I will be making (sort of) seafood pot pie for 20 for Christmas Eve dinner. I am adapting a chicken pot pie recipe, and I plan to use shrimp and perhaps scallops and crab instead of chicken. I will prepare it at my house then transport it to the family homestead where the meal will be. I am wondering if it would be best to cook everything except the seafood, and add that later after I arrive. Does that sound like a good idea? I will probably keep the dish hot in a slow cooker due to stovetop space issues. I'm concerned that the seafood will overcook if I add it too soon, but I do want to make sure it is fully cooked. I will have at least two hours' heating time before dinner is served.
Also, for ease of service and to make a nice presentation I was planning to serve the filling in pastry shells (like Pepperidge Farm). Would they hold up if I baked them earlier in the day? How far in advance can I bake them?
This is just one part of a much larger meal where I will have multiple responsibilities, so whatever I can do in advance is always helpful, but not if the quality will suffer. Any insight is appreciated. Many thanks in advance.