Pie Week: Hash Brown–Crusted Breakfast Pie

It’s day 3 of Pie Week and, today, we’re all about breakfast! Usually when I think of breakfast pies, I immediately think of quiche, but this hash brown-crusted breakfast pie from Pies and Tarts with Heart may just have me changing my mind.

Topped with cheese and including hash browns and breakfast sausage, this tasty pie is sure to steal your heart and become the new favorite for Christmas morning 🙂

Want to take home a copy of Dynise’s book? Enter below.

Be sure to pop on over to Twitter at 7 PM EDT tonight (note the time change) for our #spoonchat with Dynise. Best question wins a copy of her book 🙂

Hash Brown–Crusted Breakfast Pie
Excerpted from Pies and Tarts with Heart by Dynise Balcavage

What this pie lacks in looks, it makes up for in flavor. This meaty breakfast pie can be made with store-bought vegan breakfast sausage or with tempeh. The fennel seeds give it the slightly sweet licorice tinge you expect from a breakfast sausage. This is perfect for when you are having omnivorous guests over for brunch.

Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) pie

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 onion, diced
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
1½ teaspoons fennel seeds
1 pound (455 g) crumbled vegan breakfast sausage or steamed, crumbled tempeh
2 tablespoons (6 g) chopped chives
1 Hash Brown Pie Crust, blind baked at 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7) for 15 minutes (recipe follows)
1 cup (115 g) shredded sharp nondairy cheese

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5).

In large sauté pan, heat the oil and red pepper flakes over medium heat, add the onion and pepper, and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fennel seeds and sausage. Cook until browned, 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The time will vary depending on the brand and whether you’re using tempeh or sausage. Stir in the chives and transfer to the blind-baked hash brown crust. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Hash Brown Pie Crust

I love hash browns. Used as a pie crust, these humble potato shreds make a crispy and tasty foundation for savory pies and even vegan quiches: just sprinkle your favorite vegan cheese over the hash browns, top with tofu-quiche filling, and bake. This crust is very easy to make. The hardest part is waiting for the water to drain from the shredded taters!

Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) crust

2 packed cups (220 g) shredded potatoes (about 2 large white potatoes or 1 large sweet potato)
1 small onion, shredded
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons (23 ml) olive oil or melted margarine

Place the shredded potatoes and onion in a colander and drain very well. This takes a few hours, but it is an extremely important step. (Soggy taters = soggy crust.) The shreds will turn brown upon oxidation, but this does not matter because they brown as they are baked anyway. After draining, use your hands to gently squeeze out any last bits of water.

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7).

In a large bowl, using your hands, mix the shreds with the salt and oil. Press into the pan. If you’re a perfectionist, you may want to weight down the crust with another pie pan, but I’m usually too lazy or pressed for time, so I often skip this step.

Bake the crust for about 30 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

Sweet and Savory Vegan Pies

Take your plant-based pies to another level. In Pies and Tarts with Heart, popular blogger Dynise Balcavage shares her straight-forward wisdom about kitchen fundamentals and the most effective pie-making techniques.

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From Apple Pie to S’more Pie—and everything in between—these 60+ recipes will make you shine in your pastry pursuits, whether you are a beginner or a veteran pie maker.

Inside you’ll discover:

– Instructions for building your pie, from the basics to baking

– How to roll, stretch, and bake a respectable crust in no time
– Sweet pies: traditional, decadent, nutty, citrusy, and more
– Savory pies: including Tomato Tart, Greek Spinach Pie, and Cornish Pasties
– Stocking a pie-making pantry: the ingredients and equipment you’ll need
– A variety of gluten-free, low-fat, kid-friendly, raw, and no-bake optionsThis is the third cookbook by Dynise Balcavage. She blogs at urbanvegan.netand tweets at @theurbanvegan.