The star of my spring picnic is this breakfast pie, which can be made in advance and warmed in the oven before you go. It’s lip-smackingly delicious and so moreish you might need two!
- 1 lge square sheet shortcrust pastry see Tips
- oil for frying
- 200 g bacon – See Tips
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 150 g mushrooms sliced – see Tips for preparation
- 150-200 g sour cream
- ¼ cup milk
- 5 eggs
- ½ cup parmesan finely grated, plus a little extra
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
- 250 g cherry tomatoes cut in half
- ¼ cup parsley pesto or basil pesto
- milk or beaten egg to glaze
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until big enough to line a 28cm pie dish with the pastry overhanging the edges a little. Line dish with pastry but don’t trim the edges – the overhangs will be folded over the pie later (so it’s nice and rustic and we don’t waste any pastry).
- Heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Cook bacon for a few minutes, then add onion and cook for a further 4-5 minutes until soft. Scrape out and set aside.
- Add another drizzle of oil to frying pan and cook sliced mushrooms for about 5 minutes until soft and all the moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated (the less moisture in the pan, the better).
- Whisk sour cream with half the milk until smooth, then whisk in remaining milk, then eggs, parmesan, thyme, a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk until smooth.
- Scatter bacon, onion and mushrooms over pastry. Pour egg mixture on top. Arrange cherry tomatoes (cut-side up) over surface, dot with pesto and sprinkle with extra parmesan. Fold over any overhanging pastry and brush pastry with a little milk or beaten egg.
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is just set. Allow to sit in the pie dish for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
- Serve with a leafy green salad and avocado with some chutney (or good old tomato sauce) on the side.
- Pastry is easiest to work with when cold; if it’s too warm, it can melt and become difficult to handle. If pastry is frozen, defrost on bench then refrigerate till needed (or defrost overnight in fridge).
- Instead of bacon, you could use sausage (breakfast sausages or leftover ones), or a combination of both.
- Never wash mushrooms in water – you want to avoid moisture soaking into them. Instead, brush or wipe off dirt with a pastry brush or paper towels; don’t forget, a little dirt never hurt anyone. Trim a little off the stalks, too.
Picnics are such a fun, economical way to enjoy a meal with friends or family, and in New Zealand we are so lucky to have the best parks and views to enjoy for free. With temperatures still brisk in the morning, warm food and drinks provide the ultimate comfort while lazing around and taking in nature’s beauty. This delicious breakfast pie is the staple dish of any Kiwi picnic. Packed with bacon, mushrooms, herbs and of course the perfect balance of eggs and creamy milk, this pie is sure to become a favourite.