You know you’re Belarussian if you love potatoes. Just like my strong bond with potato pancakes, I have to say that this potato pie, a recipe from Melissa D’arabian, nostalgically resonates with my roots and my stomach.
The perfectly flaky crust is a great vessel to hold the fork-tender potatoes, which are perfumed with bacon and onions. Luscious cream envelopes the potatoes in silkiness as it becomes absorbed in the cooking process. The presentation is beautiful as well, but not too pretty to eat, of course:)
Yield: 1 pie
4 strips bacon, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, peeled and sliced into half circles
2/3 cup heavy cream
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk, whisked with a splash of water
1 cup butter (2 sticks), cubed and chilled
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water
Place the butter, flour, and salt in the food processor, and pulse lightly just until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition of water. Keep adding water until the dough just begins to gather into larger clumps. Divide the dough in half, and shape each into a disc. Cover in aluminum foil or place in a plastic ziptop bag and refrigerate at least half an hour.
Roll out each half of dough into a 10-12 inch round. Drape one of them into a pie plate, return to the refrigerator. I usually spread a piece of aluminum foil in the refrigerator and place the second pie crust there while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon into crispy bits. Drain on a paper towel and set aside. Pour off all the bacon grease except 1 tablespoon, return skillet to heat and add onions. Cook for about 5 min or until golden brown. Set aside with the bacon.
Slice the potatoes very thinly, 1/8-1/4 inch slices. Take the pie plate with the crust from the refrigerator and layer the potatoes in a circular single layer, slightly overlapping. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with bacon and onions. Continue layering until the pie pan is nearly full. Microwave the cream until it’s simmering, about 1 1/2 minutes and pour the cream over the potatoes. Cover the pie with the dough, trim the edges and crimp the edges closed.
Brush the top and edges of the crust with egg wash. Make a few slits in the center of the top crust, for the steam to escape.
Bake the pie for 40-55 min. One way to check if the potatoes are done is to carefully poke the potatoes with a fork or knife through one of the slits. If potatoes are tender, the pie is ready.