What Is Seafood Pie?

C. Webb

Seafood pie is a catch-all name for many different recipes, with one thing in common — each pie contains some type of seafood. The benefit of making a seafood pie is that it can be dressed up or down, depending on your budget and who will eat it. Whether it is for a family dinner, an upscale party, or a potluck gathering, seafood pie is easy to prepare.

Oysters can be used in a seafood pie.
Oysters can be used in a seafood pie.

These types of pies contain some type of seafood, such as crab, lobster, scallops, or oysters; many recipes also call for the addition of fish. While each seafood pie recipe requires seafood, and most call for some fish, other ingredients vary, depending on the specific recipe. For example, one Cajun-style seafood pie recipe calls for grated cheddar and Parmesan cheese. In another recipe, no cheese is required; however, there are plenty of peeled and thinly sliced potatoes throughout the mixture.

When making lobster pie, it's helpful to parboil the lobster in advance.
When making lobster pie, it's helpful to parboil the lobster in advance.

Whether a prepared pie crust is used, or one will be made from scratch, the first step in the majority of seafood pie recipes is to get the crust ready. This can include baking it to a light golden brown or mixing the ingredients together to press into the pie tin before adding the filling. Once the crust is ready, the filling, which is typically mixed in a bowl, is poured into the shell and ready to bake.

It is important to study the recipe before the day the pie is needed because some recipes require more time than others to prepare. For example, one recipe requires the cook to saute onions and mushrooms before preparing the filling for the pie. Another recipe requires several hours of marination in a cream sauce before baking.

Once the crust is prepared, the filling poured and any topping added, the recipes all instruct the cook to bake the pie. Baking time varies between 10 and 20 minutes at 350°F (180°C). Allow it to cool on a rack for approximately five minutes.

If the pie is being made for family, inexpensive ingredients can be used, including artificial crab, which is actually made from white fish and seasoned to taste like crab. If, however, the pie is going to be used for a formal dinner party, the cook can step up the game by using lobster and authentic crab. Each pie is a blank canvas waiting to be decorated by the choice of ingredients used in its making.

Real crab meat can be used to create a finer tasting seafood pie for formal occasions.
Real crab meat can be used to create a finer tasting seafood pie for formal occasions.

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