Kerry Greenwood is a terrific writer! I first discovered her book “Cocaine Blues” on a library shelf several years ago; it introduced me to her strong, smart, smart and stylish detective, the fabulous Miss Phryne Fisher. (Phryne rhymes with briny.) Since that time I have read all twenty published Phryne novels, which are set in Australia in the end of the 1920s, plus a collection of short stories (and a few bonus cocktail recipes) involving Miss Fisher called:
“A Question of Death: An Illustrated Phryne Fisher Treasury” and enjoyed them all exceedingly. I await the next with great anticipation. Phryne is the heroine I always dreamed of- smart, clever, kind, generous, but self preserving. She is tough when needs be and soft when she wants. She is Queen. She decides, period. It also doesn’t hurt that she is beautiful, wealthy, stylish and brave.
The Australian broadcasting company ABC has produced two seasons of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries based on Kerry’s books. I am thrilled to say that they announced in June that they have optioned a third season after a fan campaign was raised asking for more of Miss Fisher. These fabulously produced shows are available in the USA on DVD and on Acorn Television at present. Watch them, you won’t be sorry. Essie Davis as Phryne and Nathan Page as Detective Jack Robinson smolder together, SMOLDER, I tell you! Even though the episodes are an adaptation, and a few things have been changed from the books, they are as delightfully close as you will ever be to 1929 Melbourne and its surroundings. Led by executive producers Deborah Cox and Fiona Eagger, with acting by such a talented and stellar cast and guest actors (wish I could name them all), and sublime art direction with the divine production design by Robbie Perkins- each episode is a treasure. If you like vintage fashion at all you must not miss the wardrobe/costume design created by Marion Boyce- it is exquisite. We in the USA may not be familiar with these actors and the crew, but we are very fortunate to be able to import their work. OK, enough hyperbole!, but well- it’s true!
Kerry has also written so many other great books. Her other detective series which is set in modern day Melbourne and concerns the baker Corinna Chapman is a naturally a favorite as well. I have just started her book Medea and will be interested to see yet another side of her writing. SO, well back to the Egg and Bacon Pie. The dish is described as being something comforting and homely, something to be tucked into a picnic basket or maybe a lunch pail. I wanted to make one and I didn’t find anything in the recipes Kerry had posted online on the publishers Allen and Unwin’s website.
And have I mentioned that Kerry is very generous with her time and attention and she invites her readers to correspond with her? I didn’t?,- well she is and she does. So I wrote to her and asked her about it and she very kindly replied and this pie is the result. Well, I first made one for a breakfast dinner party last year and that is when she helped me.
I’m just getting around to making another to share. It is somewhat like an enclosed quiche except that the eggs are left on their own to mingle with the bacon and firm up in the crust. It does firm up quite a bit and it will make your crust slump- just be prepared is all I am saying here. I found a recipe for a Bacon and Egg pie on Saveur here, but it’s not what Kerry told me. Here is what she wrote:
Simplicity itself. It is indeed an enclosed quiche, sort of. Line a pie dish with puff or shortcrust pastry, I use shortcrust for the lining and puff for the lid, but as you like. Cut up five rashers of bacon and sprinkle them around the pastry. Break over this four to five eggs, add pepper and parsley, pour over about a tablespoon of milk. You can stir it around if you would like a more blended filling or leave the yolks intact. Cap the pie dish with pastry and cook in a hot oven until the pastry is risen and golden. Grandma made egg and bacon pie like this, and so do I. It’s excellent hot and really tasty cold. Bon appétit! Kerry
I made it as directed, used my best pie crust recipe this time as I didn’t have puff on hand, but the first time I did use the puff pastry as suggested. I scrambled the eggs with a fork because Rick is not fond of yolks, but had I just pleased myself, I would have left them unscrambled. I cooked it at 375F for about 40 minutes and it is indeed excellent hot and really tasty cold!
Kerry is generosity herself, and I feel myself really lucky to have found her work. Her writing has greatly increased my enjoyment of life- and I think that is really the purpose of fiction. Thanks Kerry! Cheers! xox