Most of the recipes I have posted here have been handed down through my Oma to my Mom to me. Not this one! 🙂
This delicious traditional tourtiere pie is one my Mom did make every Christmas, however, it is originally a recipe from my grandmother (my Dad’s mom) who made it every year for my French grandfather. My Mom loved to re-tell the memory she had of her first piece of tourtiere pie. Sitting snug in my grandmother’s home at the table Christmas morning she sipped on a strong cup of coffee as my grandmother doled out large wedges of warm-from-the-oven tourtiere complete with sharp cheese and a glass of tomato juice.
Mom would smile with such delight every time she told this story (which was pretty much every year when we had tourtiere pie) it was as if she was re-living it again and again. So engrossed was she in the memory of the scent and taste of that Christmas breakfast that I felt like I was there… but I wasn’t even a thought yet back then. 😉
Although my grandmother Grace passed years ago and my grandfather passed before I was born, I can feel them both watching and smiling each and every time I re-create this tradition for me and my family.
p.s. I have to give credit to my Mom’s best friend Debbie for the phenomenal pie pastry recipe that I “speltified” over the years. It has never failed to give me an exceptionally flaky and tasty pie crust (so tasty in fact that I just have to sneak a few unbaked pieces to savour while I make it!)
If you liked this recipe you are going to love these ones!
Flaky Spelt Pie Pastry
- 5 cups organic, all purpose spelt flour also called white spelt flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups cold, organic butter
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup + cold water
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, brown sugar and salt. Cut the butter into the dry mixture and mix with a pastry blender until the pieces of butter are the size of peas.
In a small glass measuring cup, beat the egg with a fork. Fill the measuring cup with cold water until it measures 3/4 cup. Add the vinegar. Drizzle the liquid over the dry mixture. Mix and fold with a large fork and add up to an additional 6 tbsp of cold water until the mixture clumps together.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently shape with your hands into a large disk. Cut the disk into 4, wrap each piece in wax paper and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes before rolling out. Freeze any unused dough for up to 3 months.
On a floured surface, roll out one disk of dough, turning it a quarter turn after few rolls (this will help keep it in the shape of a circle). Roll out the dough to 1.5 - 2 inches wider than your pie plate. Lightly flour the surface of the dough, gently fold in half then in quarters. Lift the dough and place it into the pie plate. Press it into the corners and continue with the single or double pie dough instructions below.
Single Blind Baked Pie Crust
Cut a second dough disk in half and roll it out to the same thickness as the first one. Cut 1 inch strips with a knife or pizza cutter and arrange them around the edge of the pie crust in the pie plate. Use your fingers to pinch extra layer of pastry under the first then flute the edges with your fingers or a fork. Wrap up any leftover dough and freeze for up to 3 months. Chill the prepared pie crust in the freezer until frozen.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Carefully line the pie with parchment paper and equally distribute pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are starting to brown.
Remove the pie from the oven and carefully remove the parchment paper with the pie weights or dried beans. Prick the bottom of the pie all over with a fork. Return the pie to the oven for another 15 minutes or until the bottom crust is golden brown. Remove and let cool completely before filling.
Double Pie Crust
Roll out a second disk of pie dough to the same size as the first one. Place on top of the pie filling. Use your fingers to pinch the top pie pastry under the bottom one then flute the edges with your fingers or a fork. Wrap up any leftover dough and freeze for up to 3 months. Chill the prepared pie in the freezer until frozen.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and bake for another 40 - 50 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.
Traditional Tourtiere Pie with Flaky Spelt Pie Pastry
- 2 lbs ground pork organic or free range preferred
- 1 lb ground beef organic or free range preferred
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 large onion finely minced
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground clove
- 1 package unsalted soda crackers
In a large pot, simmer meat, water and spices for 30 minutes until meat is no longer pink. Empty the package of soda crackers into a large re-sealable bag and crush them small with a rolling pin or rubber mallet.
Add the crushed soda crackers to the meat mixture in thirds, stirring well in between each addition. The meat mixture should be thick enough now that you can create a valley in the middle and it will hold its shape. If the mixture is still soupy, add additional crushed soda crackers until thick. Taste and adjust for salt and spices as needed. Note that the spices will be stronger when the pie is re-heated.
Follow instructions for the double pie crust above, placing half of the meat mixture in each prepared pie dish. Pies can be baked immediately or frozen unbaked and baked fresh when needed. Brush with egg wash before baking if desired.
Best served with a sharp cheddar cheese!