Bonjour!!! Can say how much I love food and it’s great that my fellow Whims love it just as much as I do. I can read a cookbook cover to cover like it’s a riveting novel. We decided that we would do a dinner once month and review different cookbooks from all over the world. This month we tried French cuisine from my favorite Chef Mimi Thorisson. I might secretly want be her, she has her own cooking show and lives in the South of France on a farm with her Icelandic Photographer Husband and 14 dogs. Her cookbook, A Kitchen in France, A year of cooking in my Farmhouse is not only appetizing but the photography is beautiful and makes me want to wear dresses every day. The book is divided up into four sections, Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Yes the cook book is amazing, but the big question that I asked is does it produce delicious French cuisine? So Blondie and I hit the kitchen. We went into the winter section and picked Potato Pie with Comte Cheese.
The first thing you need to do is make a Tart Dough it’s important to make this early in the day or the night before to refrigerate. Don’t forget to Double the batch as well, I suppose if you wanted to buy premade dough you could but I highly recommend you make your own- its just so much better. The cheese was easy to find, however, it was expensive as all good French cheese is.
Start off by cooking your bacon we just did it in the long strips. I recommend doing this in a pan like it states minus the olive oil because why would you put olive oil to cook your bacon?? It did make sense to Blondie or me so we then cut up the onion and since the bacon left grease in the pan we just put the uncooked onion in it. We only used about 1 onion, it was large, I like onions but we felt it would have been super overwhelming to put both onions in. After cooking the bacon, onions, and garlic we started to assemble the pie. We cut the potatoes in to thin rounds and layered on top of the pie crust we then sprinkled the chopped bacon, onions, and Comte cheese putting about half of the ingredients on top of the first layer of potatoes.
Don’t forget to add some salt and pepper, be generous! We then did the same with the next layer and finished it off with another layer of potatoes which we not only added salt and pepper but some fresh thyme and allspice (we didn’t have nutmeg). We put the pie crust on top of the potatoes, Blondie made some awesome pie crust leaves, poked a hole on top, egged washed and put it in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. I recommend baking it a little longer to cook the potatoes all the way through.
What came out next was French heaven, I’m not kidding it was incredible, the favors, I mean I didn’t think it would go wrong with potatoes, bacon, onions and cheese mixed in a buttery pie crust but it was so much more. Even Blondie’s kiddos loved it so it was child approved. I could go but let me just state one more thing oh the cheese, the delicious, melted cheese made me almost weep of how lip-smackingly good it was. So all in all I would recommend this cookbook, not only for how beautiful it is, but for the amazing recipes and to try out this savory pie. There is a part two to this dinner and I will write about it next week and its dessert so prepare yourselves!
2 cups/240 g all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
9 tablespoons/ 125 g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1 large egg
3 tablespoons cold water
In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add the butter and work it in with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Make a well into the center and add the egg and water. Mix until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Potato Pie with Comte Cheese – Serves 6
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces/120 g bacon
2 onions, thinly slices
All-purpose flour for rolling
2 pounds/ 900 g russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups/ 190 g diced comte cheese
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons/ 30 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
For the filling:
In a skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil and cook the bacon. Set aside in the same pan, add one or two teaspoon of olive oil, cook the onion and season with salt and pepper for 3 minutes or until golden. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes set aside and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
For the crust:
On a clean surface add a dash of flour and roll out 2 pastry disk to fit in your pie dish. Line the pie dish with the first disc leaving 2 cm to overhang. Place a layer of potatoes, onion/garlic, bacon and cheese using about half the ingredients and then doing another layer. Sprinkle nutmeg and thyme all over. Scatter bits of butter and finish with a layer of potatoes. Season with sea-salt and pepper. Brush the edge of the crust with egg wash and cover with your second pastry disc. Seal together by pressing firmly on the side of the dish with your thumbs. Cut off excess pastry dough and re-roll to create 5-7 leaves to decorate the pie and brush pie with egg wash. Prick a small hole in the center of the pie.