The goal with this mushroom pot pie was to create a new holiday tradition. I’m southern, and nothing says Thanksgiving like pie, but they’re usually sweet pies. This works as both a meat free Thanksgiving main for those in need of a turkey stand in, but works just as well as a sumptuous side for the classic bird lovers. I wanted to create a recipe that would please everyone. And this, friends, is IT. Made extra creamy by a milk & Camembert sauce, this is magic food. I can imagine this golden pie steaming on the table of some hobbit home carved out of the trunk of a 1,000 year old tree in a mossy forest populated by fantastical flora and fauna, faeries and all manner of magical beasts. Mr. Tumnus would make this for you if you dropped by. Okay, maybe I just got carried away. But the point remains: this vegetarian mushroom pot pie is true feast day food worthy of any holiday table. So, without further ado, meet your new favorite tradition. Trust me.
I differentiate between daily food and feast day food. I have daily routines, and I have holiday traditions. And I use real, wholesome ingredients in both: fresh veggies & fruit, milk, farm eggs, grains, and legumes mostly. The beauty of using fresh, whole ingredients is that I don’t feel I have to choose between the two types of food. I get my light daily food, and I get to have my rich, special food too. I do this because I personally don’t want to live in a world without proper cake, the kind with milk & butter & eggs, or without creamy melted cheese. There really is no substitute for certain ingredients. For instance, in this pie, substituting the whole milk would yield a very, very different result that wouldn’t be comparable—it would affect the texture, flavor, and consistency of the recipe. Besides being a simple way to add protein to the recipe, it’s also key to the texture of the sauce. When I save super rich things like buttery pastry for special occasions, I’ve been able to enjoy them even more, truly use food to celebrate, and stay healthy all at the same time. If I indulge daily, food loses its power to make a day special for me.
I believe in feast day food traditions: birthday cake, Christmas cookies, and Thanksgiving pie. I believe these special foods are made even more special, more delicious, by the fact that they aren’t an everyday affair. That isn’t to say that it has to be an official holiday to feast, there’s a million other reasons to feast: to celebrate, to remember, to inspire, to comfort. Whatever your occasion, this mushroom pot pie is a welcome addition to any celebration, particularly if it’s chilly out: buttery, flaky puff pastry atop thyme, mushrooms, & sweet fennel in a creamy camembert milk gravy. It’s addictive.
The best part is that while yes, the cheese and pastry make it rich, it’s homemade and uses nutritious ingredients like milk and vegetables. Milk is a simple, wholesome way to help your little one & family get natural protein and a balanced nutrition. All milk is an excellent source of calcium, and serves up other essential nutrients including: high quality protein for lean muscle, vitamin A for a healthy immune system, B vitamins for energy, and bone building nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D. Whether you make this mushroom pot pie meat free Thanksgiving main or whether it merely threatens to upstage the beloved bird, you need this on your Thanksgiving table. And maybe your Christmas table too. Or just your dinner table if it’s a particularly frigid night, and you’re in need of some serious comfort food. Warmed in the oven and topped with a fried egg, the leftovers are the stuff of brunch legends. It works great with homemade rough puff pastry, but if you need to save a second a high quality store bought puff pastry works great!
mushroom, fennel, & camembert pot pie
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 medium shallots, diced
- 3 medium cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 kg / 1.5 lbs mixed mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, & roughly chopped
- 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped into 1” pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup sherry
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup mushroom or veg broth (low sodium, ideally—if not add the broth then salt to taste)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 8 ounces camembert or brie (brie will have a milder flavor), rind removed, cut into cubes
- 1 14 ounce sheet of frozen puff pastry or one recipe of homemade rough puff pastry
- 1 whole egg, lightly whisked, for brushing
- Chunky for sprinkling the top of the pastry
- Thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)
- Heat oven to 400 F/200 C.
- Heat butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook thyme, shallot, garlic, mushrooms, and fennel with the salt and pepper until the mushrooms just start to release their liquid, about 5-10 minutes. Add sherry, cook until almost all of it evaporates. Stir in the mustard. Add the flour, and stir until none is visible. Whisk in the milk & broth. Simmer until it starts to thicken, then whisk in the cheese until melted.
- Pour the mushroom mixture into a 2 quart shallow oval bakin gdish or an 8" square baking dish. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile roll out the pastry to fit your dish. Once cool, top the dish with the pastry and trim to a 1" overhang. Tuck the overhand in, crimping if desired. Cut a vent in the stop, brush with egg, and sprinkle lightly with chunky salt.
- Bake on a sheet tray (to catch any sauce that bubbles over) 30 minutes or until puffed, deep golden brown, and pastry is completely cooked through.
- Note: You can make this ahead the day before. Simply top with the pastry and then cover. Do not brush with the egg wash until right before baking. It can also be made in about 8 individual 1 cup ramekins.
This post was created in partnership with Milk Life. All opinions and recipe are my own!