BACON, CLAM AND POTATO PIE (for six to eight)

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1-1/2 pounds boiling potatoes

6 lean bacon slices

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1 pint shucked hard-shelled clams (cherrystones preferred, about 3 pounds in the shell), drained (liquor reserved) and coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1 pound frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 large egg

  1. Make the filling: Peel potatoes and cut into ½ inch cubes.  Combine potatoes with well-salted water to cover by 1 inch in a 3-quart saucepan, bring to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain.
  1. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a 4 to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain;  crumble when cool.
  1. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pot. Add butter and melt it, then add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and pale golden, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add flour and cook over low heat, whisking, for 3 minutes to make a roux.  Whisk in cream, milk, reserved clam liquor, and Worcestershire sauce, bring to a simmer, whisking, and simmer, whisking occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in potatoes, clams, parsley, thyme, lemon juice, bacon, salt and pepper until well combined.  Cool to room temperature.
  1. Make the pastry crust. Put a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 400*.  Beat egg and 1 teaspoon water together in a small bowl and set aside.
  1. Roll puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface to ¼ inch thickness, 2 inches wider than the baking dish. Remove baking dish from oven and uncover.  Drape pastry over dish and brush with egg wash.  Return baking dish to oven and bake until pastry is puffed and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes.

NOTE:  If you prefer to make individual pies, divide the filling among ovenproof bowls and place on a baking sheet.  Cut frozen puff pastry squares 2 inches larger than the diameter of the bowls, brush the pastry with the egg mixture and brush the rims of the bowls with water.  Place one pastry square on top of each bowl, pressing the edges lightly.  Bake in a 400* oven until puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Let rest 5 minutes before serving.


adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

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