Thursday, April 26, 2012

bacon-y carrot potato crusted pie

Sometimes all it takes is a photo, and a recipe will jump the line straight to the top of my "to cook list." A ridiculously rustic pie, with a burnished filling of caramelized carrots and bacon? Why don't you twist my arm a little harder, photographer blogger lady man sir?

I made this a couple of months back for diner with my friend Megan. We worked together, peeling the potatoes and carrots, and boiling the former and pan frying the latter with minced garlic in the bacon grease from cooking the bacon, which we did first.  The crust was basically just boiled potatoes, butter and flour, so pretty thick and hearty.

While it was pretty easy to prepare, the recipe did have one major difficulty, which was that it totally didn't want to finish baking. I took out the pie after a half hour, when it was supposed to be done, cut a slice, and discovered the the bottom crust, which was really pretty thick, was basically not cooked at all. I put it back in two or three times, and finally just gave up and ate mushy pie crust. It wasn't that bad, since it was basically just mashed potatoes with a little flour, but it was also far from ideal.

While we ate dinner, I kept the pie in the oven, and eventually, after God know how long, it was nice and crisp all the way through. This recipe probably needed a little bit more beta testing, but it's a solid flavor combination, and in that regard I would still recommend it. Just be warned, cooking times may vary: I've recommended 45 minutes below, but it may take longer. I think my crust might just have been particularly thick...

Carrot Pie with Bacon and Thyme

adapted from

Pie Crust
5 medium sized potatoes
½ lb or 1 stick or so butter, cut into small squares
2½ cups flour
1½ tsp baking powder

¼ lb bacon or pancetta, diced
3⅓ lb carrots
two cloves of garlic, minced
a couple of sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350˚. Peel the potatoes and boil until soft. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet, not letting it get too crispy. Remove from pan a reserve, leaving the grease in the pan. Peel and slice the carrots into thin rounds. Cook the garlic and carrots with the thyme in the bacon grease until the carrots are soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the potatoes from the water and mash them up. You can use a potato ricer, a masher, or just mash them with the tines of a fork. Let cool to room temperature, then the add butter, flour baking powder and salt. Add the flour a little bit at a time to see how much the potato can absorb. You can do this by hand, but an electric mixer will help.

Press the pie crust into a pie plate, fill the pie with carrots and bacon and bake the pie for about 45 minutes or until the dough is baked through.

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