Piece of Pie: Cheesy Mashed Potato with Spam

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It takes a little bit of elbow grease and time, but trust Chef Edward Bugia’s recipe for fool-proof pie crust and this cheesy filling to make any day even better.

FILLING
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Serves 5

INGREDIENTS
½ kilogram potatoes
2 pinches iodized salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
¼ cup evaporated milk
¼ cup Quickmelt cheese
40 grams Spam, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

PROCEDURE
1 Wash potatoes, then cut to quarters.
2 In a stockpot, pour 1 liter of water and drop the potatoes. Let them boil for 20 minutes.
3 You will know if the potatoes are done when you can pierce them with a fork with ease. Once done, mash it with a fork.
4 Place the mashed potatoes in a saucepan under low fire, stirring constantly.
5 Add milk. Stir. Then add the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
6 Slice Spam, about ¼ inch thick. Cut it into about ¼” x ¼” strips, then chop it to bits.
7 Pan-fry chopped Spam for 3 to 4 minutes.
8 Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of mashed potato in a pie crust (refer to Pie Crust recipe). Top with crispy chopped Spam.
9 Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, at 350º F.

PIE CRUST
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 30 minutes
Makes approximately 2 pie bases and 2 4-inch pie crusts

INGREDIENTS
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter,
chilled and cubed
½ cup shortening, chilled and cubed
½ cup ice water

PROCEDURE
1 In a food processor, briefly pulse flour and salt. Add butter and shortening; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
2 Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Add remaining ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed. Do not over-mix.
3 Turn dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over dough; press to shape into a 1-inch-thick disk. Refrigerate until firm for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
4 To use: on a floured piece of parchment paper, roll dough with a floured rolling pin and lay it on the pie pan. Make sure to tuck in all the edges to maximize space and avoid air pockets that can cause holes.
6 Bake the crust in the oven till golden brown.

This recipe was originally published in the August-September 2015 issue of Breakfast Magazine.