Ham & Egg Pie

January 10, 2016
Like so many of my meals, this one came about because of what I had on hand.
And in this case, the galvanizing force was a lump of pie dough in the refrigerator. I'll
eat just about anything if it's encased in pie crust!
Also in the fridge were two leftover  muffin-shaped eggs baked in ground ham cups. I
had ground up half of a chunk of very nice Xmas ham, mixed it with bread crumbs
and an egg, then lined muffin tins with the mixture. I dropped an egg into each ham
"cup" and baked them for 20 minutes or so. As usual, I had made too many, so now
there were two of them left for me to deal with, which led straight to this Ham & Egg
Having turned the oven to 400 degrees, I lined a pie plate with the rolled-out the pie
crust and set it in the fridge while I prepared the filling.
I roughly  chopoped the leftover ham and egg cups then cut the rest of the Xmas
ham into half-inch pieces. In a small bowl I beat two eggs, whisked in a cup and a
half of milk, then poured that over the ham and egg pieces. This mixture went into
the pie crust; then I folded the edges of the crust over the filling to make a cute
galette effect. The pie went into the oven. After 15 minutes I turned the oven down to
350 degrees and let the pie bake for another 25 minutes.
By now you're probably steaming mad, since you want to make a Ham & Egg Pie
but you don't have on hand my leftover pie crust or eggs baked in ham cups. Here's
what you do.
First, you could, of course, make a pie crust right now. But the beauty of this little
quiche-y dish is that it is quick and easy. Making the pie crust from scratch would
take the preparation to a different level. Instead you can 1) make the dish with no
crust at all. Or 2) make a bread-crumb crust. But before I tell you  how to do that,
you need to hard-boil two or three eggs. There are several ways to do this, but the
simplest is to put the eggs in a saucepan, cover them with water (at least an inch
above the level of the eggs), and bring the water to a boil. As soon as it boils, clap a
lid on the pan, turn the heat to simmer, and set the timer for 12 minutes. While the
eggs cook, make your bread-crumb crust.
Set the oven to 375 degrees. Put two cups of dry bread crumbs* in a bowl. Pour
over them a third of a cup of melted butter (five tablespoons) or olive oil or a mixture
of the two. Stir well, then dump the mixture into your pie plate and press it with your
fingers to make a thin shell, pressing it up the sides and trying to end with an even
thickness. Put this in the oven for 12 minutes to firm up while you prepare the filling.
when it comes out of the oven, set it aside until you're ready to fill it.
For the filling you will need ham cut into half-inch cubes (the better the ham the
better the dish). As soon as the eggs are cooked, pour out the hot water and run
cold water into the pan for a few minutes. Crack the eggs in three or four places and
keep them in the cold water. To peel them, start at the broad end of the egg, not the
pointier end. Let cold water dribble over the egg as you peel, being sure to peel off
the membrane as well as the shell. Very fresh eggs are almost impossible to peel,
so save your farm-fresh ones for another day and use the eggs that have been
around for a few weeks. Roughly chop the eggs once they're peeled.
All right, now you're ready. Put the ham cubes and the chopped eggs in a bowl.** In
a small bowl mix together two (raw) eggs and a cup and a half of (whole) milk. Pour
this over the ham and eggs, then pour the whole thing into your bread-crumb crust.
Put the pie into the oven for about 40 minutes. Eat.
*I hope you make your own bread crumbs, using up every morsel of bread that
passes through your kitchen. To make them: first, make fresh bread crumbs by
running pieces of stale bread through your food processor. These have many uses
(as topping for casseroles, for example). But there are times when dry bread
crumbs work better. Spread the fresh crumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 350
degrees for about 15 minutes. Let cool, then run them through the food processor
(again) to grind them into fine, dry crumbs. Keep a bag or box of crumbs in your
freezer at all times!
**There's no reason why you can't add other things to your Ham & Egg Pie. A small
handful of frozen peas, or a couple tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley. Even
some onion, though in this case you should mince it (cut it very very finely) so it will
cook in the allotted time.



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