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Yield: 8 individual 3-1/2 to 4-oz pie shells

Cornmeal Pie Dough
2-1/2 cups All purpose flour
3/4 cups Cornmeal
3 tsp Sugar
1-1/4 tsp Salt
8-1/4 oz cold Butter, cut in small pieces
3/8 cup Sour cream
1/4 cup Ice-cold water (or more as needed to work dough)

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of food processor. Pulse to combine. Add butter small pieces at a time to dry mix. Transfer to a large bowl. By hand, work in the sour cream and ice water, small amounts at a time. Dough should be soft and pliable, but not sticky. Adjust with flour. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. Chill before rolling out. Roll dough very thinly. Blind bake the pie crusts in 4-ounce tart pans or gratin dishes. (Blind bake means that you line the dough with foil & put dry beans or coffee beans on top of the foil, so that there is weight to hold up the sides of the tarts during the baking process.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes depending on how fast your oven is. Remove the beans & foil; bake 1-2 minutes longer to finish. Dough should no longer be translucent. Do not get too much color on them now because remember that once you fill them, they get baked again.

Crayfish Filling
1 lb. Crayfish tails
1/2 stalk Celery, small dice
1/2 Onion, small dice
1/2 bulb Fennel, small dice
1 tsp Garlic, minced
2 tlb flour
1/4 cup Shrimp stock
1-1/4 cups Heavy cream
zest of 2 Lemons
juice of 1 Lemon
1 tlb Parsley, chopped
Salt, Pepper & Tabasco, to taste
2 Scallions, finely sliced
Whole butter

Sauté onion, celery & fennel in whole butter. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour just to coat lightly. Stir to combine. Add stock, cream, zest and juice. Cook 10 minutes or so to reduce cream a bit. In a separate pan, sauté crayfish tails in whole butter. Add scallions and parsley. Add the crayfish to the cream mixture. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Sometimes a splash of Worcestershire is good too. Fill pre-baked cornmeal pie shells with 4 ounces of filling. Bake until hot and bubbly. Optional garnishes are crispy bacon bits, brunoise jalapeno & sliced scallions.

Susan Spicer, Chef and Owner, Bayona (New Orleans)
Seafood Choices Alliance -


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