I love Florida’s winter days when it’s just cold enough to enjoy wearing a sweater or sweatshirt and the house needs just a little bit of heat — just enough to take the chill off the early hours of morning. It all adds up to perfect baking weather.
I’m making the most of it. I’ve already tried out a nonstick pan for brownies. It has a grid to set in the pan after you’ve poured in the batter, so all your brownies bake separately, so to speak, and come out the same size. It worked nicely with the brownie mix, and now I’ve got a stack of other recipes to try it with — cornbread, biscuits and oatmeal bar cookies, just for starters.
There are also a couple of recipes for batter bread I came across last summer when the very thought of firing up the oven was excruciating. I like batter breads because you don’t have to bother with kneading them. One of my favorites is an old Sally Lunn recipe that makes the most incredibly good breakfast toast. This is a good time to make a few extra loaves, and freeze them to enjoy when we get around to less favorable days for baking.
And I’ve finally been able to try out a recipe I found about a year ago when I was desperately searching for another recipe. Do you remember the old Impossible Pie made with shredded coconut and biscuit mix, with everything whirled around in the blender, then poured into the baking pan? And the crust sort of separated out while the pie was baking.
Well, this one was entitled Impossible BLT Pie, and since the BLT is one of my most favorite sandwiches, I figured it was worth trying out with a bit of tweaking here and there. For starters, since the lettuce and tomatoes were not cooked along with the pie but used as garnishing, I felt the name was misleading.
Still, this is a nice, useful pie, easily put together and perfect for breakfast or brunch, as well as a light supper or lunch. The recipe is sort of a cousin to the quiche family.
Obviously, the uncooked lettuce and tomatoes won’t make very appealing leftovers, so if you’re cooking for two or three and expecting to have leftovers, it makes sense to garnish each slice as it is served.
Four ounces of shredded cheese will get you that cupful called for in the ingredients list. The original recipe used Swiss cheese, but I like a five-cheese Italian mixture. Next time I make it I’m going to try using less bacon and adding chopped broccoli, with sharp Cheddar for the cheese. I’m also wondering about the possibilities of spinach and smoky provolone.
IMPOSSIBLE SAVORY PIE
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 cup shredded cheese
1/3 cup spring onions, sliced thin
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
4 large eggs
1 cup baking mix
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Coarsely shredded lettuce
Tomatoes cut into wedges
Place baking rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 10-inch pie plate.
Layer bacon and cheese in plate. Sprinkle onions over surface.
Measure remaining ingredients into blender container except for lettuce and tomato wedges, and puree until smooth, about 15 seconds. Or, if you use a Dover eggbeater, measure ingredients into mixing bowl and beat about one minute. Gently pour into pie plate.
Bake in preheated oven until top is golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean — about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool five minutes.
Garnish with a row of tomato wedges around edge of pie and a ring of lettuce just inside the tomatoes. Serves six.
NOTE: For a simple fruit compote, gently stir sliced bananas into pineapple chunks canned in their own juice. Be sure banana slices are thoroughly coated to prevent them from turning brown. Chill well. Round out the meal with a simple dessert, such as ice cream or sherbet.
Mary Ryder is a food columnist for the Daily Commercial. Email her at email@example.com.