Potato and Egg Pie with Ba­con and Crème Fraîche

Food & Wine - - 1978-1987 - AN­DRÉ SOLTNER

PAULA WOLFERT was one of the ear­li­est and stead­i­est con­trib­u­tors to F&W, bring­ing in sto­ries and recipes from all over Europe and the Mediter­ranean. In one of her first fea­tures for the mag­a­zine, Wolfert penned an ar­ti­cle about three great Al­sa­tian chefs cook­ing their moth­ers’ food. In­cluded was An­dré Soltner, then the chef-owner at the leg­endary

Lutèce in Man­hat­tan. Soltner opted to re-cre­ate his mother’s potato pie, which Wolfert said was “a sim­ple thing, yet el­e­gant.” It con­sisted of a flaky pâte brisée filled with thinly sliced pota­toes, ba­con, hard-cooked eggs, herbs, and crème fraîche. Wolfert noted how strongly Soltner felt while pre­par­ing the dish, with “plea­sure and nos­tal­gia ... plainly vis­i­ble on his face.” This is home cook­ing at its best, from one of Amer­ica’s most revered French chefs. Paired with a green salad, this pie makes a very sat­is­fy­ing week­end lunch. In a pinch, use a store-bought pie crust.

AC­TIVE 25 MIN; TO­TAL 9 HR 45 MIN SERVES 6

13/4 cups all-pur­pose flour (about 7 1/2 oz.), plus more for dust­ing 9 Tbsp. cold un­salted but­ter, cubed 1 tsp. kosher salt, di­vided 2 large egg yolks, di­vided Ice wa­ter 11/4 lb. Yukon Gold pota­toes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 4 cups) 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf pars­ley 1/4 tsp. black pep­per 5 oz. thick-cut mild-smoked ba­con slices, cut into 1/4-inch pieces 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream 3 large or 4 small hard-cooked eggs, peeled and thinly sliced 1 tsp. wa­ter

1. Stir to­gether flour, but­ter, and 3/4 tea­spoon salt in a large bowl. Us­ing your fin­ger­tips, rub but­ter into flour mix­ture un­til mix­ture re­sem­bles coarse meal. Make a well in cen­ter. Stir to­gether 1 egg yolk with enough ice wa­ter to equal 1/4 cup; pour into well, and stir into flour mix­ture un­til just moist­ened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured sur­face. Knead dough just un­til it comes to­gether. Di­vide dough into 2 disks. Wrap each disk in plas­tic wrap, and chill at least 8 hours or overnight.

2. Pre­heat oven to 400°F. Un­wrap 1 dough disk, and roll into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured sur­face; fit into a 9-inch pie pan. Chill 10 min­utes.

3. Mean­while, soak potato slices in ice wa­ter to cover (to re­move sur­face starch) about 5 min­utes; drain and pat slices dry. Toss pota­toes with pars­ley, pep­per, and re­main­ing 1/4 tea­spoon salt. Place ba­con in a large skil­let, and cook over medi­umhigh, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til wilted and just browned on edges, about 2 min­utes. Drain ba­con on pa­per tow­els.

4. Ar­range half of potato slices in re­frig­er­ated pie shell, over­lap­ping slices. Sprin­kle evenly with ba­con; top with re­main­ing potato slices, over­lap­ping slices. Spread crème fraîche over pota­toes, and ar­range egg slices on top. Un­wrap re­main­ing dough disk, and roll into a 10-inch round on a lightly floured sur­face. Place round on top of pie. Trim edges and fold dough un­der. Crimp edge as de­sired. Us­ing the tip of a knife, prick top of pie twice.

5. Stir to­gether 1 tea­spoon wa­ter and re­main­ing egg yolk; brush over top of pie. Bake pie in pre­heated oven on mid­dle rack 20 min­utes; re­duce oven tem­per­a­ture to 350°F, and bake 50 min­utes. Re­duce oven tem­per­a­ture to 300°F, and bake un­til top is golden brown, about 10 min­utes.

6. Let pie rest 10 min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

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