Ralph is our studio neighbor and he has pets: gobblers, duckies, chicks and anything that wanders onto Muddy Finger Mountain. (The big Tom above is hiding his girlfriend, who is the egg-layer.) Springtime each year he has more eggs than he can give away. (They are sooo pretty, below.) This year, the birds were particularly amorous and gave and gave and gave. What to do with all the eggs? Egg Pies! So, this post is for Ralph. When I begin to make videos he will be the video man I do all videos with — he is so good and easy to work with!
I hate to make pie crusts. But I love quiche. One of the few ways I like eggs in the morning, camouflaged by other flavors. So, being a So Cal girl and growing up with all things mexican, I saw a big burrito one day and said, “A-hah!” Now I make quiche or egg pie all the time using big tortillas as crusts, especially in spring when Ralph brings me extra eggs. I make them and freeze them, and make so many that Ralph gets a few back!
What is also great about this method is that I can make a pie in about 15 minutes with leftovers. A bit of blackened salmon, a bit of chicken with grilled veggies, or in this case, just enough sliced humanely-raised organic ham that won’t make two sandwiches for us but will make two great pies! This is my “Denver Quiche in Honor of Stephen” egg pie. My brother turned me on to Denver omelettes years ago. Another story, but it made me eat eggs.
So here is my easy easy way to make egg pies. I will give a few recipes at the end. Start with an organic BIG wheat tortilla. Lay in into the pie pan, no oil or butter needed. (Yeah diet!) I then take a bit of goat cheese and flake some in the bottom of the pie pan. This makes for a thick egg-custard mixture on the bottom of the pie as the goat cheese melts into the egg while it cooks.
In a separate bowl, I mix the non-cheese ingredients for the pie; in this case, ham, blacked sugar chilies, a handful of frozen sweet corn (I made two pies last night, a large one and a smaller one, so I mixed enough for the two.) I did not add spices in this case as the ham is salty and spicy enough, but here is where I would add the spices. Toss the ingredients to mix them. Spread the ingredients evenly on top of the goat cheese.
Beat enough eggs to cover the mixture and fill the tortilla crust. That is a tricky thing, but for a big pie pan I say between 5-8 eggs, depending upon the size. In a smaller pie pan, between 4-6. Beat them just before you pour them into the pan, by hand so they don’t get too fluffy, until they are thoroughly mixed. Add milk or cream or not — sometimes I add a bit of organic goat milk, as it makes them creamier. But with the turkey eggs, they are so creamy and rich, I don’t.
Pour the beaten eggs over the ingredients in the pie pan gently, so as not to move them around much. I add organic grated cheese — in this case it was Organic Farms grated Mexican blend — about four finger-fulls, distributed gently over the top. Then take a fork and insert the fork into the mixture straight down (but not so hard you break the tortilla skin) and give it a little shake to “mix” the ingredients.
Top the egg pie with chopped green onions or chives, and then add pepper to taste. I pass on salt, because I like people to salt as they need to — and ham is salty.
Cook for 20-40 minutes at 350-degrees. This is a bit iffy, because it really does depend upon the oven and the number of eggs and the size of the pie pan. Watch it so it does not burn, and if it looks like it is burning on top then place a piece of foil lightly as a shield between the pie and the heat source.
Now, how to freeze and warm. Let the pies cool completely, and place them in a plastic bag marked with the type of quiche you made, or, “surprise!” I use the bags we bring our veggies home in or the big tortilla bags. Place a paper towel into the bag to absorb any water in case that may gather if it hasn’t completely cooled, and close the bag, pop into the freezer.
Bring the pie out of the freezer the night before to thaw by placing it in the fridge. I recently tried to rush this process by warming in the microwave from frozen to heat, and all I got was a sloggy egg pie! To warm, put into the oven at 300 until warmed, about 20 minutes. Or, warm only the pieces you want to eat by cutting them and putting them on a microwave plate. put one paper towel with a few drops of water on it over the pie pieces, and heat for 1-2 minutes only.
Some favorite combos:
Diced ham, hot or sweet blackened peppers, a handful of frozen corn (sweet) or a handful of black beans, thoroughly rinsed. Mexican grated cheeses — or cheddar — plus soft goat chevre cheese.
Mushrooms: portobella/shiitake sautéed in olive oil with onion and a dash of Braggs (or organic soy sauce) and pepper. Garlic salt. Italian grated cheeses — or pecorino, mozzarella — plus soft goat chevre cheese.
Leftover blackened salmon (bone removed, skin sliced into thin slivers), dried tomatoes, onions, green or sweet chopped. Reconstitute the dried tomatoes. they have a sweet tang that is quite different from fresh tomatoes. Garlic salt and cumin, as needed. Mexican or Italian grated cheeses plus soft goat chevre cheese. (Below.)