CLAM PIE—WITH OYSTERS
Years ago, at a neighborhood holiday pot-luck party, I got chatting with my neighbor Kayla. Impeccably turned out, all braids and beads, fancy shoelaces and lots of holiday excitement. I asked if her family had some special holiday dinner food, and what was her favorite. Immediate answer: “Clam Pie.” “I’ve never had that,” I said. “What’s it like?” “You know. A pie. With clams in it.” She started to leave, probably before she had to answer any more silly questions. She turned back–“But sometimes there’s oysters.” And then she danced off, with all the confidence of a six-year-old who knows everything worth knowing.
The concept was intriguing—clams and pie. After some research, and a few gummy results that called for everything from bacon and potatoes to crushed Ritz crackers, a light went on. I headed for one of my old local cookbooks—this one by a very gifted and in-demand wedding reception caterer—from back in the day, before there were wedding planners! And there it was—our local version of Clam Pie.
And here it is, Clam Pie–with Oysters—because, well, oysters are in season now, down our way.
• 1-pint fresh oysters—just shucked or in jar
• 3-4 tblsp butter
• 1 baked pie crust (make your own or use refrigerated/rolled—on floured board, roll crust thinner and larger than pan—cut off excess to make lattice strips—reroll excess and cut strips)
• Put crust in pie pan—line with foil and weigh it down with dried beans or pie weight—fold and crimp crust edges so they stand up
• Bake crust 20-25 min at 400º until light brown—remove foil and let cool
• Heat oysters slowly in sauté pan
• Bring to boil and add butter, salt, pepper
• Remove oysters after about 2 minutes and reduce pan sauce to 2/3 tblsp
• Place oysters in single layer, in slightly cooled pie crust, dot with bits of butter, add reduced pan sauce, and cover with lattice strips
• Bake at 350º until strips are golden brown
• Cool slightly before slicing
Pie slices and holds it shape like a pastry tart finger food.
The Kitchen Hive