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Panera Egg Souffle Knock Off

For two years in a row, Christian (new comedy special debuts 4.15.14!) and I haven’t swapped gifts in the traditional sense. But last year he did get me a rolling pin and this year the Chicago Metallic Pie Mold I’d been dreaming of. (Update: that pie mold is no longer sold, but here’s a link to a set of 4 individual pans.)

If you’d told the 20-something-year-old me I would’ve wanted these as gifts, I would’ve beaten you with said rolling pin and made a nice meat pie out of your innards to bake in my new pan. Lo! How times have changed.

In a recent post, I talked of my latest obsession is how to recreate Panera Bread’s yummy egg soufflés while at our cabin, since there is no Panera within a hundred miles or so.

I found a few knock-off recipes online and pulled the basic common elements and made my own. I’ve made ham & asiago, goat cheese & spinach, sausage and cheddar, and cheese blends with and without onions & jalapeños. They were all amazing!  Since Christian doesn’t like eggs, I made a few with just sausage, onion and cheese for a hearty meat pie.

1 8-ounce tube Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough (I suppose you could make your own dough. Go for it!)
7 eggs, 1 reserved*
4 tbsp of half & half (or  2 tbsp heavy cream & 2 tbsp of milk or half & half…really just 4 tbsp of whatever milk/cream concoction you want or have on hand.)
3/4 cup of shredded cheese (any flavor / mix of flavors you like)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of diced ham, sausage, or bacon or whatever meat or veggies** your little heart desires.

UPDATE: I’ve used Pepperidge Farm’s puff pastry sheets for dough and like it much more. A little lighter & flakier and uses less dough for each pie.

— Preheat oven to 375F.  or 400F if you’re using puff pastry

— Unroll the crescent dough but do not separate the pairs of triangles. Instead, pinch along the perforated seam so the 2 triangles become a square of dough. So you’ll wind up with four (4) squares. Roll out each square of dough a couple of times to make a 6″ x 6″-ish square. (For puff pastry, 1/3 of a sheet rolled out & cut in half makes two pies.)

— I spray the pan with non-stick spray and put one square of dough in each compartment.

— Mix 6 eggs, milk, and heavy cream in a microwavable bowl. Egg yolks should be completely broken and mixed in. Add shredded cheese and salt and mix again.

Filling the dough

— Microwave the egg mixture in 30 second increments on high, stirring after each increment until you have a sort of solid, slightly runny scrambled egg mixture. (About 4 times-ish in a 1,000-watt microwave.)

Basically you’re cooking the eggs just enough so the dough at the bottom will cook, and the dough at the sides and top won’t fall in.

— Stir in your meat or veggies. For veggies, I sauté them a bit before adding.

Ready to bake!

— Fill each pie with your mix.

— Fold dough over the egg mixture.

* Optional – Break and whisk the remaining egg and brush over dough before popping it into the oven. This makes the dough brown to shiny, golden color. Pretty and makes it look “done”, but totally not necessary. So if you wanna save an egg and aren’t trying to impress anyone, feel free to skip this. I’ve included photos of what the difference looks like below.

— Bake for about 20 minutes (15 for puff pastry) and then it’s bon appetit time!

**I made a spinach and goat cheese soufflé and added both ingredients after the microwave process.

Pictured from L to R:
Puff pastry after baking with no egg wash,
Crescent rolls with egg wash (egg soufflés in top pans and chicken pot pies in lower ones),
Christian enjoys his sausage, onion and cheese concoction, and
A cross section of his meat pie. Heh.

Puff Pastry