Learn how to make a bacon and egg pie, which is the most perfect breakfast pie you'll ever eat!
If you like savoury pies, like this quiche with Swiss chard, you will love this bacon and egg pie. It is a breakfast pie like no other!
Ramps (also known as wild garlic) are protected in Quebec, not endangered. You can forage for ramps and pick them for your own personal use, but you can't sell them.
You can only pick a small percentage of a patch, leaving behind the rest. It's also best practice to leave behind the roots and most of the small wild garlic bulbs to ensure that the patches of ramps continue to grow back from year to year.
It takes 7 years for wild garlic to grow from seed. No wonder they are protected! It's illegal to sell them in Quebec because of this. Given the surge in popularity of ramps and factoring the time it takes to grow from seed, it's obvious why the restrictions are in place.
You can use ramps to make pesto, just like you would with garlic scapes or other flavour greens. I made two jars of ramp pesto with my bouquet of ramps, one of which went into this breakfast pie.
Breakfast pie is not quiche
This breakfast pie is an ode to the simple quintessential breakfast of bacon and eggs. This bacon and egg pie is not to be confused with a quiche. When you cut into this, the difference is obvious: a slice of this pie reveals whole, perfectly hard-cooked eggs hidden beneath the top crust (top crusts are another thing that quiches don't have). Quiche filling is made from whisked eggs and milk (or cream if you want to make the best quiche ever!), and this egg pie is made with whole eggs that are cracked directly into the blind-baked crust.
This bacon and egg pie is a labour of love, but I think that goes for most pies. It's not difficult, but it does take a little time and patience because there are quite a few more steps than the average cookie recipe. It's totally worth the extra time and effort.
I've made this pie twice:
- the first version I made had lardons and I followed the recipe almost exactly as written by Melissa Clark on the NY Times Cooking site.
- the second time, I modified the recipe ever so slightly:
- I used my own pie dough recipe with less butter and more water
- I opted for chopped pancetta as my "bacon of choice"
- instead of spicy ketchup, I incorporated this wild garlic pesto
This is the perfect breakfast, brunch or lunch pie. I think this bacon and egg pie would make an excellent picnic food because it holds together so well. It's easy to serve and tastes great warm or cold.
What to do with pie dough scraps
Inevitably, when you make a pie, you will be left with a pile of pie dough scraps. Gather them up and press them together to shape them into a disk and use them to make pie crust cookies!
A few helpful resources:
- Pie plates: I like to use dark metal pie plates, similar to this one found on Amazon
- Mini food processor: I've been using this KitchenAid food processor for over 5 years. It works well and you can order it from Amazon
- Stand mixer: the 5 quart Artisan stand mixer from Kitchenaid available on Amazon
- Ceramic pie weights (or you can use dried beans): Amazon
- Rolling pin: I prefer the French-style rolling pin with tapered edges personally, like this one on Amazon
If you want to top the pie with a lattice crust, here's a video to show you how to make a lattice pie crust:
Bacon and egg pie
For the double crust pie dough
- 312 grams (2½ cups) bleached all-purpose flour
- 5 mL (1 teaspoon) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 173 grams (¾ cup) unsalted butter cold and cut into cubes
- 105 mL (7 tablespoon) cold water
For the ramp pesto
- 1 (1 ) bunch ramps 10-12, chopped (I used the leaves/stems only and left the bulbs in the ground
- 80 grams (½ cup) Spanish pine nuts lightly toasted in a dry skillet
- 25 grams (½ cup) grated parmigiano Regiano
- 83 mL (⅓ cup) olive oil
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
Bacon and egg filling
- 175 grams (6 oz) pancetta cut into small pieces
- 8 (8 ) large egg(s)
- 75 mL (5 tablespoon) whipping cream (35 % fat)
- 60 mL (3 tablespoon) homemade ramp pesto plus optional 4 tablespoon extra for the top crust
To make the double crust pie dough
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour and salt.
- Drop the cold cubes of butter into the bowl and mix them in for 60 to 90 seconds to form a coarse crumbly mixture.
- Drizzle the water into the bowl with the mixer running on low and continue to stir until a shaggy dough forms. Press it and shape into two disks and wrap with plastic wrap to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
To make the pesto
- Place the ramps, pine nuts, and cheese in a small food processor or mini chop (I like mine from KitchenAid available on Amazon). Purée everything together until the mixture is fairly fine. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the pesto with salt and pepper. You might want to use more oil for a looser pesto. Use right away or store in a jar in the fridge.
To bake the pie
- Roll out one disk of dough so that it is about an inch larger all around than the top of the pie plate (so really, the diameter of the dough should be 2 inches bigger). Transfer the rolled dough to the pie plate and fit it into the corners and edges really well. Trim and tuck under the edges as necessary. Chill the unbaked pie for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- While your pie crust is chilling, cook the chopped pancetta in a skillet. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.
- Just before blind-baking the pie crust, dock the crust with a fork, then place a sheet of parchment over the pie dough and fill with beans. Blind bake the pie as is for about 15 to 20 minutes, then carefully lift off the parchment and beans, then bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until the pie looks dry and just begins to colour.
- Take the pie plate out of the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 400ºF.
- Spoon the cooked pancetta over the blind-baked pie crust.
- Crack the 8 eggs over top. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and 3 tablespoon of the pesto. Poor this over the seasoned eggs.
- Set this aside while you roll out the top crust to about ⅛ inch thick. Smear with pesto, about 4 tablespoons, if using (see note below). Cut into ½ inch strips. Working with 1 strip at a time, lift and twirl it from end to end, then twirl it in the centre of the pie, working from middle to outer edge in a spiral patter, gently tucking one end under the next strange ever slightly to hide the ends.
- Bake the pie for a good 45 minutes at 400ºF. The crust should be a deep golden brown.
Special thanks to Aimee of Simple Bites for sharing a bunch of ramps with me.