Potato & Bacon Pie ‘Tarte aux Pommes de Terre’
Potatoes and bacon are a classic combination from chef Soltner’s native Alsace. While he serves this tart of potatoes, eggs, and bacon moistened with tangy creme fraiche as an appetizer, it makes a perfect brunch or supper dish when served with a green salad.
- All-Purpose Flour - 1-3/4 cups
- Salt - 3/4 teaspoon
- Cold Unsalted butter - 9 tablespoons, cut up
- Egg Yolk - 1
- Ice Water - as needed
- Bacon - 5 ounces, sliced (about 12 slices), but into 1/8-inch pieces
- Boiling Potatoes - 1-1/4 pounds, 1-1/4 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, and placed in cold water
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Fresh Parsley - 1/4 cup, minced
- Eggs - 5, hard-cooked, thinly sliced
- Creme Fraiche - 1/2 cup
- Egg - 1
- Cold Water - 2 teaspoons
To make the crust: Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Place the egg yolk in a measuring cup and beat it lightly with a fork. Add enough ice water to the cup to fill it to the 1/4-cup mark. Make a well in the center of the dough and add the yolk mixture. Stir it with a fork or your fingertips until the flour is evenly moistened and the dough holds together when pinched between the fingers. This can also be done in a food processor using pulsing action to incorporate the butter as well as the liquid. Take care that the dough does not form a ball in the machine, or it will be tough.
Form the dough into a ball gently with your hands, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, or overnight. Divide the dough in half and roll each half in a 12-inch circle. Fit one circle into a 9- or 10-inch false-bottomed tart pan, pressing it in well. Chill the shell for 10 minutes.
To make the filling: Place the bacon in a cold 10-inch skillet and cook over medium heat until browned. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain it well on paper towels.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Remove the potato slices from the water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the slices with salt and pepper and place a layer of overlapping slices in the bottom of the tart shell. Sprinkle them with cooked bacon and minced parsley, and top with a layer of overlapping egg slices. Spread the creme fraiche over the eggs and top with another layer of potatoes. Repeat to make 2 layers, then top with a final layer of potatoes. Moisten the edges of the pastry and place the second sheet of pastry on top of the pie. Trim to 1 inch larger than the dish and crimp the edges of the pastry. Beat the egg with water and brush the top of the pie with the mixture. Cut steam vents in the top of the pie.
Bake the pie in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F and bake 1 hour longer. Reduce heat again to 300 F and bake for 10 minutes, or until the top is browned and a knife inserted into a steam vent the pie goes in easily. If the pie begins to overbrown, cover the edges or the entire top loosely with aluminum foil.
Remove the pie from the oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes before cutting into wedges. The pie may be served hot or at room temperature.
Note: The pie may be baked up to 2 hours in advance and kept at room temperature. It does not reheat well.