Fancy but comforting all at once, this Bacon Potato Tart is easy as pie to make. From the first bite of this flaky, buttery pastry and creamy potato filling you'll be in love with this amazing potato pie.
226gunsalted butter, cubed and chilled(2 sticks / 8oz)
325gplain flour(2 ½cups / 11.4oz)
6-7tablespoonsice water(notes 1)
3medium potatoes (I use royal blue), peeled
⅓cupgrated cheddar cheese
⅔cupthickened (or heavy) cream
7sprigs fresh thyme
Salt & pepper to season
1egg yolk, whisked with a splash of water
Place the butter, flour and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times until it looks like wet sand.
Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to just pulse between each addition until the mixture just starts clumping together.
Turn the dough out onto a board and split in half. Gently, just pull the dough together and wrap each half in plastic wrap, using the wrap to help you pull it into a disk. It's very important not to handle the dough too much. Chill for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one half of the dough to about 4mm thick and gently place it into a 9 inch pie tin. Place the tin in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 200C / 395F / 180C fan forced.
In a frypan, cook the bacon bits until just crispy. Set aside.
In the same pan, use paper towel to soak up any large pools of grease but leave a little, then add the cream and two thyme sprigs. Heat over low heat until just starting to steam. Don't boil. Set aside and let it steep for about 5 minutes before removing the thyme sprigs.
Slice the potato very thinly - 2-3mm is perfect. Remove the stalks from the remaining sprigs of thyme.
Take the pie tin from the fridge. Place a single layer of potato slices on the bottom. It's best to work in a circle, just overlapping each one. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a quarter of the bacon and thyme leaves.
Repeat to do a second layer. After the second layer, spoon over half of the heated cream and cheese. Do a third and fourth layer of potato, seasoning, bacon and thyme. Then top with the rest of the cream and cheese.
Roll out the second portion of pastry dough and lay over the top of the pie. Crimp together the edges all the way round to seal the pie.
Brush all over lightly with the egg wash and use a knife to poke three small holes in the top for steam to escape.
Place in the oven for 50 minutes. The top should be nice and golden. If you notice the edges getting too dark too early, wrap the edges in foil until the cooking time is up.
Allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing (this helps it to hold it's shape when you serve it up).
I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons)
For best results, always weigh ingredients like flour. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you don't have them, use the spoon and level method. Don't scoop.
It's very important not to handle the dough too much - just enough to pull it together. For those flaky layers, it's vital it stays cool and not overworked.
Best potatoes are Royal Blue, Sebago, Russet, King Edward or Maris Piper.