Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pi Day, or, You Want S-pies-ce with That?

The latest challenge with the YWPWT group was to incorporate spices and herbs into a delicious pie. It always takes me a few weeks to find the right idea. Thoughts swirl around in my mind, subconsciously, until the proverbial light bulb comes on.

My inspiration came from two sources:
Pie Every Day by Pat Willard and Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman.

I love fresh sausage, but not the overly fatty kind, so, when perusing Ruhlman's book on crafting home-cured meats, I decided to play around with making some fresh sausage. That's where the spices and herbs come in, along with some very lean ground pork. (You could use turkey as well.)

Then, when I was looking through Willard's book, I discovered a delicious-sounding recipe for a breakfast pie using sausage, eggs, and yogurt. Perfect! At first glance, this pie seems like a heart attack waiting to happen, but with very lean sausage and yogurt, it is anything but. I might add, it disappeared very quickly.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the pies that the other group members have made. There are so many possibilities with this month's theme! Thanks also to Elizabeth of Cake or Death for choosing the theme.

Here's the pictorial view of the pie's progression:

Pink sausage in a red bowl. (Can you tell them apart?) :

Sausage sauteeing:

Sausage in pie:

Eggs and herbs are added:

Next is the yogurt/sour cream mixture:

The top is on:

Out of the oven:

Ready to eat:

Italian Sausage

(adapted from Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman)

1 pound lean ground pork

10 grams kosher salt

8 grams sugar

4 grams fennel seeds, toasted

2 grams coriander seeds, toasted, or 2 teaspoons ground coriander

6 grams Hungarian sweet paprika

pinch of cayenne

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried basil

3 grams hot red pepper flakes

1+ grams coarsely ground black pepper

¼ to 1/3 cup ice water

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, chilled

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Let rest an hour or so until the flavors meld. Sauté until cooked through.

(I weigh ingredients whenever possible, hence the metric measurements. Otherwise, I eyeball the amounts.)

Sausage Egg Pie

(adapted from Pie Every Day by Pat Willard)

Prepare your favorite pie dough for a 2-crust pie.


1 pound sausage, crumbled

6 large eggs

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup ricotta cheese or thick plain yogurt (Greek-style)

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Prepare pastry, using a 9-inch pie pan.

Brown the sausage, drain if necessary. Sprinkle onto the bottom crust.

Keeping the yolks whole, place each egg over the sausage layer. Sprinkle with the herbs and seasonings. Carefully spoon the ricotta (or yogurt) over and around the eggs.

Cover with the top crust, adding a few vents so the steam can escape.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until light brown.


Carrie said...

Fantastic job! I like the way the eggs look, very interesting!

NKP said...

Very creative! I would definitely love to have this for brunch or even a pub style dinner.

Megan said...

Wow - how..... interesting! I would never even think to make my own sausage. Neat idea!

The Food Librarian said...

What a great savory pie! It looks rich and delicious! Love the egg peaking out from the mound of yum. Happy Pi Day!

Nichicakes said...

Wow the egg in there looks so tasty!

suz said...

Breakfast Pie?! Don't mind if I do! Fantastic idea and execution :)

Libby said...

The pie looks so savory! Thanks so much for the sausage recipe. My mom is on a sodium restricted diet, and I think she now has some turkey sausage in her future! Libby

Ellen and Tom said...

Yum! I wish I had a slice of that right now for my sunday morning breakfast. Looks great!

Anonymous said...

This would be a great dish to take to a breakfast potluck ... when sliced the eggs are the surprise.

Sara said...

Looks yummy! I love how you put in the whole eggs-makes for a great-looking final pie!

Anonymous said...

This looks and sounds amazing. I love how you made your own sausage for this - my husband would flip over this pie!

Jacque said...

Oh my, how cool is that? I love how the eggs stay together and cook in the pie. Perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I have been getting the urge to make my own sausage. This looks excellent Judy! I love to hear how ideas come about.