Apr 23, 2011

Rustic Ramp n' Potato Pie

I rendered leaf lard for the first time a couple days ago.  I wanted to use the lard, its crispy by-product known as “cracklins”, and the Hudson Valley’s seasonal ramp crop in a single dish.  So here it is - a potato ramp pork cracklin pie with a leaf lard pastry.  Oh yeah!  You can make something very similar using butter instead of lard, and bacon instead of cracklins.  And if you don't want to use bacon at all, I suggest boiling the potatoes in chicken or vegetable stock.  That will make for a flavorful dish without the meat. 

To see the the full instructional photo album, go to: Frankie makes a rustic ramp and potato pie on facebook.

For pastry crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup frozen leaf lard (or two sticks of unsalted butter)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 - 1/2 cup ice cold water

For Filling:
1 1/2 lbs potatoes
12 – 20 ramps, depending on size
6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional, but see note at end)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 c milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup grated cheese
salt and pepper

Make the pie crust: 
Pulse salt, flower, and frozen lard in a food processor while streaming in cold water.  Stop as soon as the ingredients are wet enough to press together – this may take as little as 1/3 a cup of water to 1/2 a cup of water.  Form dough into a disc and refrigerate while preparing filling. 

Make the filling:
Slice potatoes and boil in salted water until soft – 5 to 7 minutes.  Drain potatoes and set aside.   In a large skillet, sauté butter, white parts of ramps, and bacon.  Cook until ramps are soft.  Add greens of ramps to skillet and cook briefly.  Add potatoes back to pan.  Remove from heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside. 

In a medium bowl, beat the milk and eggs together.  Add cheese.  

Put it all together:
Preheat the oven to 425.

Roll out the pastry crust and transfer to a large pie pan or cast iron skillet. 

Pour potato mixture into crust.  Pour egg mixture over potatoes.  Fold edges of crust over filling. 

Brush the edges of the crust with some of the egg mixture left in bowl.

Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then turn heat down to 375 and bake another 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown. 

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