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 in 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
It doesn't take much, still, there are some tools to make pie that will make the task a little easier!
- 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 is 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.
Vicky Chin says
I started walking along the dyke once a week for couple of hours with my friend who has been sick for over three years and just starting to gain her health back. I feel we all need to take some time to go outdoors, talk with friends, do things we love besides work and looking after the family. It's so important for our physical and mental health.
I love the way you made the crust top, it looks fantastic! My kids love bacon (but who doesn't? ), will definitely try this!
Vicky, I think you will love this pie. And by all means, make it with a simple traditional top crust with just a few vents (I did that the 1st time) and it's great! I hope you do get to try this version, or the original from NYTimes. The eggs cook so perfectly in the pie. It's really great!
P.S. I think we should all take the time to walk a little each day. It really is amazing how it changes how we feel, as you mentioned!
Laura @ The Bluenose Baker says
This looks really interesting! I've never had a bacon and egg pie before but it certainly sounds good. I love recipes that incorporate local ingredients!
It's such a great pie recipe and I can imagine so many great variations, like for those instances when we don't have wild garlic to make pesto 😉 I hope you get to try it someday soon!
Cristina @ I Say Nomato says
That sounds like a wonderful walk! I have a friend that's also a 'forager', and it's always interesting to see what she finds in the woods. This pie looks so delicious, all those flavours together must be so delicious!
I love hanging out with Aimee because I learn so much from her. It really is amazing all that you can find on a hike in the woods that can turn into pesto, salads, etc.
Your pie turned out great Janice! I didn't know that ramps are protected, but that totally makes sense. I'm glad you were able to have a fun day out 🙂
Thanks! Apparently in Ontario, ramps aren't protected. And it seems to me, I've seen a few people posting pics on IG of ramps sold at the markets in Ontario. Weird, eh?! We aren't allowed to sell them here. The most we can do is trade them.
Janice, every time I come here, I'm blown away by your skill, dedication, and presentation. This looks INCREDIBLE. I'm so glad you got to cook with ramps (I didn't blog when I lived in Montreal, but now I wish I'd had a chance to use them) - though it is sad (but understandable) that they need protecting. These 'tragedy of the commons' situations are sadly common when it comes to wild foods. I'm glad you covered the issue.
The pastry work on top of the pie is simply perfect (I'm amazed at how many presentations you come up with), and the flavours are undoubtedly perfect. Here's to pie for breakfast!
Thank you so much, Sean. I was a little worried about the top crust. I debated for days about if I should attempt the spiral because I was worried the bake time is too short and I was also worried that it simply wouldn't turn out well. It's amazing what you can do just by trying, right? Even if it's scary 😉
I find the food trends aren't helping us out with the ramps. They are super popular now, whereas in the '80s, I don't think anybody talked about them! I can see how popularity would lead to overpicking and extinction, especially since they take so long to grow... I gather in Ontario, they aren't as severely regulated. Weird!
Beautiful, Janice! <3
mamta balani says
When my kid saw the image of your recipe she just is behind me to make this today only. Hope it will goes nice.
pawan kumar says