For decades Anna Teresa Callen taught Italian cooking to thousands of appreciative students. Working out of The Village in New York City, Anna taught, wrote, ate and surely laughed. This recipe comes from her marvelous 1981 treatise The Wonderful World of Pizzas, Quiches and Savory Pies. This savory pie comes from Belgium and features a most surprising ingredient: bananas. [There are very few banana trees in Belgium, but they did have those African colonies.]
Yes, you do taste the bananas. No, it is not weird. It’s delightfully complex. You can use a variety of sausage meats here or add some bacon or swap in some cooked chicken. This dish can be extended in endless, happy ways.
The recipe calls for using brioche dough for this pie. Actually, your favorite pie or tart crust will serve you well here. This dish is ideal for our lingering winter nights.
Bastogne Pot Pie
Yield: serves 4 to 6
For the dough:
- ½ batch of brioche dough [or your favorite crust]
For the filling:
- 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 pound fresh sausage meat
- ½ cup raisins, soaked in warm water
- ½ cup dried prunes, chopped
- 2 bananas, sliced thin
- 2 tart apples, sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 4 thick slices of ham, about ¼ pound, cut into strips
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Calvados
Melt butter in a skillet. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add sausage meat and cook for 5 minutes. Add both dried and fresh fruits; cook for 20 minutes. Drain off some of the fat. Add vinegar and let it evaporate. Butter a 9-inch soufflé dish or a meat-loaf pan (9x5x3 inches). Spoon half of the sausage mixture into the prepared dish and top with ham strips. Add remaining sausage mixture. Smooth top.
On a floured board, roll out dough into a circle for the soufflé dish, or a rectangle if you are using a loaf pan. Dough should be large enough to cover the top of the tourte. Cut excess dough with scissors but leave 1 inch extra overhanging the rim. Fold over and crimp the dough to enclose filling. Make a hole in the center. Insert a funnel made of aluminum foil to permit steam to escape. Decorate top of the dough with cutouts if desired. Let tourte rest for 20 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake for 25 minutes, then add Calvados through the funnel. Reduce heat to 300°F. and bake for 10 minutes longer.
Cool a little before slicing.
Source: The Wonderful World of Pizzas, Quiches and Savory Pies by Anna Teresa Callen [Crown Publishers, 1981]
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4 for1/30th second at ISO‑640