Making cheeseburgers at home is fun, sure, but I can never get past the frustration of having so many bits and bobs left over. There always seems to be one (or five) extra sad tomato slices, and more buns than there are patties. I won't get into the rigamarole of it all, but it turns me off. The other day, though, I happened upon a cheeseburger pie recipe and thought, could this be my solution to all the dismay I feel when wanting a cheesy, ground beef party at home? I was excited.
But in my researching, I found that cheeseburger pie actually comes in multiple forms. There’s the egg-based version that sits within a shortcrust, not unlike a quiche or frittata. There’s also one that’s more, well, pie-like, with a flaky double crust and cheesy mince filling.
In deciding which I would experiment with, I thought about what I loved about cheeseburgers most: the patty’s crisp, oily edges; burst of juicy, pungent diced onion, the not-so-secret combination of mustard, mayo, and ketchup; the pop of seeds atop a buttery bun. These elements: crispness, butteriness, and seediness meant the latter option—more pie than quiche—was the one for me. (Topping the pie with a tangle of mayo-slicked lettuce and a dill pickle spear are entirely optional, but highly recommended.)
Another benefit of enjoying your cheeseburger in pie form? The ability to reheat, and reheat well. Just stick the pie—or a wedge—in a 350°F oven until the filling is just heated through and the crust is crisp again. —Renae E. Wilson
6 to 8
neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable oil
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil on medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the ground beef, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned.
Add the garlic, onion and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until the onion is softened. Remove from heat, stir in the ketchup and mustard, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set beef mixture aside to cool completely. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400°F.
Line an 8-inch pie plate with 1 puff pastry sheet, pressing the dough into the corners and up the side of the plate.
Spoon half of the beef mixture into the lined pan, then shower with 1/2 of the cheddar. Tear 2 of the American cheese slices up, and scatter on top. Repeat layering with the remaining beef, cheddar, and American cheese.
Lay the 2nd puff pastry sheet over the filling, and pinch and crimp as desired to seal the pie.
Brush the pie lightly with the egg mixture, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Bake until nicely golden brown, about 45 minutes, tenting with foil if browning too quickly. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into.
In a small bowl, thin the mayonnaise with a splash of water until the consistency of dressing. Fold in the lettuce and tomato, and season to taste. Serve alongside wedges of the pie.