A few weeks ago, my friend Charlotte posted something to the effect of “When I say ‘Alligator Pie’, you say what?” as a Facebook status. To me, the answer was obvious – “If I don’t get some, I think I’m going to die!”.
She ended up getting some weird responses, none seeming to know what she was talking about. I was kind of perplexed – Alligator Pie was SUCH a popular poem / book growing up, how could people not know what she – a fellow Canadian – was talking about? I had assumed the book to be British, on account of the style of artwork I remembered from it … and if it had been crazy popular back home, surely her American friends had heard of it, right?
Well, I guess I should have realized it from the hockey references… but as it turns out, the book is Canadian. I guess that explains the confusion! ANYWAY.
This time of year, I end up obsessed with Alligator meat. It finally cooled down enough for me to attend the Minnesota Renaissance Festival a couple weeks ago, and – in my mind – the alligator sausage there is the absolute best part of fest. (Aside from all my friends that work there, I mean!). Shortly after our day at fest, I happened across some frozen alligator meat in the grocery store, so I picked it up… thinking I’d make some sausage at home.
Well, having “Alligator Pie” stuck in my head, I ended up deciding that I should make some. I knew “Alligator Pie” existed in a few different incarnations as a dessert… some as a green coloured cream pie, others more like a pecan pie, with the nutty surface being representative of alligator skin. However, I had never heard of an ACTUAL alligator pie. As one of the most literal people ever (Seriously, Drax is my spirit animal)… it had to happen.
Because there wasn’t really something pre-existing, I could pretty much do whatever I want! I decided to start with a proper cajun trinity – onion, celery, and green peppers – as a nod to gator meat as a very southern thing. (Says the Canadian, making a pie about a beloeved Canadian poem!). I flavoured it with some of the same seasonings I could taste in the alligator sausage that I loved so much… but only as an accent. I didn’t want it to be a sausage pie, after all. I wanted it to be like the savoury pies I’d grown up with – some meat, some vegetables, a little gravy, and a ton of flavour.
This ended up a huge hit with both my husband and a couple other friends that happened to pop by the night I made it… including The Pink Dalek, who almost didn’t share with her mom! The meat was tender and juicy, and the flavours all worked very well together.
This recipe will work well with your favourite pie crust recipe, or even with store bought crust. Looking for a tasty gluten-free pie crust (the filling is inherently gf!)? You should buy a copy of my book, Beyond Flour – pie crust is only one of the many “as good or better than the gluteny original!” recipes in there.
2 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 lb alligator meat, cut into small pieces
1 lb pork loin, cut into small pieces
1 tsp dried sage
1/4 dried oregano
Pinch dried thyme
pinch cayenne powder
1/2 cup chicken broth or dry white wine
2 tsp corn starch
Salt and pepper
1 double crust recipe of pie dough, prepared (or store bought)
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp water
Preheat oven to 425 F
In a large pan, melt butter. Add onion, peppers, and celery, cook until veggies start to soften. Add garlic, meats, and seasonings, continue cooking until meat is browned. For a finer texture filling (as pictured), I transferred the mixture to my food processor and blitzed it a few times, but this is optional.
Whisk together broth and corn starch until smooth. Add to pan, bring to a boil. Allow to cook until liquid becomes quite thick. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide dough into 2 parts – one slightly bigger than the other. Roll the bigger section out , use it to line a deep-dish pie pan* – carefully working it into the corners. Fill pie pan with alligator filling, spreading it into the bottom edge and mounding it in the center.
Roll out the second part of dough, cover the pie filling. Crimp the edges as desired, poke a couple of slits in the top. If desired, roll any extra dough very thin, cut into shapes, and apply to the crust for decoration. Whisk together egg and water, brush over the entire top of pie.
Whisk the egg together with water, use a pastry brush to coat the entire crust with a thin wash of this glaze. Cut thin strips of aluminum foil, gently wrap over the outside edge of the crust to protect it from burning.
Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil, and continue baking for another 10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Serve hot!
* I couldn’t find my deep dish pie pan when actually making the pie, so I used a quiche pan – works just as well!
|With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.
“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!
High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes will be included.
The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!
|Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!
How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.
|Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!
Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.