18 May 2010

Easy Recipes: 4 Versions of Crawfish Pie

Crawfish pie in New Orleans, Louisiana by Matt Lancashire @ flickr

From Denny: Crawfish pie is a fav in south Louisiana when the crawfish boils end. We start making crawfish versions of etouffee, stews, pastas and crawfish pies. You can make this simple pie with a filling of shrimp, fish or whatever your heart desires. Seafood is a favorite around here.

Because they are so ridiculously easy to make we use them for appetizers, brunch, lunch or dinner. Traditionally, they are made simply with onions, bell pepper, celery (the Holy Trinity) and lots of crawfish fat to flavor it.

Crawfish fat is usually not available so we flavor the pies with all kinds of creativity from canned soups, tomatoes and rice to help create a base for the filling.

One recipe filling for the pie featured here is made with a golden roux and two pounds of crawfish. Another recipe has no traditional roux but rather is thickened with the easy way of using cornstarch. Cornstarch also gives a cleaner direct flavor than a flour thickener which can tone down spices and meat flavors.

The Aunt Genny Hebert recipe is from a 90 year old lady from Breaux Bridge for popular individual crawfish pies. She used cream of shrimp soup and evaporated milk in her filling. Over the years this has proven to be a most popular recipe during crawfish season and all the gatherings associated with celebrating the season.

You can make your own crust or purchase pre-rolled pie crusts in the refrigerated section of your grocery store which many Louisiana cooks do routinely. The frozen food section also offers ready-to-bake pie crusts.

Most of these recipes finish the pies with fresh chopped green onions and fresh parsley.

The Drunken Crawfish Pie recipe is chock full of two pounds of crawfish to the point it's worth it to make your own pie crust just to contain all the goodness! :) The light roux also contains delicious brandy and heavy cream.

Individual Crawfish Pies From Aunt Genny Hebert

From: Genny Hebert of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, is provided by niece Kara Hebert

Makes: 15 or 17 individual pies


1 stick margarine or butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10-3/4-oz.) can condensed cream of shrimp soup
1 tbl. cornstarch
1 small can (5-oz.) evaporated milk
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 lb. crawfish tails
Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
15 to 17 (3-inch) frozen pie shells (I used Dutch Ann brand 8-per-box from Calandro’s Supermarket.)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt margarine or butter and sauté onion until tender. Add soup. Stir often.

2. In small bowl, add cornstarch and slowly stir in evaporated milk. Stir until well blended. Stir milk mixture into onion and soup mixture in saucepan. Continue to cook until everything is blended.

3. Add green onion, crawfish tails, salt and cayenne. Continue to cook 10 minutes. Fill pie shells and bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Drunken Crawfish Pie

From: Mark Beridon

Serves 8. Recipe is from “Recipes to Bank On” 1990 Food Focus booklet. This recipe, submitted by Mark Beridon, won the Louisiana competition in the Crisco American Pie Celebration contest.



2-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter-flavor
1/2 cup water


1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 onion, chopped
2 tsps. finely minced garlic
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
3 tbls. finely minced fresh parsley
2 tbls. chopped celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion tops
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tbls. brandy
2 lbs. crawfish tails


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. To prepare crust: Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is uniform. Add water about 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir with a fork until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough into two equal parts.

3. On lightly floured surface, roll bottom crust into a circle 1/8-inch thick and one inch larger than an inverted (9-inch) deep-dish pie plate. Gently ease dough into pie plate, being careful not to stretch the dough. Set aside while preparing filling.

4. To prepare filling: Melt butter over low heat in a large skillet. Gradually add flour and cook slowly, stirring constantly until a light roux forms (about the color of caramel). Add onion, garlic, green bell pepper, parsley, celery and green onion tops. Continue to stir until vegetables are all very soft.

5. Add salt, black pepper, heavy cream and brandy. Mix gently but thoroughly and cook for 3 additional minutes over low heat.

6. Add crawfish tails and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool.

7. Spoon cooled filling into unbaked pastry shell.

8. On a lightly floured surface roll out top crust the same as bottom crust. Gently place top crust over filled pie. Moisten and seal edges. Flute as desired. Cut 6 slits in the top crust.

9. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

10. Cool 5 minutes and then serve.

Crawfish Pies (with rice in the filling)

From: Shelley Boudreaux

Makes: 2 (9-inch) pies. This was the crawfish pie her mother made. The following recipe calls for 2 pounds of crawfish tails and makes 2 single-crust pies. The pies have a nice thick filling. Serve one tonight and freeze the other one or share it with a friend.


2 pie crusts
1-1/2 sticks butter
2 onions, chopped
1 bunch green onions, washed, dried and chopped
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, washed, dried and chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tbl.)
2 lbs. crawfish tails
Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning or salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste
2 (10-3/4-oz.) cans cream of mushroom condensed soup
2 (10-3/4-oz.) cans cream of celery condensed soup
2 to 3 cups cooked rice


1. Prepare pie crust in bottom of 9-inch pie dish. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In large skillet, melt butter and sauté onions, green onions, parsley and garlic until onions are soft.

3. Add crawfish tails and season to taste. Cook, uncovered for about 10 minutes.

4. Add cream of mushroom and cream of celery soups. Cook another 5-10 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and gently stir in at least 2 cups of cooked rice. You will have to judge if it looks too soupy, and if so, add more rice. Allow the filling to cool slightly.

6. Spoon into prepared pie crusts. Crimp top edge of pie or gently fold it over the pie filling.

7. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until pie crust is nicely browned and pie is heated through. If after 15-18 minutes pie crust is getting too browned, cover top edges with strips of foil to prevent burning. Cool about 5 minutes before serving.

Crawfish Pie

From: Corinne Cook, 2theadvocate.com food writer

Serves: 4 to 6


2 unbaked pie crusts (I used the Just Unroll Pillsbury Pie Crusts)
1/2 stick butter
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. crawfish tails
2 tbls. cornstarch
1 or 2 tbls. water, if needed (if filling is too dry)
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt, black pepper and red pepper, to taste


1. Place unbaked pie crust in bottom of 9-inch pie dish and set aside.

2. In large skillet, melt butter and add onion, celery and bell pepper. Sauté over medium heat until vegetables are soft. Stir often to prevent burning.

3. Add crawfish tails and stir to mix. Stir in the cornstarch. Stir until smooth and well mixed. Mixture will thicken slightly. If mixture appears too dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons water. You don’t want it too soupy; mixture will thin during baking.

4. Add green onions and parsley and season to taste. Pour filling into pie crust.

5. Top pie with second pie crust. Crimp both edges of pie together. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut three or four slits into the top of the pie crust.

6. Place in preheated 350-degree oven for about 25-35 minutes or until crust is browned and filling is bubbly.

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