Monday, 25 November 2013

Onion & bacon upside down pie

For reasons I will not go into here, I ended up with a massive amount of bacon and onions the other day. Not that I'm complaining, but it wasn't the result of an online shopping fail or anything exciting like that.

Sticky onions, smoky bacon. What's not to like?

I was trying to work out a good way to use it all up and hit upon a variation of Nigella's Supper Onion Pie. It's not reproduced anywhere on the web that I can find, but it's in Domestic Goddess if you are interested. I've made it before, unadulterated, and it's met with a mixed reception, but everything tastes better with bacon, so I thought I'd go off piste. Everyone loved it, there was nothing left, which pretty much says it all. It's also fairly straightforward to knock together, and fit it in around the various demands of the after school routine.

I've called it an upside down pie, because it's made alongside the tarte tatin principles - the onions (and the bacon) are cooked slowly till they are soft and a bit carmelised, then you whack a scone base over the top, and bake before flipping over onto a plate so the onions are back on top.

In my capacity as a member of the Tefal Innovation Panel, I should also say that the Ingenio pans (the groovy ones with the removable, interchangeable handle) really come into its own for a dish like this. The pan goes from the hob to the oven, so no need to get 2 dishes dirty, and the removeable handle means there's no worries about it fitting in the oven.

Spot the difference...

Onion & bacon upside down 'pie'

olive oil
4 rashers of smoked bacon, chopped up
around 700g onions, peeled, halved, and each half cut into 4
leaves from a few sprigs of thyme
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
100g cheddar, grated
100ml milk
40g butter, melted and cooled a little
1 large egg

Ideally, you need a pan that can go from hob to oven, but not, you need a 24cm (or thereabouts) pie dish for the oven part of this dish.

First, heat a splash or two of oil into your pan over a medium heat and add the bacon. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add in the onion chunks and sprinkle over the thyme leaves.

Cook this gently for 30 minutes or so, giving it a stir every now and then, till the onions are soft and sticky.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

Make up the scone base - mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cheddar cheese in a bowl, then in a separate jug of bowl combine the milk melted butter and egg. Tip the liquid ingredients into the flour mix and stir together with a fork to make a dough.

Tip the dough out onto a floured worksurface, and press into a rough circle that will fit over the top of your onions and bacon. If you need to, transfer the onion mix to the pie dish. Place the dough over the onions and bacon, and press in to seal the edges.

Pop your dish/pan into the oven and bake at 200 C for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180 and bake for another 10 minutes, when the base will be golden brown.

Remove from the oven, put a late over the top of the dish and turn it so that the scone is then on the bottom and the golden onions are on the top of the pie.

Scrape up any onions that have either stuck to the pan or fallen off, and serve.

Sorry - have to use the same photo because the gannets ate it too quickly...


  1. You're right, everything tastes better with bacon and this sounds delicious, proper comfort food.


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