The Simple Way Ina Garten Adds A Bit Of Crunch To Pot Pies

There's nothing like a homemade pot pie. Getting a spoonful of the crisp, buttery crust and the warm, luscious filling is a comforting play of textures and flavors. And renowned cookbook author Ina Garten is no stranger to pot pies, boasting a delicious and hearty chicken pot pie in her repertoire. But for an added crunch, Garten has a simple last-minute addition she incorporates into her pot pies: salt.

The salt in this case isn't your typical table salt, but two types of sea salt. The Barefoot Contessa believes in stocking your pantry with a finishing salt like Maldon salt or fleur de sel. While these salts are similar in taste to kosher salt, Maldon salt and fleur de sel are not as coarse. Garten told Bon Appétit that you should add your flaky salt just before putting your pot pie in the oven. She brushes egg wash to the outside pastry and then adds "a little sprinkle of that flaky salt," giving a perfect, crunchy layer to the crust of your pot pies.

Use flaky salt to garnish a pot pie

Fleur de sel is a rare French variety of sea salt, translating to "flower of salt" in English. While the hefty cost compared to table salt and kosher salt may prevent you from making it your go-to salt, this flaky salt is perfect for garnishing meats, vegetables, or pot pies, as Garten does. The characteristics of fleur de sel are luxurious; sitting atop your food, the grains offer a crisp texture, and on the tongue, the salt dissolves fast. This makes it a wonderful addition for crunch and to enhance the sweetness or natural savoriness of foods.

Maldon salt can also be used as a finishing salt similar to fleur de sel. However, this British-made flaky sea salt is pyramidal shaped which helps add another layer of texture and crunch to each salt grain. Additionally, Maldon salt dissolves more slowly atop foods than fleur de sel, preserving its bite for longer atop the food to which it's used. Whether you pick up fleur de sel or Maldon salt for your pantry, the Barefoot Contessa's simple add to pot pies will give your foods a delectable and savory crunch.