Bacon anyone? Yes
When I was about 7 or 8 my Granny came to live with us. She loved baking and Fridays very quickly became ‘Granny’s baking day’. I used to look forward to Friday and getting home from school to see what she’d been baking.
One of the things she made was her ‘Feather Cake’.
When blackberries were in season I was sent out with a jam-jar to collect the essential ingredient for her blackberry and apple pie. I still remember the taste of it to this day. Rich flaky pastry filled with slices of tart baking apples fresh from the market and oozing with purple juice from the blackberries.
I remember baked egg custard covered in nutmeg. She always kept a whole nutmeg in the pantry to grate on top. And rice pudding covered with a brown skin… the list goes on.
How to make bacon and egg pie
First make the shortcrust pastry.
The key to successful shortcrust pastry is to keep all the ingredients as cold as possible. Use
Rub the flour and butter together with your finger-tips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can do this step in a food processor if you prefer.
Now add 2 beaten egg yolks and about 50 ml ice cold water and cut it through with a knife. I always keep a little of the water aside and only add the rest if the mixture doesn’t come together properly.
Press the dough together with your fingers until it forms a ball. Don’t overwork or the pastry will be tough.
Now flatten the ball of dough, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least half an hour to rest. This step is important as it allows the gluten to relax, and cuts down on any shrinkage during cooking.
Make the filling
Roll out 2/3 of the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness, and use it to line your baking dish.
Fry the bacon, or cook it in the microwave between 2 paper towels. Don’t over-cook it. It will continue to cook in the oven when you bake the pie. Just allow most of the fat to fry out. I like to use streaky bacon but you can use back bacon too if you like.
Let the bacon cool and then layer it on the bottom of your lined baking dish. Break 6 eggs at even intervals over the top.
Mix the milk, cream and remaining 2 eggs together. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the eggs and bacon. You might not need all the liquid. Don’t over fill the pastry case. You can use any left over for glazing.
Now roll out the rest of the pastry, and use it to form a lid. Crimp the edges to seal, then prick with a fork and glaze with a little beaten egg and milk. If you want to be fancy you can cut leaves from the pastry trimmings and decora
Place in a pre-heated oven and bake for about 30 minutes until the pie is puffed and golden.
You need to keep your eye on it. The cooking time can vary depending on various factors such as altitude or whether you have a fan-assisted oven. If you think the pie needs a little longer then leave it in the oven for a few more minutes.
Can I freeze the pastry
The pastry freezes really well.
If you like, you can double the recipe and freeze half for another day. Just wrap it in c
To use, let the frozen pastry defrost in the fridge before rolling out.
Bacon and Egg Pie
For the Shortcrust Pastry
- 250 g (2 cups) Plain Flour
- 125 g Butter (cubed)
- 2 large Egg Yolks
- 50 ml Ice Cold Water
For the Bacon and Egg Filling
- 250 g Streaky Bacon – about 16 rashers
- 6 large Eggs (don't break the yolks)
- 2 large Eggs (beaten)
- 100 ml Pouring Cream
- 200 ml Milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Shortcrust Pastry
- Place the Flour, Butter and Salt into a mixing bowl
- Rub lightly with the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
- Add the Egg Yolks and most of the Cold Water
- Stir this through the flour with a knife until it comes together in lumps.
- Now press together until it just comes away from the sides of the bowl and form it into a ball.
- Flatten the ball of dough, wrap it in clingfilm and allow it to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
For the Bacon and Egg Filling
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 360°F
- Fry the bacon until most of the fat has been cooked out and the bacon is almost crispy. Drain on paper towel and allow to cool.
- Roll ⅔ of the pastry to about ¼ inch thickness and line your pie dish. Let it overlap the edges slightly.
- Layer the bacon on the bottom of the lined pie dish
- Break each of the 6 eggs on top of the bacon at roughly evenly spaced intervals.
- Mix the remaining 2 eggs with the cream and milk, season with salt and pepper (optional)
- Pour the egg mix slowly over the bacon and eggs in the pie dish allowing it to fill any gaps.
- Roll the remaining ⅓ of the pastry into a circle and place it on top of the pie.
- Crimp the edges of the pie to seal and cut off any excess pastry. You could use the trimming to cut leaf shapes to decorate the top of the pie.
- Pick holes on the top of the pastry with a fork to allow steam to escape whilst cooking and then brush with a little beaten egg and milk to glaze.
- Place in the oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven. You can eat this either hot or cold.
- To save time you could use a food processor to combine the flour and butter.
- Don’t add all of the water at the beginning. Depending on the size of the eggs you may not need it all. Once you’ve added the water you can’t take it out again.
- Use your own judgement on the amount of water. You are looking for a soft pastry that comes together in a ball without being too sticky.
- The pastry should come together into a ball and not stick to the sides of the bowl.
- Be careful not to overwork the pastry or it will become tough. Handle it as little as possible.
- Wrap it in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge. This step is important as it allows the gluten to relax, and cuts down on any shrinkage during baking.
- If you want to make the pastry in advance you can even leave it overnight in the fridge.
- Don’t overcook the bacon. I find the easiest way to cook it is to layer it between paper towels and give it about 3 minutes in the microwave.
- When you line the pie dish let the pastry overlap the edges slightly so that the pastry lid can be sealed nicely.
- You may find that you don’t need all the egg and milk mixture. You can use any leftover to glaze the pie before cooking.
- You can use trimmings from the pastry to make leaf shapes to decorate the pie.
- Various factors such as altitude or fan-assisted ovens can determine how quickly the pie cooks. Keep your eye on it and if you think it needs a little more cooking time just leave it in the oven for a few of minutes longer.
- This pie can be served hot or cold.
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Til next time – happy cooking – VJ x