February/March 2013

“Impossible” Ham-and-Cheese Pie

Bisquick popularized these pies more than 25 years ago, using one easy batter to make both filling and crust. After tasting a few, we knew it was possible to improve the “impossible.”

Why This Recipe Works

Never heard of an impossible pie? The lure of this 1970s phenomenon is that you get a “crust” without rolling out pie dough. Traditionally, Bisquick batter was poured over vegetables, meat, and cheese and baked. To prevent our “crust” from sticking to the pan, we coat the buttered dish with Parmesan cheese, which makes for a crispy, well-browned (not to mention tasty) exterior. We replaced the Bisquick with a simple batter of flour, baking powder, eggs, and milk, which we pour over a no-cook mixture of Gruyère cheese, ham, and scallion.


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Serves 8


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1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons melted
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (2 cups)
4 ounces thickly sliced deli ham, chopped
4 scallions, minced
½ cup (2 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup half-and-half
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
teaspoon ground nutmeg

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Serves 8

Use a rasp-style grater or the smallest holes on a box grater for the Parmesan.

Watch the Cook's Country cast make this recipe

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1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch pie plate with softened butter, then coat plate evenly with Parmesan.

2. Combine Gruyère, ham, and scallions in bowl. Sprinkle cheese-and-ham mixture evenly in bottom of prepared pie dish. Combine flour, baking powder, pepper, and salt in now-empty bowl. Whisk in half-and-half, eggs, melted butter, mustard, and nutmeg until smooth. Slowly pour batter over cheese-and-ham mixture in pie dish.

3. Bake until pie is light golden brown and filling is set, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Slice into wedges. Serve warm.

Finger Food

To serve our “Impossible” Ham-and-Cheese Pie as an hors d’oeuvre at your next party, forgo the pie plate and instead bake it in an 8-inch square baking dish. Slice it into 1-inch squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Watch The Full Episode

Test cook Bridget Lancaster shows host Christopher Kimball how to make Quicker Cinnamon Buns at home. Next, tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges Chris to a tasting of frozen orange juice. And f...

Done in 281 ms! 61.385 KiB - 7.5% = 56.776 KiB