Oyster dressing is a southern favorite on any holiday table and my mother used to make it every Thanksgiving. (She also used to make traditional tomato aspic. Though I loved my mother very much, I did not love that aspic, sorry!)
You may have heard oyster dressing referred to as oyster stuffing even though it does not go inside anything, or oyster pie. I refer to it as oyster pie for no other reason than I like to serve it in a round dish.
Whatever you call it, oyster pie is the easiest thing you’ll make this Thanksgiving, or for any holiday meal, really. It’s decidedly not for everyone, but those of us who like it, love it. Here’s how to make it perfectly without too much fuss.
Easy Southern Oyster Pie
Just a note on the seasoning salt: My current favorite is Beautiful Briny Sea French Picnic Salt, a delightful blend that includes mustard, garlic, thyme, lavender, and pink peppercorn. I’ve also made it with Lawry’s, Seasonello Bologna salt, Old Bay, and pretty much any other seasoning salt I’m into at the moment. So whatever works for you is just fine.
1/2 lb. saltine crackers, crushed (2 sleeves from a standard box)
2 sticks butter, melted
48 ounces shucked oysters in brine (about 4 cups drained)
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt (see note above)
fresh ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2-3 dashes (or more) Tabasco or other hot sauce
1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
2. Crush the saltines, leaving some discernible pieces. You can crush them right in the waxy sleeve they come in.
3. Mix saltine crumbs in a bowl with melted butter.
4. Drain oysters and rinse under cold water, removing any remaining pieces of shell.
5. Spread one-third of the buttered cracker crumbs in the bottom of a greased 9-inch pie dish.
6. Top with half the drained oysters and sprinkle with half the seasoning salt and ground pepper to taste.
7. Add another third of the crackers, followed by the rest of the oysters, the second 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, and more ground pepper.
8. Mix heavy cream with Worcestershire and hot sauce and pour over dish.
9. Top with remaining cracker crumbs and bake until warm all the way through, 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the heat to broil for 1 minute at the end to brown the top.
Serve your oyster pie right next to the rest of the stuffing! Or dressing. Or the other sides.