Crawfish Pie

© 2012

Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and file’ gumbo
‘Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Louisiana is such a wonderful place. It’s a sportsman’s paradise. It’s a reveler’s haven. It’s a music hot spot. More importantly, it’s a food lover’s dream come true. Cajuns truly love their food and have introduced the world to a wonderful cuisine all its own. Besides the standard fare, they eat alligator, duck, frogs, turtles, and mudbugs, aka crawfish, crayfish, crawdads. One of my favorite stories is about cajuns and crawfish told by Justin Wilson. You see, one day Momma crawfish was out with her baby “chirren” showing them the ways of the world. As they were walking the little chirren saw a cow in the pasture. They stopped dead in their tracks, reared back on their back legs, pulled their front claws in front of their faces and hissed. Momma crawfish looked at her chirren and said “don worry none, chirren, that’s just a cow. He won hurt you.” As they walked a little further, they came upon a mule. The little baby crawfish once again stopped dead in their tracks, reared back on their back legs, pulled their front claws in front of their faces and hissed. Momma crawfish looked at her chirren and said “don worry none, chirren, that’s just a mule. He won hurt you.” This act goes on for several different animals when all of the sudden Momma Crawfish stops dead in her tracks, pulls up on her hind legs with claws in front of her face and yells “Run like hell chirren. That’s a cajun and he’ll eat any damn thing!”

It’s a good thing those cajuns will eat any damn thing. If not, no one would know just how delectable mudbugs really are. This dish is a traditional Louisiana Crawfish pie and is very popular in Louisiana. When you’re wishing you were at Mardis Gras and looking for something with a little spice give this dish a try. It won’t disappoint.


For the Crust

  • 12 oz sifted all-purpose flour (roughly 2-1/2 cups)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 12 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp lard
  • 1/2 cup cold water

For the Filling

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsps. finely minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 tbls. finely minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tbls. chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion tops
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbls. brandy
  • 1/2 cup shrimp stock
  • 3 Tbsp Hot Pickled Red Pepper Sauce (alternatively, Louisiana Hot Sauce)
  • 2 lbs cooked crawfish tails


For the Crust

Place butter and lard in freezer for 15 minutes. When ready to use, remove and cut both into small pieces.

Combine flour and salt in food processor by pulsing 3 to 4 times. Add butter.

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Pulse 5 to 6 times until texture looks mealy.

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Add lard.

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Pulse again 4 times. Remove lid of food processor and add 1/4 cup of water. Replace lid and pulse 5 times. Add more water and pulse again until mixture holds together when squeezed.

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Roll into ball, divide in half and flatten out into 2 disks.

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Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When ready to use, remove from refrigerator for 15 minutes before rolling out.

For the Filling

Melt butter over low heat in a large skillet.

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Gradually add flour and cook slowly, stirring constantly until a light roux forms (about the color of caramel).

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Add onion, garlic, green bell pepper, parsley, celery and green onion tops. Continue to stir until vegetables are all very soft.

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Add salt, black pepper, heavy cream, shrimp stock, red pepper sauce and brandy. Mix gently but thoroughly and cook for 3 additional minutes over low heat.

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Add crawfish tails and cook for 10 minutes.

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Remove from heat and let cool.

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Spoon cooled filling into unbaked pastry shell.

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Gently place top crust over filled pie. Fold excess dough over and flute as desired with 3 slits in the top crust. Brush with egg wash.

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Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

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Cool 5 minutes. Cut into slices, serve and enjoy.

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29 thoughts on “Crawfish Pie”

  1. Looks wonderful! I’ve never been to Luisiana and haven’t tried much cajun food, but it’s definitely on my bucket list.
    The pie sounds delicious! Is it ok to substitute with regular crayfish or shrimp? Is the filling supposed to be as thin as shown in the last picture?
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi, Stefan. You can substitute regular crayfish tails or shrimp, whichever you prefer or can find. I prefer the crawfish and its generally available precooked and frozen. It’s fabulous if you have fresh crawfish but that is very hard to find in DFW unless it’s crawfish season. If you want the filling thicker, omit the shrimp stock. I like my filling a little looser which is why I add the stock.

      1. I don’t think crawfish are available in these parts. I don’t think omitting the shrimp stock would be a good idea in terms of taste. Shrimp croquettes (famous in Belgium) are also supposed to be very ‘runny’, but it is a bit messy to eat.

    1. Thanks for your very nice compliment. I wish my photos looked as good as yours. If you like crawfish, this is definitely worth trying. If you do try it, I would love to see photos as I am sure they will be stunning and I would love to see your take on the dish.

  2. Believe it or not, I have seen cooked crawfish up here. It’s been a while and I’ve no idea where it was or the time of year but I have seen them. Next time I see them, I’ll buy them and come back for this recipe. I’m a big fan of pot pies and yours, Richard, sounds like the best one ever! Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

    1. Hi, John. Your comments are very nice. I am a big fan of yours, as well. Typically, you find cooked crawfish frozen in 1 pound plastic wrapped, vacuum sealed, rectangles, roughly 6 x 10. While not as good as doing it yourself, it’s a whole lot less time and the flavor is good. Generally, it’s what I use whenever I am doing a dish like this and crawfish etouffee, probably my favorite crawfish dish and another post for later this month. I cannot state this is the best crawfish pie ever as there are so many out there and the vast majority of them are very much similar. This is simply a traditional crawfish pie with a whole lot of crawfish in it. 🙂 Many of the recipes only call for 1 pound of crawfish but it makes a flat pie and I prefer heaping helpings of crawfish. You probably will want to tone down the red pepper sauce if you try it. I find it had very little heat but, as you know, I like things hot. I would reduce the amount of red pepper sauce to 1 – 2 Tbsp, as opposed to the 3 Tbsp I use. Remember, this amount of hot sauce is being spread over 2 pounds of crawfish which really does tone it down simply because of the volume of food.

  3. Mmm. One of my (and my Dad’s) all-time favorite Cajun dishes! The brandy certainly is an interesting twist here. I’ll have to sub in a low-carb Paleo crust when I do it, but I do look forward to trying out your filling with the brandy soon. I cook crawfish about once a month somehow or other. 🙂

    1. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Another twist you can do with this recipe is add sherry instead of the brandy. I didn’t have any sherry in the liquor cabinet so I used a decent brandy instead.

  4. I have been watching the Hairy Bikers series down that way. The amazingly different foods make it very interesting indeed. I get so jealous of the beautiful crawfish. You have done a fine job with the pie.
    Keep up the great work,

    1. Thanks, Conor, for the very nice compliment. Louisiana is different on so many levels. It’s very much its own world there. It’s such a fun place to visit and the food is always good. 🙂

    1. Actually, although pretty to look at, the crust did not come out very flaky this time. 😦 So many things can affect a pie crust, i.e. temperature, humidity, overworking the dough, etc. That, and the disaster I make in the kitchen, is why I don’t bake. I know how to bake, it’s just not my thing. It’s a good thing, too, because if I did bake I would probably weight 400 pounds. 😮

  5. Love Crawfish pie, but in Los Angeles I always have to special order the crawfish! Also, I scoured the city once for Tasso ham and got strange looks from all the butchers I asked. They never heard of it! You would think you could get anything in LA…..

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