Pickled Pie

Thursday, August 4, 2022
Tags: main bacon pantry
A watercolor illustration of the finished pie looking down at it from above. It's essentially a big yellow circle with some brown toasty spots and a brown crust, scattered with purple slivers of pickled red onion and slices of pickled jalapeno. At the top it says 'Pickled Pie.'

inspired by New York Times Cooking

Ingredients

Crust

Filling

Directions

Crust

  1. In a food processor with the blade attachment (or in a large bowl with a pastry cutter, but I’m going to write the rest assuming you have a food processor), pulse together flour, cornmeal, and salt until combined.
  2. Add butter and pulse until butter is the size of lima beans.
  3. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse just until dough comes together. Give it a good few seconds of pulsing each time to give it a chance to actually come together (one time I made it too wet because I wasn’t giving it enough time to come together and I kept adding water!). There should still be large flecks of butter left in dough.
  4. Remove the dough from the processor, shape it into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. If you’re making the filling the same day, don’t wash your food processor just yet (you’re welcome).
  5. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before baking (though you can do this up to 5 days ahead).
  6. When you’re ready for some pie, roll out dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface.
  7. Transfer dough to your pie plate (8-9” is best, though as noted above, this may be best to depend on how many eggs you’re using or vice versa) and trim and crimp the edges.
  8. Chill for 30 minutes.
  9. Right before the 30 minutes is up, heat oven to 425F.
  10. Prick the bottom of the pie with a fork.
  11. Line with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights (I keep a jar full of chickpeas that I use as pie weights only, but rice or actually buying “pie weights” is okay).
  12. Bake for 15 minutes (and probably start the filling).
  13. Remove foil or paper and pie weights.
  14. Bake until pale golden and dry to the touch, about 5-7 minutes more.
  15. Reduce oven temperature to 375F.

Filling

  1. Scatter bacon in a cold skillet.
  2. Turn heat to medium and cook until the bacon is golden and the fat has rendered, 10-14 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate while leaving the fat in the skillet.
  4. Stir chopped onion into pan with bacon fat and cook over medium heat.
  5. Sauté until golden-edged and translucent, about 6 minutes.
  6. Stir in corn, salt, and chopped pickled jalapeño.
  7. Cook until corn is tender, 2-5 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and scoop 1/2 cup (or so) of the corn mixture into your food processor (a blender could work too).
  9. Add cream, sour cream/yogurt, and eggs.
  10. Blend until you get a thick purée.
  11. Pour the corn purée back in pan with whole corn kernels and stir in 1/2 cup cheddar and the cooked bacon.
  12. Scrape into baked pie shell.
  13. Top filling mixture with pickled red onion slices and jalapeño slices. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar.
  14. Bake until puffed, golden and just set, 35-45 minutes.
  15. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. 


Thoughts

This is essentially the best quiche of all time. To me, the main flavor is the pickled goodness so, it’s known as Pickled Pie here. This is a beautiful example of meat as condiment, which feels a bit like a miracle as bacon so often commands all the attention in a dish. It’s essentially a pantry recipe since most things are easily stored. We usually end up making this when we’ve opened a pack of bacon and need something to do with it before it all goes bad (a truly sad situation). But this is also a great way to use some fresh corn! Especially as summer is pepper season, if you get any jalapeños or other spicy peppers, pickle that shit and use it here. A uniquely seasonal dish that’s also very easily a pantry recipe.

Overall, I dislike making crusts. I’ve messed up many in my time (including this one once), but I actually don’t mind doing this one. Now that I know to be aware of not over watering it, it feels very straight forward. The cornmeal makes it pleasantly savory and stands out amongst your standard crusts.

This is also a great recipe to sing the praises of food processors. If you don’t yet have one, try to figure out how to get your hands on one - search the thrift stores, put one on your birthday wish list, put a savings category in your budget for one. They seem to last for years and are so versatile! They save time in the kitchen, especially if you’re thoughtful about your timing on mixing/chopping things. I attempted to work this into the recipe above, but you’ll surely develop your own habits to help you work slightly less harder and slightly more quicker while washing dishes less. :) #priorities