Leftovers for Breakfast Pie

August 6, 2012

I suppose technically, this is a quiche, since it involves eggs and leftover bits and pieces. But I like pie. Mmmm, pie.

Since my stovetop is currently unreliable for simmering, I’ve started baking for breakfast. Or more accurately, baking ahead of breakfast and reheating. Pies are easy to reheat — plop a slice or two on a pie pan, cover with tin foil, set your oven to 350°, pop the pan into the oven, and wait 10-15 minutes. Not quite as good as fresh, but way better than the microwave. The tin foil helps retain the moisture in the crust, so don’t go without it.

This week’s breakfast is using up some meat and mushroom crockpot ragu that I made last week; it’s a recipe from The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone. (By the way, it’s an excellent book. Everything I’ve made out of it has been dynamite.) This particular leftover includes ground chuck, Italian sausage, and mixed mushrooms. I’m also using up some poor zucchini that got left in the bottom of the fridge. Such a sad thing — try not to do that to your zucchini. (; The recipe is infinitely flexible; about six cups of cooked mixed meat and veggies, three eggs, some cheese, and a pie crust.

I love making pie crust by hand, but the high around here has been in the 90°s (that’s about 33° for you Celsius people) for the past week, and it’s going to continue for the rest of the week. So hand-making the crust is not very practical right now. Too melty. Fortunately, the food processor is a great tool for making pie crust in the heat, so I’m including the recipe for that as well. Make the pie crust first, and let it chill while you put together the rest of the ingredients.

Food Processor Pie Crust

  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 c. white flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • generous pinch salt
  • 1/4 c. butter, cold
  • 1/4 c. bacon drippings, cold (you can use all butter, but I like bacon drippings for meaty pies)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. milk

Put the flours, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and process just to combine. Cut the butter and bacon drippings into chunks and add to the food processor. Process just until they are incorporated into rough pea-sized bits. With the motor running, add the milk slowly through the feed tube, stopping immediately when the dough gathers itself into a ball. You may need to whip the dripping feed tube out of the processor. Remove the dough from the food processor, wrap it in plastic wrap, and tuck it in the fridge for at least half an hour to chill out.

Leftovers for Breakfast Pie

  • 3-4 c. zucchini, small dice (about four small zucchini)
  • olive oil
  • about 2 c. leftover cooked meat and mushroom ragu, or whatever meaty thing you have left over, well drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/2-3/4 c. shredded cheddar, or whatever cheese you like (cheddar was just what I had on-hand)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Saute the zucchini, seasoned with salt and pepper, in a generous splash of olive oil until nicely browned.

Sauteed Zucchini

This is just about right, could be a little browner

Add the drained ragu and set aside to cool.

Zucchini and meat

Zucchini and meat

Beat the eggs well with the milk, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Shred the cheddar. Check your pie crust and see if it’s firm enough to handle.

Eggs and cheese

Eggs and cheese

When the pie crust is firm enough to handle, roll it out, dusting with extra whole-wheat flour to prevent sticking.

Pie crust to roll

This entire post is just an excuse to show off my super-awesome Amish-made rolling pin that my Mom got me. (;

Scoop it up with the rolling pin and drape it into the pie pan, and flute the edges however you like. I used a fork because to be honest, I didn’t wait long enough to roll the crust out and it was sticking.

Fluted pie crust

This is a wonderful deep-dish plate that my Auntie Deb gave us for our wedding. If you’re using a standard-size pie plate, you may want to reduce the amount of filling by a cup or two.

Fill the pie with the zucchini-meat mixture and top with half the cheese. Pour the eggs over, then top with the remaining cheese.

Filled pie

All ready for the oven now. I could have put more filling in that if I’d had more leftovers!

Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes, until a sharp knife stuck in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve, or let cool completely, cover, and store in the fridge for breakfast.

Finished pie

Mmmm, yummy!

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