Spicy onion, cheese and bacon pie
Every year for her birthday, a friend of ours has a pie contest, ensuring a smorgasbord of baked delights for her day of honor. Now, I’m normally happy to leave the baking up to the Vegetarian. She knows what she’s doing when it comes to confections. However, I felt it was time to break out of the box and take a stab at a bacon pie.
Admittedly, being less-than-well versed in the realm of pie, savory or otherwise, I turned to the interwebs for some recipe ideas. I was not impressed with any of the concepts I found by themselves. Not to mention many of them did not have a crust, which was one of the contest’s requirements. It was time to improvise… I cobbled together what sounded like the best parts of a number of recipes and threw in some of my own ideas. Here is the culmination of my adventure.
1 frozen pastry shell (yeah, yeah)
15 slices of bacon
5 slices of bacon, sliced in 1/2 along the length
1 large sweet onion
1 large jalapeno
1 red pepper
1 orange pepper
1 cup of shredded cheese (I used a mix of cheddar/pepper jack)
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
OK. I’m going to describe how I made it and then I’m going to relay the lessons I learned along the way and how I plan to do it next time.
1. Lay the crust out in a deep dish pie pan
2. Chop 1/3 cup onion, 1/3 cup of red and orange peppers
3. Finely chop 1/2 the jalepeno, seeds removed
4. Caramelize the onions in the Coke. You only need about 1/3 of the can.
5. Cook up the 15 slices of bacon to cripsy. Blot, crumble, set aside.
6. Combine the bacon, peppers, cheese and onion and sprinkle into the pie crust.
7. Mix milk, eggs, pepper and cayenne with a fork. Pour into the pie crust.
8. Weave a mat with the 10 halved strips of bacon and lay it on top.
9. Cut a hole in a piece of foil that’s 2″ in diameter smaller than the top of your pie pan and lay it over top (keeps the crust from burning).
10. Cook at 375 for 40 minutes, then increase the heat to 400 and cook another 10. At the 40 minute mark start checking the done-ness with a toothpick but I found it took about 50 total to bake through and cook the bacon lattice on top.
So… The final product turned out well. I got second runner-up in the savory category and mine was the first pie to get completely eaten, by a long shot. The crust came out perfectly, despite the long cook time (thank you foil halo!). All in all, while very tasty, in my opinion it was a little bland. Next time around, this is my to-do list.
1. More onion – 1/3 cup was about 1/2 of the walla walla sweet I had. I’d use the whole thing next time.
2. More spice – I’d use the whole jalapeno and I’d bump up the cayenne to 1/4 tsp.
3. Less egg and milk – While pretty manly, it was a little too quiche-like. I’d try to cut one egg and 1/2 a cup of the milk. This would work to make room for the extra onions and jalapeno and would prevent the spice from washing out as much. Note: it’ll reduce cook time a bit so be sure to check it frequently near the end.
4. Swap the orange peppers for green – a little more flavor and kick.
5. A couple splashes of worscestershire or bbq sauce to the egg mix to make the flavor more robust.
6. I’d make the lattice on top bigger. It shrunk up quite a bit when baking and pulled away from the edges. Aesthetic? Maybe. But I believe every bite deserves equal baconage.
So there it is. Go forth and conquer. If you make it and have any revelations, post em as comments!