I found this recipe in a Southern Living Magazine over a decade ago. I clipped the recipe, because it looked so yummy and had ingredients that I love! And I have been making it every summer since...and hardly altering it because it is so delicious as is.
It's a great dish that becomes a complete meal when you serve it with a green salad or some fresh fruit.
I like to take it as a main dish for a meal to friends who have new babies or are in need of a meal. My friends, Angela and Ray, had their first child 12 years ago and I brought this to them. Ray joked that it was worth having the baby to get this Savory Pie. A couple of years later, when they had their second son, they requested a repeat of this meal. I was shocked that they remembered what I had brought 2 years before, and was, of course, honored to bring them a repeat meal for baby #2.
Fast forward a decade. This spring, my friend, Alyson, had a baby and when I asked her what meal she wanted me to bring to her family, she said she just wanted a batch of homemade granola. I've never had that requested as a meal! While I agree that Granola is one of my favorite foods to come out of my oven, it really isn't dinner! Then after thinking about it, I decided that I would indeed make her a batch of granola, and take a quart of vanilla yogurt and some fruit for parfaits along with it. But I would also make this summer pie for a main dish and serve breakfast for dinner. (I love breakfast for dinner, as breakfast foods are my favorite. However, in my home, the only way I can woo my family to want breakfast for dinner is to include breakfast meat, especially bacon, on the menu.) Alyson is not a fan of meat, but her husband is, so I took him a pound of bacon to satisfy his manly-meat desire.
This Savory Pie is a simple recipe, the only catch is the timing of the baking. I have so thoughtfully created a demonstration of what NOT to do regarding this. (See exhibit A below)
So on Thursday night, I was making the pie and was concerned that the crust was getting too done and the filling seemed to be almost done! We were in a rush to get to a meeting and had to hurry. So, I took it out a few minutes early hoping that during the 5 minutes of "resting time", it would jell and be fine. When I began to slice the pie, it was obvious that the filling was not done. So we proceeded to eat the done parts and save the rest for when we could re-heat it.
Moral of the story- cook until the filling doesn't giggle when gently shaken, even if the crust is looking overdone. I tried to "foil tent" 1/2 way through the baking. I have tried this many times and I have never had good luck with it. It either falls off as I am attempting to get it covered, or I burn my hands or it falls off as I slide the rack back into the oven and it burns anyway! I am thinking it might work better if I cover the crust with foil before baking and then remove at the end to brown. (Easier to remove the foil than add the foil in a hot oven, I'm guessing.)
Do any of you have a good remedy for keeping the pie crust from over-baking? Any tricks to share with us? Please let us know!
Savory Summer Pie
1 pie crust- refrigerated bought or homemade
1 red bell pepper, chopped
½ purple onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
4 large eggs
1 cup half & half
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 plum tomatoes, cut into ¼ inch-thick slices
Fit piecrust into a deep-dish tart pan; prick bottom and sides of piecrust with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside.
Meanwhile, sauté bell pepper, onion, and garlic in hot oil in a large skillet 5 minutes or until tender; then stir in basil.
Whisk together eggs and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in sautéed vegetables and cheeses. Pour into crust; top with sliced tomato.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until set.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Thoughts about the Pie Crust - you can make one from scratch for this, but I never do (especially with my aforementioned burning issues...it's not worth the risk). If you have a Trader Joe's where you are, you need to try their frozen pie crusts. They are fabulous! My friend Amy told me about them recently. Up until then, I had used the Pillsbury (red skinny box) refrigerated pie crust which are also a great product.
[Speaking of Pies, the next post is my favorite pie- Key Lime Pie! ]