Bacon and Perogi Pie

Hey, remember that time I casually mentioned my friend Celina Dean’s Perogi Pie?  And then you facebook’d/messaged/screamed at me for the recipe?  Well, I heard ya, loud and clear. I also heard the perfect opportunity to get Celina to whip up another one of these pies so I could taste it I mean photograph it for the blog.  And I’m so glad she did, because this recipe is meant to be shared with the world!

Now, a little disclaimer before we start: Celina is one of those people who is humble almost to a fault (if she had any faults, which she bloody well doesn’t).  Don’t be fooled by her novice-talk about anything, because she is a true genius in the kitchen in every sense of the word.  Case in point being the dessert she brought for my last dinner party that transformed my very favorite after-dinner cocktail (a Pick-Me-Up: a shot of espresso with baileys and kahlua over ice) into the most fabulous dessert imaginable.. Baileys ice cream with kahlua whipped cream and espresso-chocolate chip cookies for dunking. How dare she?!

Anyway.  Behold the most beautiful savory pie known to man.  It’s bacony, it’s cheesy, it’s creamy, and it’s going to win you a lot of friends.

Bonus: click the link at the bottom to view Bluebird Cakes on Facebook.  Duff Goldman, watch your back. Amanda Van Unen is no JOKE.

PEROGI PIE

In 2006, I griped to my AMAZINGLY TALENTED pastry chef sister-in-law (and baking/cooking guru/phone-a-friend) Amanda Van Unen of Bluebird Cakes, that I found pie crusts to be the most daunting thing ever. For Christmas that year, she got me the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, where everything is clearly explained in words and even with helpful handy dandy pictures (this cookbook is amazing. For reals, yo. It’s a helpful and necessary addition to your cookbook collection). But it wasn’t until I entered the First Annual KCRW Pie Contest that Amanda and Martha taught me how to make a proper pie crust. My pal Sarah and I signed up and baked our way through around 15 different pies in four days, enlisting the help of our friends to taste and sample our delicious mistakes and successes at our Pie for Dinner night. Our two submitted entries didn’t win, nor did they place, but the journey from pie virgin to beginner pie enthusiast was born, and the contest opened up my eyes to a world of pies that I hadn’t ever considered. (The winner made a simple and elegant apple pie, but secured the blue ribbon by using her own homemade butter in the crust. I know, what a total bee-atch/GENIUS). My husband, inspired by the lack of entries in the savory category, came up with an idea right then and there to submit the following year. I tested and tweaked and finally submitted during the 2nd Annual competition. Nope, I still didn’t win, I didn’t even place, but I did come up with my very own recipe that has received more requests to be made in my kitchen than anything I’ve ever cooked, and I even sold a few at the contest! So here it is, Perogi Pie. The only trouble here is that it’s never quite the same, so I’ll attempt to be as accurate as I can, but know that there’s just a ton of leeway to play around.

Bacon Crust

Ingredients:

1 pkg. bacon (minus three or four slices: reserve those for the bacon lattice)

2 ½ cups flour

¼ tsp. salt

1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) very cold butter, cut into small dice-sized pieces

4 tbsp. rendered bacon grease

¾ cup ice cold water

Preparation:

1) Cook this package of bacon in your cast iron pan or whatever you use for bacon cookin’ in your house- you want to cook the bacon until it’s crisp enough to crumble or chop (with a food processor!) into bits. Collect the bacon grease and chill (I put it in the freezer to speed up the process).

2) Make sure the flour, butter, water and processor blade are cold (the freezer does a quick job of this). Add the crispy bacon, flour and salt to the bowl of the food processor and whiz for a couple of pulses to make sure they’re incorporated and the bacon is in bits. Add cold cubed butter and cold bacon grease and whiz for approximately 13 pulses- the crumbs should resemble peas and oatmeal, size-wise. Pour water through the feed tube and mix until a ball just barely forms (less is more- stop processing before the dough completely comes together- you want the butter to still be in visible little pebbles throughout).

3) On a piece of saran wrap, dump contents of bowl and handling as little as possible, form into a ball (I use the sides of the saran wrap to gather up all the crummy dough bits). Press into a disk and wrap tightly with saran. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.

Bacon Lattice

Guys! My sweet fella came up with this concept, and it’s the bomb. I can’t wait to try it on a bourbon peach pie, oh my! *

*Note from Jewel: Why the frig haven’t I had this bourbon peach pie, Celina?!

Ingredients:

1 pkg. bacon plus reserved pieces from crust recipe

Preparation:

1) Preheat oven to 375.

2) On a grill pan, weave a lattice with uncooked bacon the same as you would with dough for a pie. (To figure out how big to make it, trace your pie pan onto a piece of parchment paper to use as a guide. I use my super large pie plate for this recipe). If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go to here: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_a_lattice_top_for_a_pie_crust/

If using the above link as a guide, know that I lay my bacon slices touching each other for a tighter basket weave. (I use the grill pan because I want the grease to drip down into the pan below and for my bacon to cook as flat as possible).

3) Cook for approximately 20 minutes- the bacon should be halfway done.

4) Blot with paper towels and flip onto a piece of parchment paper.

5) Reserve bacon drippings if you like.

*I actually normally cook bacon in the oven and guys, it’s the best! It’s much tidier and the bacon looks so flat and attractive, which is obviously just so important. I mean, who wants ugly bacon? Am I right? No? Well, listen, it’s worth it just to avoid the stovetop mess.

Filling:

Lasagna noodles- maybe 6 (this is going to replicate the chew of perogi dough)

3 medium Russet Potatoes

1 large onion

4 tbsp. butter (or that reserved bacon grease from the lattice)

1 cup cottage cheese

1 egg

I cup grated cheddar cheese

Green onions

1 cup sour cream

Preparation:

1) Boil a large pot of well salted water and cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Drain and reserve.

3) Fry onions in butter or bacon grease until golden and reserve.

2) Peel russet potatoes and boil in a large pot of salted water until fork tender. Drain and mash (or rice! My sweet husband used our fine meshed sieve and pushed those potatoes through to yield the loveliest, most evenly textured fluffy clouds of potato).

3) To the mashed potato add slightly beaten egg, fried onions, cottage cheese and salt and pepper to taste (make sure it’s well seasoned- this is where most of the pie flavor comes from and too bland= too boring). Let this mixture come to room temperature, and roll out the piecrust into your pie plate while you wait.

Pie Crust

7) Into rolled out pie crust layer ½ cup cheddar cheese, 1/3 potato mixture, a layer of lasagna noodles (cut them to fit inside the plate), 1/3 potato mixture, layer of noodles, 1/3 potato mixture and finish with ½ cup cheddar cheese. Flip the bacon lattice on top and trim with scissors as necessary to fit your pie. Trim edges of pastry and crimp.

8 ) Bake in oven at 375 for forty five minutes to an hour- the bacon lattice should look crisp and the pie crust golden.

9) Let cool slightly, then cut and serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of green onion. It’ll look kinda like apple pie a la mode!

The Finished Product

Jewel and the gang came over and we destroyed the whole thing. Hey, there were 6 of us, so lay off. And we had some delightful raw beet salad for roughage. We’re practically heroes! Yeah, I might not want to incorporate this into the regular weeknight dinner rotation, but just like perogies, it’s perfect when you’re feeling a bit festive. Or when Jewel tells you to make it.

Celina and Pie!
Gleeful boys waiting for pie

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26 Comments Add yours

  1. wosushi says:

    I am SO excited about this. Like, a person shouldn’t be so happy about bacon. And yet, I am.

    Also, you do realize that there now HAS to be a Bourbon Peach Pie post in the future, right?

  2. Marlana "Wiffie" Ward says:

    Holy Moley that sounds good! We love perogies here and bacon is always my husband’s favorite. I think I’ll stash this one away until I really need to impress him before asking for a new book or kitchen gadget. How could he say no after a meal like this?!?!

  3. Bernie says:

    Aww…this blog drives me crazy!

  4. As the wife of a Polish man, I bow down and worship at the feet of you and Celine. THANK you for giving me the recipe that could very likely make me Wife Of The Year!

  5. Jewel,
    Your food blog is my new crack. I’ve got a stack of recipes I must make once I can stand on my gorram knee long enough to actually cook something. This just made my stomach angry that I can’t run out and make it right now. Thank you so much and if mine turns out even halfway decent I’ll twitpic it for you when I make it.

  6. Swine says:

    Sweet nectar of Jesus! You had me at bacon and pie. Anticipation level for this is off the stick.

  7. Celina, that is. Sorry!

  8. AJ says:

    This sounds golden! The concept is great, and the bacon crust and lattice are genius! I will be making this.
    Jewel, don’t let Celina hold out on the bourbon peach pie recipe. Inquiring minds want to borrow.

  9. Oh my lord! This sounds like a great load day thing….does Jewel know how to find the best stuff or what. I think the guys watching the game today,… what game? You are not on planet earth and friends with a Canadian if you have to ask what game…I think the guys would die for this pie…

  10. Abby Knoblauch says:

    You had me at Bacon Crust.

  11. Wow. Can’t wait to try it out! I’m thinking of trying the wild boar bacon we have in the freezer!

  12. eden says:

    Oh the Irony… your blog is right next to Gluten Free Pantry in my Google Reader. Sigh.
    But I still might find a use for Woven Bacon! That’s just too dang fabulous for words.

  13. Thank you for the lovely mention and for promoting my super-talented sister-in-law 🙂

  14. Old_Warhorse says:

    Oh. My. Gods! This is a heart attack in a pie crust, but I don’t care because it looks and sounds so absolutely delicious! Thank you Jewel and Celina!!!

    Also, would it be incredibly rude to ask for the recipe for that Bourbon Peach Pie? I love to sip at my Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon and can imagine how lovely it would be as an ingredient for peach pie!

  15. blogenfreude says:

    It’s a heart attack in a crust … can’t wait to make one.

  16. Colleen says:

    This sounds sinfully yummy & I can’t wait to try this recipe!
    Inquiring Minds: Under “Preparation” are we missing 3 steps (4, 5, and 6) or is it just a formatting issue?

  17. Oh my bacon. I don’t cook but I’m going to try this. It’ll probably turn out a disaster unlike the pretty pictures but I hope it is a tasty disaster. Also….bourbon peach pie. Needs to happen.

  18. AJ says:

    After seeing the bacon weave I immediately thought of Epic Meal Time:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/EpicMealTime

  19. tam says:

    Bacon and *perogies*? sign me up! We had a neighbour from Nfld and he made the best bacon pie, but this takes it to a new level. Husband is going to bow at my feet when I make this for him!

  20. i would skip the bacon grease in this recipe. but if you’re only making it once….

  21. throwslikeagirl74 says:

    Wow. That sounds amazing.

  22. MichaelEdits says:

    Soon, I will have an oven. I’ve been without for 12 years while I played Asian backpacker. I’m gonna cook this up, definitely.

  23. Lissa says:

    OMFG I made this tonight and it was UNBELIEVABLE! I had one piece and the boys devoured the rest. So much work for my lazy bum though…it will be a while before I do this again…or will it?

  24. Melonie says:

    OMG, this was sooooo good. My husband turned to me and said that this was like having an orgasm on his plate! I brought the left overs in to work today to share and it’s getting high remarks. Your SIL in a GENIUS I tell ya!

  25. Ivriniel says:

    Sounds delicious, but in a “heart attack in a pie plate” kinda way. 🙂

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