The Washington Post

Crawfish Pie

Crawfish Pie 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Aug 11, 2017

There are several recipes for crawfish pie filling in the Junior League of Lafayette's popular "Talk About Good!" cookbook, but this one comes highly recommended. It does take a bit of time, so be patient.

The filling can be served over rice, etouffee-style, if desired.

To read the accompanying story, see: How a 50-year-old community cookbook became a mainstay in almost every Cajun kitchen.

Make Ahead: The dough needs to rest at room temperature for a total of 1 1/2 hours. It can be divided into quarters, wrapped individually and frozen for up to 6 months. Leftover filling can be refrigerated up to 3 days.

6 - 12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-12 servings; makes enough dough for 2 double-crust pies and enough filling for 2 pies

  • For the crust
  • 4 cups sifted flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 heaping tablespoons vegetable shortening, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/3 cups cold water, or more as needed
  • For the filling
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 bunches scallions, chopped (white and light-green parts, reserve and chop dark-green parts)
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 3 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups water, or more as needed
  • 3 pounds cooked, frozen/defrosted crawfish tails
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with just enough water to form a creamy consistency (slurry; optional)
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped


For the crust: Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter or two forks to cut in the 4 tablespoons of shortening. Gradually add the water to form a dough that holds together.

Flour a work surface. Roll out the dough there into a large rectangle. Coat lightly with shortening, then sift a light dusting of flour over the shortening. Fold in the sides, one and then the other so that they touch each other at the center. Grease the new surfaces lightly with shortening and dust with sifted flour. Cover loosely and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Roll out, fold, grease and dust with sifted flour two more times, with 30-minute rests in between each one. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions; wrap and freeze half of them. You’ll need two portions of dough for this pie.

Roll out 1 portion of dough to an 11-inch round, on the flour-dusted surface, then gently transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate and fit it in all the way around, crimping the edge decoratively. The crust can be wrapped and refrigerated until ready to use (up to 1 day in advance). Wrap and refrigerate the remaining portion of dough.

For the filling: Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour; cook long enough for it to lightly brown (this is a roux).

Add the garlic, onion, chopped scallions, green bell pepper, celery and tomato sauce. Season well with salt, black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Cover and cook for about 1 hour, stirring frequently to keep the vegetables from sticking.

Add the water and cook, uncovered, for several hours. If the mixture thickens too much, add more water; the mixture should be creamy and thick. Stir in the crawfish tails; cook for 5 minutes, or just until tails are tender.

If mixture becomes thin, you can thicken it by stirring in the cornstarch slurry, if using, and cooking for a few extra minutes. Add the chopped, dark-green scallion tops and the parsley. Taste and season with more salt and/or black pepper, as needed. Let cool for a bit. Reserve half the filling for another use.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a fork to dock several holes in the bottom pie dough crust. Flour the work surface again, as needed, and roll out the other portion of dough to an 11-inch round.

Pour the remaining filling into bottom crust. Cover with the rolled-out top crust, crimping the edges to seal in a decorative fashion. Cut slits in the top crust. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake (middle rack) for about 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 300 degrees; bake for 15 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by Mrs. Carmen Montegut in “Talk About Good!” by the Junior League of Lafayette, La. (Favorite Recipes Press, 1969 edition).

Tested by Carol Cannizzaro.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6, using half the dough and half the filling'): 440

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 21g 32%

Saturated Fat: 11g 55%

Cholesterol: 160mg 53%

Sodium: 550mg 23%

Total Carbohydrates: 39g 13%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 1g

Protein: 22g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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