Friday, December 24, 2010

A Holiday Blessing and Mushroom Pie with Sour Cream Crust

We will light four candles this evening before we sit down to Christmas Eve dinner.

My family has been blessed with wonderful, caring people in our lives. This evening we will eat with Anne and Dan and their children. Anne and Dan were TBHITW and my best "couple" friends.

There will be one extra place setting and one empty chair at the table.

When we sit down at their table my children and I will each light one of four candles, these are the words that will be said to honor TBHITW:

"As we light these four candles in honor of you, we light one for our grief, one for our courage, one for our memories and one for our love.

First Candle: This candle represents our grief, the pain of losing you is intense. It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.

Second Candle: This candle represents our courage to confront our sorrow, to comfort each other, to change our lives.

Third Candle: This light is in your memory; the times we laughed, the times we cried, the times we were angry with each other, the silly things you did and the caring and joy you gave us.

Fourth Candle: This light is the light of love; as we enter this holiday season day by day we cherish the special place in our hearts that will always be reserved for you. We thank you for the gift your living brought to each of us. We love you."

Anne is making a standing prime rib, I am making all the sides and because Anne's daughter is a vegetarian I am making her this mushroom pie. I've made it before for her. I think it will make her happy.  Who are you making happy this season?

Mushroom Pie with Sour Cream Crust: - Serves 6 to 8 as a main course

Crust: This is one of the easiest, most delicious pastry doughs I have ever worked with. Trust me, you're going to love it.

2 1/2 cups flour (you can use whole wheat or all purpose, unbleached white flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup sour cream (you can substitute Greek Style yogurt for less calories)

Whisk first three ingredients in bowl. Cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal. Add sour cream and stir until dough comes together. Shape dough into 2 disks, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out larger disk and fit into pie plate. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight. Wrap other (smaller) disc of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate.


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped shallots
6 cups coarsely chopped mushrooms (portabella, shitake, white button or any combination you like)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
8 ounces cream cheese (you can use Neufchatel style if you like) - room temperature and cut into cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in large saute pan. Add onions and shallots and gently saute until translucent. About 5-8 minutes. Add mushrooms and thyme. Saute until tender, about 10 minutes and most of liquid from mushrooms had cooked off.

Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool.

Roll out smaller disc of dough and cut into strips. Form a lattice crust. Brush with egg white.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

A Cook's Notes: You can make this pie up to one day before. To reheat, cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until filling is bubbly.


  1. I'm making split pea soup. Just for me.

    I like your sense of ritual. It suits you.

  2. What an absolutely beautiful ceremony. You have made it very special. TBHITW was loved and will be missed, but he raised a strong and happy family. He would be very proud.

    Love the mushroom pie and will definitely make it for my vegetarians.

    Blessings to you this holiday season. Merry Christmas, and Onward!

  3. The candle lighting will be such a wonderful touch to the special time you will have with your friends. I am sure he is so proud of you and your children. Merry Christmas to you and your children.

  4. Thinking of you especially today!!! And praying for peace and comfort to surround you!!! My heart is with you!!! Love you much!!! Janine XO

    P.S. this looks absolutely fab!!!

  5. You are a strong woman with wonderful memories. I am sure he will be smiling in heaven this day. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family.

  6. I have not done any cooking this holiday season. I hope to next year. I would like to try your recipes - thank you so much for sharing. I hope that you had the best Christmas that you could. Take care. xoxo

  7. What a wonderful way to honor TBHITW and continue your healing. Good for you all.

    The pie looks magnificent.

    I focused on making no one person happy but just being happy this last Christmas. That seemed to work the best for everyone. :-)


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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