Uncle Allan and Aunt Ginny’s Mushroom Pie

Aunt Ginny, Uncle Alan, Nana and Granddad

I love mushrooms and often, I wonder if this love is somehow genetic, as most of my family shares my love affair. In the Fall, I find mushrooms to be so seasonal–the rustic, forest-y flavors are a perfect compliment to hearty dishes like stews and roasts.

My Uncle Allan and Aunt Ginny make this mushroom pie every Thanksgiving and apparently, my Nana (mother to Uncle Allan) loved it and had seconds! I will be bringing this to the Thanksgiving feast at my Mom’s house this year.

Uncle Allan says he typically makes it the day before and then warms it up after the Turkey is finished and resting. It is a great dish to make for your own feast or to bring along to a potluck.

Mushroom Pie
Makes eight servings

8 cups coarsely chopped mushrooms
2 cups chopped onions
1 t. dried thyme leaves
1/4 t. salt
1/4 cup light cream cheese

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour (reserve 1 tablespoon to roll crust
1/4 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
1 T. low fat milk

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  
To prepare filling: Spray large non stick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat.  Add onions; cook, stirring frequently, 4-5 mins until tender.  Stir in mushrooms; cook, stirring frequently, 2 mins. Sprinkle vegetable mixture with thyme and salt, cook, stirring frequently, 4-5 mins until mixture is tender.  Add cream cheese; stir until cream cheese is melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
To prepare crust: In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; blend. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add sour cream, stir until mixture forms a soft dough.
Sprinkle clean work surface with reserved 1T of flour; roll 2/3 of dough into a 12” circle.  Fit dough into a 9” pie plate.  Transfer filling to crust-lined pie plate.
Roll remaining dough into a 10”x7” rectangle about ¼” thick.  Cut into 10”x1” strips.  Weave into lattice over filling; pinch edges of crust and lattice together; flute rim.  Brush lattice topping and crust rim evenly with milk; bake 30-40 mins until crust is golden brown.  
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Nana’s Fabulous Stuffing

The original recipe

My Aunt Ginny reminded me that I come from a heritage of Thanksgiving stuffing.  While I still believe there is absolutely no shame in Stove Top (or canned cranberry sauce or pre-made gourmet side dishes); my heart yearns to make homemade, moist and carb-tastic stuffing. The best part of this recipe is that is so easy and with a little dramatic flair, you can make it spectacular!

Every year I make this recipe–straight from my Nana’s recipe box. There are four different variations that I have made:
1. The recipe, straight up
2. The recipe plus mushrooms to make: Wild Mushroom Stuffing
3. The recipe plus sausage to make: Sweet and Savory Sausage Stuffing
4. The recipe plus bacon and oysters to make: Oyster Stuffing

Pick your favorite or come up with another addition–it is so yummy, you might just make it year round!

Nana’s Fabulous Stuffing-the straight up version
1/2 lb of butter (Nana’s says or margarine, but I feel margarine is criminal)
1/2 cup minced onion

Me and my Nana, November 1977

12 cups cubes of bread (you have two options: grab a loaf of italian bread and cut it up the night before. or buy a bag of bread cubes in the stuffing aisle)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 cup celery diced
4-6 Tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup of milk (my favorite) or stock-turkey/chicken
1 egg

Melt butter. Add onion & simmer until it is partly cooked. Add chopped celery and cook until nearly tender. Add salt, pepper, parsley and poultry seasoning. Blend well and add bread cubes.
Beat egg into milk or stock. Add egg/liquid mixture to stuffing. Stuff your turkey and/or spread into a buttered casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes (covered) and an additional 30 minutes uncovered, until heated through.

For Wild Mushroom Stuffing:Stir in 2 cups of sliced, mixed mushrooms (white, shitake, oyster, whatever you love) with onions. Follow the rest of the recipe

For Sweet and Savory Sausage Stuffing: Brown 12 oz of bulk sausage. Drain, but reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan. Melt butter in drippings and follow recipe. Before adding the egg/liquid mixture, stir in browned sausage. Bake as directed. 

For Oyster Stuffing: Brown 1/2 pound of chopped bacon. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan. Melt butter in drippings and follow recipe. Before adding the egg/liquid mixture, stir in 1/2 cup chopped oysters.  Bake as directed.