hand is most useful!

    Like

    • Yes! A lot of people use tbsp. for tablespoon but my family always used “T.” Let me know if you get stuck with any of the conversions. I should probably add the converted amounts to my recipes:) I was wondering about freezing as well. I think I’m going to freeze one and see what happens! I’ve never frozen mac and cheese before – I will post the results. I personally like the handmade dough version over a food processor in most instances so glad it was helpful to you!

      Like

  3. This looks like one of the best winter-time meals I’ve seen lately! I imagine everyone in your home enjoyed their dinner and went to bed quite full and satisfied. I was thinking of other ideas for your cheese crust. That sounds like something that could be used in other recipes.

    Enjoy your weekend!
    Allison

    Like

    • Thanks, Allison! It really was! I also took one in to work that week and one pie actually fed five people (obviously not very big eaters…). I think the pie crust was intended for a meatball pie (um, yum) but I think it would be fantastic in almost any savory pie. I got a lot of compliments on the flavor of the crust! I hope you try it and enjoy it. 🙂 Hope you are having a great weekend!

      Like

  4. I love a cheese crust. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s also very good with apple pie. I think I got the idea from a regional British coockbook, so I’m going to hazard a guess that it is traditional in Somerset, since it uses cheddar, and that is the home of cheddar! Anyway, the fat in the cheddar makes the pastry really flaky, and delicious, and it complements the apple well. the pastry is also a rough puff that I use, but this shows how versatile adding cheese to pastry can be.

    Like

    • I think I’ve actually heard of cheese crust with Apple pie! If I’m remembering correctly, the cookbook where I found the recipe actually suggested the combination. I will have to try next summer. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s