Rosemary, Potato and Pepper Bacon Cheese Pie
In my other life, apart from family, church, and blogging, I’m a sonographer (aka ultrasound technologist). People frequently ask me how they can get in the business or they ask for advice about getting in to ultrasound school. One such person recently sent me an enthusiastic email saying she had just been accepted into the school of sonography at El Centro. Congratulations, Jill!
Along with that email, she sent this recipe. I figure it must be good or she wouldn’t have gone to the trouble to type it up for me. No source was given, so if I have inadvertently stolen the recipe, please forgive.
When you take one bite of this delicious rosemary-spiked potato pie, you’ll be transported to a little French cafe or maybe your local La Madeleine’s. Tastes similar to something you might see in their gorgeous display cases–only better. Much better.
A word about the crust: I’ve been playing around with crusts lately while working on a healthier homemade pop-tart (coming soon). While you can use almost any pie crust recipe, or a commercially prepared crust, I really like the crust recipe that follows with savory fillings.
Rosemary Potato and Pepper Bacon Cheese Pie
6 strips pepper bacon (thick cut)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup fat-free half and half
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 large Idaho Russet baking potatoes
8 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
1 medium egg yolk + splash water
Freshly ground coarse black pepper
Kosher salt or Jane’s Crazy Mixed-up Salt (recommended)
2 unbaked pie crusts (can be store-bought or homemade)
First: Place one unbaked crust into pie plate and carefully mold into place. Trim edges even with plate. Freeze.
Second: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut bacon into 1-inch slices and fry in skillet until crispy. Remove from grease to drain. Set aside.
Third: In medium saucepan, bring cream, half and half and rosemary sprigs to a simmer. Let simmer for about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to steep with rosemary in the cream for an additional 8 minutes. Pour cream mixture through a sieve into 2 cup glass measuring cup and reserve. Approximately, 1 cup of cream should remain.
Fourth: Wash and peel potatoes. Cut in half lengthwise and slice thinly crosswise, aiming for uniform thickness of all slices. A mandolin is quick and easy, ensuring perfect slices but you can also do it by hand with a sharp knife.
Fifth: Remove pie crust from freezer. Work to create 3 layers:
- 1/3 of potatoes
- Salt and pepper lightly
- 1/3 bacon pieces
- 1/8 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
- 1/3 grated Gruyere cheese
Repeat in order. Once all 3 layers are assembled, pour cream mixture evenly over entire pie.
Sixth: Roll out second pie crust and place over filling. Trim evenly with edge so that top and bottom layers are even. Use a fork to crimp edges. Make slits in top crust to ventilate. Brush top crust with egg wash for golden brown color while baking.
Seventh: Bake for 60 minutes until crust is browned and crispy and potatoes are baked through. If necessary, cover edges during cooking with foil or pie crust protector, to prevent over browning.
My Current Favorite Crust Recipe for Savory Fillings
Makes 2 crusts.
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
2 tablespoons very cold butter
1/2 cup buttermilk or nonfat plain yogurt
First: Whisk together flours and salt. Add shortening and chopped butter. Cut in with a fork or your fingers. (Hint: Wearing disposable plastic gloves helps to shield your body heat from warming the fat if you are mixing by hand, to say nothing about keeping your hands clean and the dough uncontaminated.) Mixture should look like a cross between uncooked instant oatmeal and coarse cornmeal.
Second: Combine egg and buttermilk or yogurt. Add to flour mixture and combine with a spatula, pressing as you go to form mixture into a ball. This recipe will make two crusts so divide ball in half.
Third: Roll out dough into desired shape and freeze until ready to cook.
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