I’m afraid of pie crust. Really, it seems terrifying! But I’m trying to buck up, especially because I LOVE quiche. Therefore, this is my first attempt at a quiche, which I made as a breakfast quiche. I used Julia Child’s general quiche instructions, then took my own breakfast spin on it.
- 1¾ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¼ sticks chilled butter
- 2 tablespoons chilled lard or shortening (I used Crisco)
- ⅓ to ½ cup ice water
- Extra flour (for sprinkling)
- Butter (for the foil)–I used a vegetable oil spray
1. Have on hand an 8-or-9-inch fluted French tart pan with removable base. I wish I had this! I just used a 8 inch pie pan.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in my case, food processor), combine the flour and salt. Rapidly cut the butter lengthwise into quarters, then into ¼-inch pieces. Drop them into the flour. Cut the lard or shortening into small pieces and add them too. Turn the mixer to medium and in a minute or so, the mixture should look like coarse meal.
3. Sprinkle with ⅓ cup ice water and continue mixing for a few seconds or until the dough masses on the beaters. Add more water by droplets to unblended bits. For me, the 1/3 cup water was enough.
4. Scrape the dough out of the mixer onto a floured counter. Gather the dough into a ball and press it firmly into a thick cake about 4 inches in diameter. Wrap in foil and refrigerate for 2 hours. I just wrapped it in plastic wrap and threw it into the freezer for an hour because I was rushed, but I would go Julia’s way if you have the time.
5. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough until it is 2 inches larger than your pan. Lift it onto the rolling pin and unroll it over the pan. Lift the edges to settle them in the bottom of the pan. With your thumbs, work the dough gently down the sides of the pan to make them thicker and sturdier than the bottom… Trim off excess dough. Push the dough up to make a ⅛ -inch ridge all around the rim. With the dull edge of a table knife, make a decorative pattern around the rim. Prick the bottom well all over with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
**For me, I did the best I could with the decorative edges, but it wasn’t pretty, haha. I also didn’t refrigerate for 30 minutes, and it still turned out fine, but I would do it if you have the time. Also, my pie crust when I eventually baked it, shrunk a little in the sides. My co-worker suggested it may have been because I stretched the sides of my pie dough. So I’ll try harder next time to do as Julia suggests and slide down the sides to make them thicker and sturdier.
6. Set the oven at 450 degrees.
7. Butter a large sheet of foil. Ease it, buttered side down, into the dough. Fill with dried beans or rice.
I at first tried plastic wrap because I had run out of foil, and I didn’t think about it. DUMB. Don’t do this. Plastic melts in the oven. Luckily I thought about it before DISASTER STRUCK!
8. Bake the pastry in the lower-middle level of the oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until the pastry is set but still slightly soft. Remove the foil and beans or rice, prick the bottom well again with a fork (definitely do this or the crust will balloon up when you return it to the oven, as it did for me!), and return foil and beans to the pastry. Bake 2 to 3 minutes more or until the shell just begins to color. Remove from the oven and cool. Set the pan on a baking sheet.
FILLING (altered from the original recipe, refer to the link for Julia’s fillings)
- half of a ham sausage diced, about ½ a cup or so
- Three small yellow potatoes, sliced into discs
- Greens of your choosing (I used 4 or so kohlrabi greens leaves, because it’s what I had. You can do kale, spinach, etc.)
- 3 eggs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
- ½ cup cream (I had no cream so I just used milk)
- 1½ tablespoons butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces (skipped this as I frankly forgot!)
1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Place a rack in the upper-middle level.
2. In a cast iron or regular skillet, heat up your ham sausage. Add in potatoes and fry until crispy and slightly translucent (5-10 minutes). No need to add oil; the potatoes will cook in the juices of the sausage (or bacon, if you prefer). Add greens just for a minute or two until they wilt. Add to pie crust.
3. In a bowl, beat the eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour the mixture into a 2-cup measure. Add enough of the cream (or milk) to come up to the 1¼-cup level. Pour the mixture into the pastry; it should come ¼ inch from the rim. Dot with the butter.
4. Bake the quiche for 30 to 35 minutes or until the mixture rises and browns. A skewer inserted into the center of the quiche should be clean when withdrawn. If necessary, continue baking for 3 or 4 minutes.
5. Set the tart pan on a small bowl so the sides fall away. Or in my case, loosen from pie crust by running a knife along the edge. Then flip onto cutting board. Slide the quiche onto a dish or board and cut into wedges. Adapted from “From Julia Child’s Kitchen”