A French Country Christmas

| 12/22/2017 2:27:00 PM

Renee headshot 

My husband's family has French on his dad's side just like I do. They have two recipes that were traditionally made at Christmas that I love, too. They are definitely not haute cuisine. They are substantial, hearty and made for hard work on the farm in winter. Neither one is difficult to make. Both are delicious. One is called "tourtiere" and it is a meat pie that the Quebecois of Canada love. The other is called "torton" and compares to a simple knish. The kids especially love the tortons. My husband says that when his grandmother made them he would stand next to her as she made them and gobble them as they came off the griddle. The torton recipe is from the Gap area of France.


Makes 1 pie, about 10 servings

You can put just about anything you want in a tourtiere. Some pies are simply meat and onions. I add potatoes to mine because my husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I also make them in large muffin pans because I add vegetables that I like. The French say "jusqu'à ce que les vaches viennent à la maison," which means roughly that you can add whatever you like until "the cows come home"!

Make the crust first:

• 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 10 tablespoons cold butter
• 5 to 8 tablespoons ice water, enough to make a cohesive dough