Skip to main content

Freeze Now, Chill Out Later

  • Author:
  • Updated:

There’s something to be said for grilling or eating fresh food aboard. But sometimes, thanks to a late arrival to an anchorage due to challenging conditions, or better yet, too-good-to-leave-on-time conditions at your last stop, it’s good to have an easy backup plan for a great meal—you know you can do better than hot dogs or a can of Dinty Moore. What better dish to have on hand than a frozen pot pie?

It’ll keep in the freezer for the duration of your cruise, and makes something hot and savory that’s a full meal in one dish, and with built-in portion control (“Just a thin slice for me, please”). Try this new kind of pie, a Low-Country Boil Pie, with all the flavors of a great Southern food tradition without all the cleanup. The recipe is from the new book Pie It Forward by Gesine Bullock-Prado (, which comes out on April 1. Perhaps you won't want to leave the dock without a pie in the freezer from now on.

Low-Country Boil Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie

Note: Cajun spice mixes are often very salty, so be sure to check the flavor of the grits prior to adding salt to make sure you’re not overdoing it.

For the Crust (makes crust for two Low-Country Boil pies)

This dough is terribly easy to make, but is still incredibly buttery and tasty. You have two options: You can make it with all butter for full flakiness or add a little shortening to lend greater work- ability to the mix. Both are great options for double- crust pies.

All-purpose flour, cold                        2 cups                     250 g

Salt                                                      1 teaspoon               6g

Sugar                                                   1 tablespoon            11 g

Unsalted butter, cut into                      1 cup                       225 g

small pieces and chilled

in the freezer for ten minutes

Ice water (don’t add the ice                 ½ cup                     120 ml

to the pie dough, just the water)

Lemon juice                                         1 teaspoon             5 ml

1.            In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, salt, sugar, and butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal.

2.            In a small bowl, stir together the ice water and the lemon juice. Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture, pulsing, until the dough just comes together. Squeeze a small piece of dough between your thumb and index finger to make sure it holds its shape.

3.            Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Gently turn over each piece of dough a few times so that any dry bits are incorporated. Form each piece into a loose disk, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

For the Filling

organic low-salt chicken broth                                       3 cups                    720 ml

Cajun Spice Blend                                                          1 teaspoon              2.5 g

Cayenne                                                                          pinch           

Unsalted butter                                                                2 tablespoons            28 g

Regular (not quick cooking) grits                                   1 cup                       155 g

Idaho potato                                                                     1

Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded                                      8 ounces                225 g

Heavy cream                                                                    ½ cup                    120 ml

Red bell pepper, finely diced                                           1

Jalapeno pepper, deseeded                                               1

Chopped fresh corn kernels (2 cobs)                               1 cup                    165 g

Andouille sausage, remove casing and chop                   1 link                       

Eggs                                                                                 4

Salt                                                                                   to taste (see note)

Fresh, raw medium-sized shrimp                                    ½ pound            225 g

Procedure for the crust

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan with the dough. Dock the dough and freeze it for 20 minutes. Line the crust with parchment, fill it with pie weights or dried beans, and bake it for 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment and bake the crust for 5 to 10 minutes more, just until the raw-dough sheen goes away. Set the crust aside.

Procedure for the filling

1.            Bring the chicken broth, Cajun spice, cayenne, and butter to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the grits and whisk until combined. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the grits thicken, 8 to 10 minutes.

2.            Peel the potato, place it in a small saucepan filled with water, and boil until it is fork-tender. Cool the potato and cut it into 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) cubes.

3.            Add the cheddar, cream, bell pepper, jalapeño, corn, andouille, and potato to the grits and stir until combined.

4.            In a small bowl, whisk the eggs to break them up and stir them into the grits. Test the seasoning and add salt to taste. Add the shrimp, stirring gently to distribute them evenly.

5.            Pour the mixture into the crust. Cling wrap tightly and freeze.

6.            Pop frozen pie into a preheated 350-degree oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the custard is set