I realize I didn’t talk about last week’s pie-of-the-week. I’m sure you were all on the edge of your seats, waiting for it. After so many sweet pies, it was time for some savory pie action. I really pushed the definition of “pie” this time by not only making a quiche, but also by using a rather unconventional ‘crust’. Inspired by a recipe I saw at marthastewart.com, I used hash browns for the crust. I improvised my own filling, though, which wasn’t such a great idea.
For the crust, I used a mixture of sweet potatoes and russets. I shredded them with a grater and made a mixture of potato, egg and a bit of smoked paprika for flavor. The recipe I’d read called for frozen (already cooked) hash browns, so I was on my own with the fresh potato mixture. I baked the potatoes for nearly an hour to be sure they were not just cooked but crispy. Even though I rinsed the potatoes and let them drain and dry for a while, they let out a lot of moisture. I was using a spring form pan, so it leaked into my oven (note to self: use a liner pan or foil). Next time, I’d probably cook them a bit beforehand, though I’m not sure how greasy the crust would be as a result. I’d probably add a bit of flour as well for a latke-like crust.
For the filling, I made a traditional quiche filling of eggs, cream and milk (plus the add-ins of crumbled bacon, shiitake mushrooms, and chopped spinach). While that makes a delightful quiche filling, it was far to liquid for my rather porous hash-brown crust. The Martha Stewart recipe had a filling that used sour cream, a good call as it likely would have made a thicker filling that can stay inside the potatoes. In my case, the filling leaked, mostly out of one area of the crust. I quickly put some foil underneath and had a little cooked egg blog underneath the pan.
The wet filling also made the potatoes a little softer. It was still quite tasty; the filling firmed, and the hash browns were a delicious outer later, though not necessarily as crusty as I’d hoped. I’ll definitely make this again with a latke crust and a thicker filling. I’ll pass on the smoked paprika, which didn’t really help the dish and seemed out-of-place.