Oh, the looks we’ve been getting over this one!
I completely get it. Oyster Pie definitely sounds different than what most people are used to, especially when it comes to pie (which always makes me think of the tart cherry variety…my favorite!). We Americans don’t do a large number of savory pies, but if you try any savory pie, it should be this one. Y’all! This recipe is delicious. We made it one day and I tried to get the mister to make it again the following week, it was THAT good.
As if it being scrumptious wasn’t enough (it is), this thing is easy and quick to make, which definitely add it to the rotating list of recipes. The mister will be glad of that since it can displace ‘favorites’ like Veggie Burger salad (healthy, not overly tasty).
Oyster Pie (page 119) combines really simple ingredients, simple preparation, and the Cocktail Tomatoes (read about them here), which were already in the fridge. From start to eating was about an hour and a half- much of the time was the pie baking in the oven, which was great, we used that time to clean up, so once we were finished eating, cleanup was relatively simple.
We started with the leeks (which I love…don’t forget to rinse/soak them), and as the base of the recipe, it kept the whole thing really light. When I heard Oyster Pie, I envisioned a gloppy, heavy thing- but it wasn’t. It was light and nice and really eatable. Another plus was that it was a one-pan operation, which the mister appreciates. We cook primarily in cast iron (I hope to be able to share about Butter Pat, if it ever comes), so they don’t go in the dishwasher, and while I dry and put away, my co-chef is the designated pan washer- so anytime we limit the number of washables, it’s a good dinner plan. If you want to make this for a weeknight dinner (which we did), it’s nice to not fuss with crust or pastry- the saltines form a perfect top ‘crust’- they aren’t soggy at all- light and crisp and they reminded me a lot of cheese-its. They had spice and salt and color to them, which was attractive.
These posts seem to be turning into an advertisement for Boone Hall Farms, but of course, that’s where we went for produce and oysters. We had initially considered shucking oysters for this (we have all of the accouterment to do the job), but once there, we discovered that they have beautiful ones in glass jars. They were giant, fresh, and perfect for the job- and it certainly made this recipe more doable for a night after work. Shucking oysters is fun, but it’s tough when you’re trying to get them done to make a recipe, so I’d highly recommend the pre-shucked variety (Chef Vivian agrees). We had our friend Dan over for dinner, and this proved to be a perfect option for having friends over (just make sure they like oysters and mild spice). Spring has certainly made her entrance in Charleston, but all three of us agreed that this pie would be perfect for a cold night (if it’s cold where you are now, definitely make it), but I would (and will) eat this all year long.
If you’re familiar with Charleston-area eateries,
Dan’s first bite of the pie ‘flashed Bowen’s Island’ in his mind.
I can’t think of too many higher compliments since Bowen’s Island is epically delightful. It’s been one of our favorites since we moved to the Lowcountry. The mister really enjoyed the crackers and pointed out that the cocktail tomatoes make this recipe…and I have to agree with him. Those tomatoes have so much flavor and texture in them- the lemon is still one of our favorite parts of it, and I’ll speak for the group when I say we’ll always have a giant Weck jar of Cocktail Tomatoes in the fridge.
The zesty, tender oysters (they just cooked…ruffled edges, but no chewiness), with the flavorful crisp crackers paired perfectly with a Kim Crawford Rose (it was a week old, but still tasted great). One of my notes was that it was seriously delicious, and it was. Writing this makes me want to have it again. All three of us would pay for this dinner, and I think you might too (not that I’m selling it), if you like oysters and spice and cozy dinners with family & friends, I think this recipe will be a home run for you.
If you know Dan and are thinking about a gift for him, he now wants a cast iron skillet.
What do you think about oyster pies (or savory pies, generally)?