Bacon and potato pie

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Imagine you’re in France and serve this creamy dish with a large bowl of salad and a glass of chilled white wine.

Photographs Francois Oberholster

Serves 8 as a light meal

Preparation time: 25 minutes 

Cooking time: 1 hour 

Oven temperature: 180°C

1kg medium-sized potatoes, scrubbed

4 shallots, finely chopped and fried

8 rashers bacon, chopped and fried until crispy

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

30ml soft herbs such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon and chervil, finely chopped

250ml sour cream or crème fraîche

• salt, pepper and nutmeg

600g puff pastry, thawed

1 egg yolk

1. Preheat the oven. Using a sharp knife or mandolin, cut the potatoes into very thin slices. Cover with water in a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes or until just tender. 

2. Drain the potatoes carefully and press dry with a clean tea towel. Mix the cooked potato with the fried shallots, bacon, chopped herbs and sour cream, and season well to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

3. Line a loose-base tart tin with half of the puff pastry so that it hangs slightly over the edge of the tin. Arrange layers of the potato mixture in the pie crust until packed.  

4. Brush the edge of the dough with egg yolk, then place the second sheet of puff pastry on top. Press the two layers of dough together firmly, trim off any excess dough and pinch the dough all around to seal well.

5. Using a sharp knife, score crosses in the top of the pastry and brush the pie with egg yolk. Bake for 30 minutes on the bottom shelf of the oven so that the bottom of the pie can bake through. Move the pie to the centre of the oven and bake for another 30 minutes. Let it stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Variations
If you’re worried that the bottom layer of dough won’t bake through properly (you know your oven best), try blind-baking the casing before filling it with potato. Or you can arrange the filling in a pretty pie dish and just place one sheet of dough on top. For best results, use dough made with real butter.

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