Incredible Potato-Bacon Torte - Melissa D'Arabian

***Every once in a while, I get the pleasure of baking a recipe that reminds me all over again why I love cooking so much. This recipe is fortunately one of those! Brad and I watched Melissa d'Arabian make this today on her TV show, Ten Dollar Dinners. We were practically drooling by the end of the episode, so I made out a grocery list and my sweetheart of a husband went to the grocery store for the ingredients. We decided it would go perfectly with the Italian-style pot roast that had already been slow-cooking for hours.

This is one of those recipes that is good to eat at home for several reasons...
Reason #1:The deliciousness of this dish is sure to make you lose all self-control. You may very well be reduced to a case of the giggles while you revel in the yummy-ness that you are so lucky to be eating. Eating this dish at home will help avoid the embarrassment that may result from said reaction.
Reason #2:You'll be SO giddy that you have left-overs sitting in the fridge, waiting for their turn in the spotlight at tomorrow's dinner. After all, in a restaurant you'd only get served one helping. Once you taste this dish, you'll realize what a tragedy that would be.
Not to mention...this pie crust is AMAZING...I can't stress enough how perfect this crust is. If you've struggled with homemade pie crust recipes in the past (as I certainly have!), you ought to give this particular recipe a try. It's easy and incredibly flaky. It would work equally well for a chicken pot pie or apple pie!
Need I say more? Really? Please...Do yourself a favor and make this delicious torte as soon as you can. Trust me...You'll thank me later! :-)
4 strips bacon
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 Pie Crusts, recipe follows
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese (I used a little more cheese...maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup and sprinkled a bit on every layer...not just the top.)
1 egg yolk, whisked with a splash of water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until just crispy. Drain on paper towel lined plate and set aside. Crumble the bacon when cool to the touch.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the thyme and cream over low heat to a bare simmer. Turn off the heat and let steep for about 5 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs.
Remove the pie pan from the refrigerator. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and then finely slice the potatoes. Working in circles, arrange the potato slices in the pie crust, stopping to season each layer with salt, pepper, and about 1/4 of the crumbled bacon. Continue layering until the pie pan is nearly full. Top with an even layer of the cheese and gently pour cream around and over the entire pie, allowing it to seep down between the potato slices. (You may not use all the cream.)
Roll out the remaining disk of refrigerated dough. Cover the pie with the dough and crimp the edges closed. Brush the top and edges of the crust with egg wash. Make a few slits in the center of the top crust, for the steam to escape, and put the pie pan on a baking sheet. Bake the torte until the crust is browned and crispy and the potatoes are cooked through, about 50 to 60 minutes. If the crust edges get too brown, cover them with some strips of aluminum foil. Remove the pie from the oven and let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Pie Crust:

1 cup butter (2 sticks), cubed and chilled
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water

Put the butter, flour, and salt in the food processor, and pulse lightly just until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing briefly after each spoonful of water. Keep adding water until the dough just begins to gather into larger clumps.
Transfer equal amounts of the dough into 2 resealable plastic bags and pat each into a disk. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove 1 of the disks from the bag to a flour coated surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 10-inch round. Gently fit the rolled dough into a 9-inch pie pan, and refrigerate while you prepare the torte ingredients.
Yield: 2 (9-inch) pie crusts
Source: Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian