Let’s do a little experiment, shall we?
1. Look around your desk, cubicle, coffee table, couch or piggy bank for all the nickels you can find. At least a big handfull of them.
2. Put them in your mouth*.
3. Keep them there. Be sure to “swoosh around” a little.
4. A little longer.
5. You may spit.
That is basically the sort of crime against nature you commit whenever you eat any kind of hydrogenated food product. Those fatty acids chains do not occur in nature, folks, and have to be pumped full of hydrogen in the presence of other nasty nasty metals. Like nickel.
And look, I try to keep my politics out of my food to the extent that it is possible. But people who supply my food should wear overalls and not lab coats.
So this is why I use butter when I want a pie crust.
Sidenote. I told you I bought a food processor a couple of months ago, right? Until yesterday I had used it precisely four times in ten weeks. Once to make a decent but pedestrian roasted corn and tomato salsa (the recipe thoughtfully included on the instructional video), twice to puree soup, and once to shred the veggies that would be sauteed and covered with orzo. (BTW yum!) But I digress. I bought the food processor mainly because I wanted to make better pie crust.
Mercifully, I don’t need brown and tenderly striated flakes of perfection. I need structural support and a cumbby contrast to a richly flavored filling, either chicken pot pie, or, in this case, a quiche.
Now, clearly, I am hardly qualified to render a definitive guide to pie crust. That said, there are a couple of general ideas to keep in mind. Don’t add too much water. Don’t allow your fat to melt, don’t process the dough any more than you have to. All of this has to do with not over-activating the gluten in the flour.
I will also apologize that my pie crust recipe is… sort of… dirty sounding. I like recipes that are easy to remember and this one has measurements that are not only irregular but rife with innuendo. This was not intentional.
Pie Crust. Flour, salt, butter and water. A scoop, a pinch, a stick and a spritz. There I said it, you heard me.
Take a scoop (about of cup) of AP flour, and add a pinch of salt. Spin it in your food processor. Cut the butter into very small cubes and place them in the freezer about an hour before you want to use them.
Add these to the food processor and pulse a few times, until the mixture resembles a sort of loose cornmeal. Spritz in some very cold water, a bit at a time, giving the mixture a pulse or two after each addition (1/4 of a cup MAXIMUM). A more precise measurement is tough given that the mixture will depend on the moisture in the air, etc. But at this point the mixture should just barely hold together if you squeeze it into a tight ball.
Dump your dough onto a lightly floured surface and lightly pat it down until it forms a vaguely cohesive mass. Place the mass inside a plastic bag, and refrigerate the bag for about an hour. This is a very important step that allows the dough to hydrate.
And you know how I said I’m not really an expert on pie crust? I’m not that great about quiche filling either, Basically it’s egg and cream, with fillings. Start with a ratio of one egg and one cup of milk/cream. For a firmer quiche, up the egg
slightly. Personally I prefer 3 to 2, but even four eggs and two cups of milk is fine. Anything above four, I think, is a bit too dry for me.
Preheat your oven to 400. Don’t fret: the quiche will be cooked at a lower temp.
Roll out your pie dough to a 1/4th inch thickness, patching any cracks with bits of loose dough from the edges. (If the dough cracks too easily, add a little more water, reform into a ball, and let it rest again for an hour. )
Place the dough in a pie pan or similar vessel. Poke holes in the bottom so that the steam can escape.
Bake the dough for 15 minutes or so, remove, and turn the heat down to 300 while you assemble the filling:
A quiche filling
3 eggs (at room temperature – run warm water over them if need be)
1 cup milk
1 cup cream (1/2 and half or cream comma heavy whipping)
3 strips of bacon, cut into quarter-sized pieces.
8 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 leek (i’m big into leeks these days)
1/2 a red pepper sliced into ribbons.
1 cup gruyere
Place the milk and the cream in a small saucepan and heat until warm. Whisk the eggs, then whisk in the dairy. Set aside.
Brown the bacon bits, and remove the solids, then sautee the veggies in the pan.
Add veggies, bacon and cheese to the dairy mixture. Pour into the pie shell and re-insert in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. The top of the quiche should still be barely jiggly when you remove it from the oven.
Slice and serve!
*Disclaimer: Do not actually put coins in your mouth. I will not be responsible for any bad taste or unfortunate accidents that may occur.