I love it when I can introduce foreign friends to classic Kiwi dishes that they find so unique - and delicious!  Bacon and Egg Pie is one such dish.  One of those classics that everyone's Mum or Nana made really well and which has had many additions over the years from peas to pesto.  I recently showed the recipe to a lovely new (very pregnant) friend, who needed quick, easy but impressive inspiration for her visiting in laws.  

A great picnic pie, this can be served hot, warm or cold (is equally delish!). The spinach and parmesan additions used here  are optional twists to this great dish.  You can also throw in other veges - red onions, peppers, grated zucchini, etc.

The following recipe was based on the pie in Annabel Langbein's fabulous 'The Free Range Cook'
[With metric conversions for Suzanne and our American friends!]

(Serves 6)

2 - 3 sheets (450g) ready-rolled savoury shortcrust pastry (or flaky pastry)
250g streaky bacon, cut into 2cm pieces
Handful of chopped herbs eg parsley, basil, chives
10 eggs
¾ cup milk
1 tsp salt
ground black pepper

1 cup cooked spinach 
200 g (7 oz) fresh parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 200°C (390 F). Place a flat baking tray in the oven to heat – the pie will sit on this and the heat will help it to crisp.

Cut a piece of baking paper to fit a 40 x 30cm (15 x  12 inch )baking dish or roasting pan. It should cover the base and reach about 3-4cm (1.5inches) up the sides. Remove the baking paper from the baking dish or roasting pan and lay it flat on your bench. Dust it with a little flour and lay 2 pastry sheets on top. 

Join the pastry sheets by pressing them together firmly with a small overlap. Roll out the pastry to cover the paper. Lift the paper with the pastry and lay it into the baking dish or roasting pan and up the sides.  Sprinkle the bacon over the pastry. 

Spoon over spinach in one half of pie (my kids won't eat this) and sprinkle herbs over. Break 6 whole eggs over the top.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the other 4 eggs with the milk, salt and pepper. Pour this evenly over the whole eggs, bacon and pastry in the baking dish.

Using the spare sheet of pastry cut into lengths about 1cm (.5 inch) wide and layer across top of pie in a lattice pattern and brush with milk.  Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, til pastry starts to puff up then reduce heat to 180 C (350 F) and cook for a further 35 - 40 mins.

Serve hot, warm or cold the next day.
OK, I 'fess: I usually cheat on the pie shell.  I use Pillsbury from the refrigerator section or I recently found out they have them in Trader Joe's in the frozen aisle.  I roll them out in a 9 inch pie pan.  Bake the shell at 450F for 8 mins until it crisps a little.  

For the filling:
4 eggs 
1 cup of heavy cream
1t of salt and a couple of turns of pepper
Veges, meat of your choice

I use the kitchen aid to whip it up. When the pie shell is ready, I toss in the cheese, I prefer gruyere. Then pack in the veggies, in this case mushrooms and scallions.  ALways lots of scallions!  I've done broccoli and cheddar, asparagus and swiss, etc.  My girlfriend says she threw in chicken and tomatoes.  It's whatever you've got lying around. After the fixin's are in, pour the egg mix in and top it again with cheese.  
Bake at 325 for 40-45mins to be on the crispy side.  I always make 3-4 quiches at a time and always give one to Jim and Dinny my older neighbors.  Bon appetit.

Kari Artzi, lives in Maplewood with her husband, two kids, & adorable pup(featured), Wally.  She is an amazing interior designer and dear friend of The Communal Pantry.