I’ve cooked some recipes by Elizabeth Raffald before and they’ve come out well each time – there’s a potted history of her life in Salford in Greater Manchester in this earlier post. It comes from her book The Experienced Housekeeper, and I must try and get hol of a copy (if it still exists)
Technically this bacon and egg pie can be made any time of year, but I thought it seemed perfect for this time of year, served warm with a salad. The English bacon and egg pie seems to have gone out of favour, with people preferring quiches with roasted vegetables etc. added these days. Well, I love bacon and egg pie – in fact it was my second favourite school dinner (spam fritters came first) – and I think it deserves a come-back. It’s great for picnicking too, I reckon, due to its double pastry crust. I would advise to make this pie only with proper free-range farm eggs (surprisingly cheap in delis and fishmongers and the like) and good dry-cured bacon, it’s well worth spending a bit more money for what is, overall, a pretty cheap recipe.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Place a baking tray on the shelf that the pie will be cooked on (important for later!)
Start off by making some shortcrust pastry with 8 ounces of flour (or more, or less, depending upon how thick you like it). Use two-thirds of it to line a flan dish; Griggers doesn’t give sizes, but an 8 inch one was perfect. Chop 8 ounces of smoked streaky bacon and sprinkle it over the pastry base. Next, whisk up 4 large (or 6 medium) eggs and pour out a little of the mixture into a ramekin for later. Beat the eggs along with ½ pint of crème fraiche and some salt and pepper. Pour the custard into the pie dish and roll out the remaining pastry to form a lid, using some of the reserved egg to glue it on. Trim excess pastry and paint more egg over the top so that it glazes nicely in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes on the hot baking tray (it stops the base from going soggy), then lower the heat to 170°C for another 30 minutes. Serve warm with a salad.
#154 Mrs Raffald’s Bacon and Egg Pie – 9/10. This did not disappoint! I must admit I was unsure about not blind baking the pastry first, but it worked a treat. The inclusion of crème fraiche over cream or milk plus good quality eggs and bacon are the key to it though – so don’t skimp. The pie was ten times better than the one I used to get at school, yet it brought back all the memories at the same time. Bring on the spam fritters!