A French Canadian Favourite

Smells Like Christmas

When December hits there's one smell I start craving first and foremost and that's the smell of tourtière baking. This classic French Canadian meat pie has been a family tradition for as long as I can remember. I believe I have already mentioned that I have made a few of these already this year, but for the first time ever I'm using homemade pie dough! We used to use Tenderflake frozen shells because they're tasty and super easy to use. But, as I said in the last post, I have decided to challenge myself and work with fresh dough since it's not something I feel I have mastered - yet!

The dough itself is actually quite simple to make. I took the dough recipe that I use in my apple pie and reduced the sugar to a single teaspoon to make it more savoury. Yields a nice amount and comes together in the food processor. Easy peasy!


Now for the filling: the original recipe calls for all ingredients to be tossed into a large pan, water is then added, it's all brought to a boil, then cooked for about 20 mins (until meat is fully cooked). I was confused by the use of water so asked a good friend (and super knowledgeable foodie) about why the water was used, and whether or not it was necessary. Turns out the water helpful in breaking apart the ground meat (breaking down the clumps) and helps keep it nice and tender. So that answers that, water it is!!

In any case, the recipe is quite straightforward and so I suggest you give yourselves a little Canadian treat this holiday season and bake up a traditional tourtière.


For the filling
2 lbs ground pork
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1.5 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp savory
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 C water
1.5 C bread crumbs (likely won't it need all)
1 batch of double crust dough (recipe below)
1 egg + 1 tsp water for egg-wash

Remove the disks of dough from the fridge and allow to warm a bit while you prepare the filling.

Place pork, onion, garlic, salt, savory, celery salt, cloves, cinnamon and water in the a large pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to break up the pork, and cook uncovered for roughly 20-25mins (until pork is cooked through).

Remove from the heat and 1/4 C at a time stir in the breadcrumbs, completely combine before adding another 1/4 C. Continue until the pork mixture is no longer soupy, or leaving water when spread around in the pan, but stop before it starts to look dry. Only add as much as you need, we want the filling to be moist but not runny.

Set aside to cool while you roll out the dough.

Roll out one disk of dough and line your pie dish, gently pushing it down in, and leaving about an inch of overhang. Fill with the slightly cooled meat mixture. Roll out second dish and place overtop. Fold edges over the bottom crust and pinch together using your preferred method. Slice some slits in the centre for steam to escape.

Brush with egg-wash (1 egg + 1 tsp water beaten together).

Bake at 400F for 40-45mins until golden brown all around.


For the dough
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 C unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2" chunks
6 tbsp ice water (roughly*)

Place flour, sugar, salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix. Add the cold butter and pulse until it becomes a course meal. Gradually add ice water while pulsing to combine. Continue until it begins to come together into a moist clump.

Divide into two balls, flatten each into a smooth disk, and wrap each in plastic wrap then refrigerate 2hrs (or overnight).

*I ended up using 7 tbsp to get my dough to come together


As usual I want to see what you've been baking so be sure to tag your Instagram photos with #ragebake !