The bounty of springtime inspires a host of good food ideas using the proverbial spring chicken, but also fresh greens, young carrots, tender asparagus, and knock-out strawberries.

The following recipes have been taken and adapted from my cookbook, Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook. Its emphasis is on dishes that are fresh and seasonal, delicious and celebratory. Food, like beer, is always better when shared with friends.

Daniel Schlabach has given us great pairing suggestions. His insightful comments head each of the recipes.

Each pie recipe will feed 8-10. Happy cooking!


By: Nancy Vienneau | Photography By: Stephanie Mullins

Soup and Sandwich. Cheese and Wine. Champagne and Caviar. Cookies and Cream.
To the line up of perfect pairs, we’d like to add Pie and Beer.  Pie and Beer, you say? You bet. Whether sweet or savory filled, the versatile one-dish pastry and a cool brew make a tasty match—especially now, with the abundance of craft beer choices.

Tapping into the spirit of spring, we’ve designed three terrific recipes for seasonally inspired pies, two of which use beer as an ingredient. Our Chicken Pot Pie has pale ale worked into the crust, which gives it great malted flavor while making it immeasurably flaky. We whipped up coarse grain mustard using Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout, which gets rubbed and baked into the crust of the Asparagus-Ham Quiche. Finally, our Glazed Strawberry Tart with Orange-scented pastry cream makes a light and luscious finish to any springtime meal.

We called on our friends at Bounty Bev for pairing suggestions. Founded by Kurt Strickmaker, Bounty is the only Tennessee distributor wholly dedicated to American craft beer. More than a distributor, the company is all about craft beer education. They call themselves The Better Beer Brigade. Daniel Schlabach, who heads up Bounty’s Special Events & Hoppenings, shares his insight on Spring pie and beer pairings.

Easy as pie.


Spring Asparagus Ham Quiche w/ Stout Mustard Rubbed Crust

“For the ingredient portion of the recipe, I’d go with something not too sweet and roasty like Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout, or North Coast Old Rasputin,” he says. Note: that stout mustard is top-notch, spread onto deli-style sandwiches, over grilled brats or used as a dunk for soft pretzels. “As for the pairing, sometimes it’s fun to have the beer with the beer that’s in the recipe, but in this case I’d go with something lighter.  Good People has a nice light saison called Urban Farmer,” Daniel says. “But say you’re hosting a brunch. In its large format bottle, Perennial Saison de Lis would be a beautiful choice.”
Yes, that bottle looks like a spring celebration, and because it is brewed with chamomile flowers, it has floral aromatics and a harmony of sweet and soft bitterness that is right for the season and for the quiche.

Spring Asparagus Ham Quiche w/ Stout Mustard Rubbed Crust



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 tablespoon stout mustard (see recipe below)

Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it becomes like coarse meal. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix well with a wooden spoon. With your hands, gather the dough up into a ball, pressing, rolling, and shaping until it is smooth and round. Flatten slightly, seal in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into an 11- or 12-inch circle. Drape the dough over a 9- or 10-inch quiche or tart pan. Press the dough to the bottom and sides, taking care not to stretch it. Rub the mustard onto the pastry surface and place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prick the crust with a fork. Line the crust with aluminum foil, pour beans or pie weights into the bottom, and place the pan in the oven to bake for 12 minutes. When the crust is nicely browned, remove and allow to cool.


  • 1 1⁄4 cups half-and-half
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper


  • 8-10 asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched
  • 1 cup sliced deli ham, cut into strips
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Beat the half-and-half, eggs, Parmesan, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl until the eggs are well incorporated into the liquid.

Place the ham strips at the base of the pie shell. Place the asparagus spears on top, Sprinkle with cheese. Pour the custard mixture over. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes. The custard will set and the top will be nicely browned. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8-10


  • ½ cup stout
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons black mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Pour the stout and vinegar into a nonreactive bowl. Add the black and yellow mustard seeds, sugar, allspice, and salt. Stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let the bowl sit out at room temperature for 48 hours. Stir. Use an immersion blender to blend until fairly smooth. Spoon into a clean, lidded jar and refrigerate. Keeps for 3 months


Spring Chicken Pot Pie w/ Pale Ale Crust

“This recipe ingredient and pairing is pretty straightforward—you could easily incorporate the same beer into both.” And, he allows, excellent pale ale choices abound. “Good People’s has the right amount of earthy hops that go right along with the savory veggies. Jackalope Thunder Ann has more citrusy hop flavors to enliven the pie and give a brighter pairing.”

But you don’t have to stick to the obvious. Daniel also likes Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA “It’s really well balanced and has some biscuity malt notes that work with the crust.” He is also fond of East Nashville Beer Works’ Miro Miel.  It’s an American-style blonde ale brewed with locally sourced honey, which balances the pilsner malt. “It’s definitely lighter in hop impact,” he says. Impressed by its smooth yet sunny character, we chose this one to accompany the pot pie.

Spring Chicken Pot Pie w/ Pale Ale Crust



  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons ice cold pale ale

Place flour, salt and sugar to a food processor, pulse to combine. Add the butter, process until well combined and dough ball begins to form..

Place into a mixing bowl. With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the beer until absorbed into the dough, which will be very soft.

Form into a flat disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced into coins
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1quart chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Kosher salt and coarse ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas

Place a large pot on medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, add the diced onions, celery and carrots. Saute for 5-6 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the flour and stir vigorously to coat the vegetables, allowing the flour to slightly cook.

Pour in the broth slowly, while steadily stirring the mixture. Within 7 minutes, the sauce will become smooth and thickened. Add seasonings: thyme, parsley, salt and black pepper. Fold in the chicken and peas. Remove from heat and pour into baking dish.


Set oven to 375 degrees.

Remove dough from refrigerator and place on a surface dusted with flour. Roll out to fit over baking dish with some overhang. Crimp the edges. With the tip of a sharp knife, make slits in the dough.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes—until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Allow to settle and cool 10 minutes before serving.


Apricot Glazed Strawberry Tart with Orange Scented Pastry Cream

Daniel has a few thoughts for this dessert. “I’d pair this one with a Dogfish Head Namaste. It’s got dried orange slices in the brew that will complement the orange zest in the custard.” This Belgian-style witbier is also made with lemongrass—intensifying those citrus notes– -and coriander, which imparts a spicy peppery finish. It complements all three fruits—apricot, strawberry, and orange—without overpowering. Beyond that, Daniel recommends sours, like Tin Man Damascene or 2nd Shift Katy.  “Damascene has a light lemonade-like tartness, and fruitiness from apricots.  2nd Shift Katy is another large format bottle that would be fun to share with friends.  It’s barrel aged and really dry that works with fruit-based tarts.”

Apricot Glazed Strawberry Tart with Orange Scented Pastry Cream



  • 6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon icy water

In a food processor fitted with a pastry cutter, pulse together the butter, sugar, egg, flour, and water until it forms a large mass. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut and place into a 9- or 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick the dough with a fork. Line the dough with a piece of parchment and fill with pie weights (or dried beans). Place in the oven and “blind-bake” for 15 minutes, until the crust is brown. Place on wire rack to cool.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 3 large eggs

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and mix in the sugar and flour.

Add 1 cup of the milk and stir constantly. Add the vanilla and orange zest.

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs with the remaining cup of milk until well blended and no streaks of yolk can be seen. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and stir well. Cook until thickened. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.


  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the preserves, sugar, and water and stir well. As the mixture gets hot, the sugar dissolves and the preserves melt. In 3 to 4 minutes, the glaze becomes thinner and syrupy. If there are small chunks of fruit in the glaze, you can pour the mixture through a strainer into a small bowl to remove. But if you don’t mind pieces of apricot, then leave it as it is.


  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced or 3–4 kiwis, peeled and sliced
  • Apricot glaze

Spoon the pastry cream into the piecrust. Layer fruit slices on top. Spoon the apricot glaze over the kiwi slices. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.


By: Nancy Vienneau | Photography By: Stephanie Mullins | Food Stylist: Teresa Blackburn