My little sister was the first one to introduce me to the pie in a jar concept. She made me a batch of pot pies. She didn't cook them but gave them to me frozen in their little jars (so cute!). The instructions were just pop in the oven at 325 and a little over a half hour later, steaming hot, single serving pot pie. It is so comforting to come home after a long day at work and know that I can have a delicious home cooked pot pie in a flash. No work involved (well I do have to move it from the freezer to the oven, but that I can handle!) This weekend I made a batch of these yummy little treats to freeze (and a few to eat right away). I am anticipating a busy week at work, and having these on hand will be a life saver! I didn't have my sisters original recipe, so I used a cheddar chicken pot pie recipe from taste of home's website (I changed it a bit and made it vegetarian). For the pie in a jar part, I used tips from Our Best Bites. The cheese in the filling makes it extra creamy, and you could really use any variety of veggies you like. I did forget to season with salt and pepper so my filling was a bit more bland than I would have liked, but if you follow the directions, something I apparently can't do, your filling will be more flavorful. I was very happy with the crust, it turned out flakey and crisp. Just the way a good pot pie crust should be. Great comfort food!
Cheddar Veggie Pot Pie in a Jar
Adapted from Taste of Home's Cheddar Chicken Pot Pie
Pie Crust (I used this recipe) for double crust pie.
1-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1.5 cups peeled cubed potatoes
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup peas
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups milk (I used rice milk)
3/4 shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
For filling, Place broth in a pot; bring to a boil.
Add vegetables. Reduce heat; simmer 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stirring occasionaly. While this is simmering, start prepping the jars.
Cut circles out of dough using the jar ring. Set aside.
Using the rest of the dough, line jars. You can just take pieces and press them into the jar until it reaches the top. Set jars aside.
In a small bowl, combine flour and milk; stir into broth mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly.
Stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Heat until cheese melts.
Spoon filling into jars, filling 3/4 full. Top with crust circles.
Make several slits in center of crust for steam to escape, I used my nifty pie crust cutters. At this point you need to decide if you want to bake and eat right away or freeze for later. To freeze, just let cool, put the lid on, and stick in the freezer. When ready to bake (or if you choose not to freeze), bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool and dig in!
Pie in a jar tips click here
Side note! If you are worried about the glass baking if you are baking them after freezing, put them in a cold oven and let them sit in there while it preheats, that way there is no chance of the glass breaking due to temperature change.
Another good tip from the Baking Bites web site: Line your baking tray with a slip pat so the jars don't slide around as you are trying to remove them from the oven.