A Pie of a Different Flavor

Last month, I submitted this recipe to Where Women Cook for consideration as part of their new publication, Pieography: Where Pie Meets Biography, The Story of Your Life In a Pie.  The idea was to "share the ingredients" of my life with a recipe that reflects me as a person.  As a huge huge HUGE fan of pie in general, I was more than excited to take on this challenge!

So with fingers crossed, I sent off my submission!  I'm still waiting to hear one way or the other, so wish me luck!  When I asked myself the question "what kind of pie would I be?" The answer was definitely not apple.  I decided on a savory pie recipe, because it felt somewhat unusual and unique, but delicious once you try it!  I lived in England for three years, and when we left I certainly took away an appreciation for meat pies, especially those with bacon and mushrooms.  :)  So this recipe pays tribute to those English flavors, but with a crust and ingredients true to my American pie making roots.  It's super delicious.  Kind of like an egg-less quiche!  Hope you like it... ;)

A Pie of a Different Flavor

My pie is not conventionally beautiful or traditional.  It's not what you'd expect.  If you judge a pie by it's cover, (or crust rather,) you'll see mine has a few scars and imperfections, some patched up bits and rough edges.  But what you can't see is how delicate and rich that crust is, how it's been blitzed, kneaded, laid to rest, and brought to life again by experienced hands; until you take a bite.

My pie is savory, not sweet.  Not your typical "as American as apple pie" pie.  My pie comes with a hint of a British accent.  A bacon-y meat pie influenced by dependable, earthy goodness: mushrooms, onions, butter, cream - staples in my kitchen.  My pie isn't for everyone, and it certainly can't be considered light fare.  But once you take a bite you'll see how comforting and satisfying it can be.  When you're curled up by the fire with a hearty glass of stout, sharing stories and laughter with loved ones, you'll find it fits right in.  It tastes like an old family recipe passed down for generations.  It tastes like the comforts of home.

My pie is the culmination of a lifetime's experience.  A life that began in the kitchen, with mom teaching me a cook's most basic and necessary skills: the science of measuring ingredients, seasoning to taste, trusting your senses.  The learning continued as a young wife in a foreign country, inexperienced, eagerly testing recipe after recipe on the darling husband, making mistakes and learning as I went.  Today, I am stand confidently in my own kitchen with a pie ready to bake and serve to my own family.  Still not perfect, but perfectly seasoned, delicate, rich and delicious, if I do say so myself.

Savory Bacon Mushroom Pie

3 Tbs Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup plus 1 Tbs Shortening
1 1/2 Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
5-6 Tbs Water
1/4 tsp Salt

10 strips of meaty, smoky bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
6 white mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 Eggs
1 Tbs Heavy Cream
dash of black pepper
1/4 cup shredded sharp English cheddar
Sprinkling of parsley, if desired

Chill well butter and shortening.  Blitz in the food processor with flour and salt.  Add water until dough starts to form.  Turn out and separate into two balls of dough.  Chill dough wrapped in plastic in the fridge for a half hour or so.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cook the bacon until nice and crisp.  Drain and chop.  Cook onion until translucent in the pan full of bacon-y goodness (or grease, but it seems like such an unsavory descriptor!)  Add mushrooms and a little pat of butter and cook for another 6 minutes or so.  Let cool.

Roll out a ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface or between sheets of plastic wrap.  Lay one crust inside a 9 inch pie pan, leaving an overhang.  Roll out the other and set aside, ready to top the pie when you are...

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, cream and pepper.  Add bacon and onion/mushroom mixture and stir to combine.  Pour inside pie pan and sprinkle with cheddar and parsley, if desired.  Top with ready rolled crust, cut off excess and pinch to flute the edges.  Make a pretty design in the center of your pie to vent.  If you want to be extra fancy, brush with a bit of whisked egg before baking.

Bake for 30 minutes, then let cool for a while before devouring.

Very yummy with Bubbie's Pickles and a porter...

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