If you hear a gasp or a groan, you’re on the right track. That’s the barometer I use to measure delight when I make up a new recipe. Does it sound good?
For this year’s Pie Party Potluck LIVE, I devised a bacon, goat brie, leek and pear pie in a roesti crust. Gasp! Groan… That’s what I’m talking about… It’s like the listener can taste it with their imagination. While a vivid imagination is a definitely a bonus, I can assure you this pie is even better in real life, in your mouth.
It involved a couple of experiments. First, the roesti crust. If I can, I like to make gluten-free dishes that never had gluten in them in the first place, so I can guarantee that they will be tasty and that they will work. I’m not a big fan of substitutes like gluten-free flour, although it’s great for frying and binding in certain dishes. It’s also easier for my reader to make dishes with common ingredients, so that’s also an aim, but I may have missed the mark with goat brie. The good news is you can use any brie for this pie, and I’ve made it with cheddar. Aged gouda or blue cheese would also work. But back to the goat brie.
A roesti or a rösti is a Swedish dish that consists mostly of grated potatoes and butter so I thought that would make a lovely crust. You want the texture of the roesti crust to be partly mashed and partly grated, so it’s not porous and will hold the egg that binds this sort-of-a-quiche together.
The second “experiment” was the brie topping. I made this dish with goat brie from Woolwich Dairy. As sponsor of our pie feast-up, I wanted to include a pie that used one of their cheeses and the goat brie was the most unlikely to find in a pie, so I ran with that ball. The question was can one put brie in a pie without it melting away. Melted brie would taste delicious, but I wanted to somehow preserve the texture.
I must say that this totally worked. It’s not a throw everything in the pan and just bake it kind of quiche. To preserve the brie you have to be careful. If you subbed in a different cheese you can be a bit more cavalier with it. CAVALIER = FREEDOM!
- Potato Crust1 pound potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated (I used russets)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Filling4 ounces bacon, chopped
- 3 ounces Woolwich Dairy Goat Brie (half the 6.5-ounce wheel)
- 3 leeks, chopped (save the dark green part for stock)
- 1 tablespoon celery leaves, finely chopped
- 4 ounces dried pears, diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 3 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups of milk or a mixture of milk and heavy cream
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to a boil.
- Add potatoes and bring them back to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. The potatoes should be soft, but hold their shape. Drain.
- Mix potatoes with butter and season them with salt and pepper to taste.
- Press the potatoes into a 9” pie pan, firmly. Make sure you get all the way up to the lip of the pan and there are no holes in the crust.
- Bake potato crust for 20-30 minutes until fork tender.
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp and remove bacon pieces. Add enough butter to the leftover bacon fat to make a 1/4 cup.
- Sauté the leeks, celery leaves and pears until soft, season with salt and pepper, adding more butter if necessary. Add thyme and parsley and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Adjust seasoning.
- Put 3/4 of the leek mixture in the pie crust.
- Beat eggs with milk and pour over the leek mixture.
- Sprinkle bacon pieces on top.
- Bake pie until almost done, about 30 minutes. You want to be able to place the brie on top without it sinking into the filling.
- Slice brie in small 1/2” wedges and place cut sides down in a circle on top of the pie. Top with the remaining leek mixture in the center, up to the edges of the brie (you don’t want to cover the cheese).
- Bake until the pie is done, about 10-15 minutes. You may have to cover the edges of the pie, including the brie, with foil, if the crust gets too brown before the center of the pie sets.
- Cool slightly and serve.
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