In her new book, 50 Pies, 50 States: An Immigrant’s Love Letter to the United States through Pie, Stacey Mei Yan Fong shares this recipe for blue crab pie inspired by Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay. It gets an extra dose of classic seafood flavor with an Old Bay–seasoned crust. Read our interview with the author and find more recipes here.
Food & Drink
Cheesy Crab-Dip Pie
With an Old-Bay-and-butter crust
photo: Alanna Hale
Cheesy Crab-Dip Pie (Yield: One 10-inch pie)
For the crust
1¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
1½ tsp. granulated sugar
3 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup cold water
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
½ cup ice
For the filling
2 large eggs, beaten
½ cup mayonnaise (preferably Duke’s)
½ cup whole milk
4 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded
4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped white onion
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning, plus more for sprinkling
½ pound crab meat (preferably blue crab from the Chesapeake Bay)
Make the crust: Stir the flour, salt, sugar, and Old Bay together in a large bowl with a flat bottom. Add the butter pieces on top of the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, toss the butter in the dry mixture so each cube is coated. Use a pastry blender or your fingers to cut or rub the butter into the mixture until it is in pieces a bit larger than peas (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to over-blend). You want to be able to have big butter chunks in your crust: It helps create a flakey effect, as well as adding delicious buttery hits of flavor.
In a separate large measuring cup or small bowl, combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture; do not add the ice, which is just there to keep your water cold. Using your hands in a circular motion, bring the mixture together until all the liquid is incorporated. Continue adding the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Carefully mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until it comes into one mass; you don’t want to overwork it.
Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight before using.
When ready to make the rest of the pie, roll out dough, fit it into a greased 10-inch pie pan, crimp the edges, and partially blind bake the crust: Line the dough with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake on the center rack of a 375°F oven for 30 minutes. Let cool before removing pie weights and filling the crust.
Make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, mayonnaise, and milk and mix well. Fold in the Swiss, cheddar, peppers, onion, flour, and Old Bay and mix well. Fold in the crab meat, making sure not to break up the crab meat too much.
Assemble and bake the pie: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the partially baked crust on a baking sheet and fill with the filling. Sprinkle the filling with additional Old Bay and bake on the center rack for 40 to 50 minutes, until bubbly. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving with a Spaghett cocktail! (Add an ounce of both Aperol and lemon juice to a glass bottle of Miller High Life. The drink was made famous by Wet City Brewing in Baltimore.) It’s the perfect summertime pie and drink.
Excerpted from 50 PIES, 50 STATES by Stacey Mei Yan Fong. Copyright © 2023 by Stacey Mei Yan Fong. Photography by Alanna Hale. Food styling by Caitlin Haught Brown. Used with permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company.
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