We frequently buy Costco’s egg white quiches because they are handy for a quick meal and Little Missy loves them. Unfortunately our local Costco hasn’t sold our favorite two-pack of broccoli cheddar and spinach quiches lately so I decided to make my own the other day, figuring if it worked it could become a good addition to the dinner rotation. I have several quiche recipes, many of which call for shortening for the crust, which I do not have in my pantry and sort of grosses me out. Then I found a recipe in a book I have called The New Cook by Pamela Gwyther using butter. I decided to give it a go using stick margarine instead and I thought it came out OK. The crust was a little thick, but that was mostly because the pan I used was 2 inches smaller than what the recipe called for. I didn’t use all the dough, but I still could have rolled it even thinner. Having never made quiche or pie crust before, I wasn’t very sure about the process and I found for a book called The New Cook, the directions were a bit lacking. Maybe with more practice, I’ll get better at making the dough.
I used onion and mushroom for the filling (even though the recipe was for a traditional quiche Lorraine – I didn’t have lardons of bacon and I wanted to be a little healthier too as I’m trying to lose the baby weight). The hubs and I liked it, Little Missy, not so much. I wasn’t totally surprised because she isn’t a fan of mushrooms. Her dislike for mushrooms is more of a texture issue so I hoped if I cut up the ‘shrooms small enough she would have been OK, but that wasn’t the case. I was surprised though that Missy ended up liking my round two tart, which was more of an experiment I did with the little bit of left over dough. I wasn’t even intending to give it to her but it was ready close to her dinner time so I figured why not see what she says? She liked the tart so much she asked for seconds but unfortunately I only had enough dough for one little tart. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Girl liked feta! Looks like the round two recipe might become a round one recipe!
Round One: Quiche Lorraine (my notes in italics)
Preparation Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling
Cooking Time: 1 hour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting (I used 1 cup AP flour and ½ cup whole wheat flour)
- 6 tbsp butter (or use half butter and half vegetable shortening) (as I mentioned above, I used margarine to save some calories. 1 tbs of butter has 100 calories!!!)
- 2-3 tbsp cold water, to mix
- 8 oz/225 g lardons, or bacon strips, snipped into small pieces (I used 2 cups dried wild mushrooms that I reconstituted and chopped fine, then sautéed with onion)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 eggs
- 1 ¼ cups light cream (I used 1% milk)
- Salt and pepper
You will need a 10 inch /24 cm diameter fluted quiche pan, a cooks knife, a cutting board, a skillet, a wooden spatula, a rolling pin, a flour dredger, a mixing bowl, a sheet of baking parchment, some baking beans, and a cookie sheet.
1) Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and gently rub in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Sprinkle in the cold water and stir well using a round-bladed knife. Continue to mix until you have a smooth dough. (this is where I really felt my inexperience in making pastry as I kept mixing and mixing and no dough formed. Finally I had to just use my hands to press it together. I’m not sure if this is what you’re supposed to do or if I was just missing something. )
2) Wrap in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
3) Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Fry the bacon in a dry skillet until the fat runs. Add the onion and continue to cook for 5 minutes until the bacon is crispy and the onion is soft and just turning golden. (I always feel recipes tell you to turn on your oven waaaaay too soon, and this one takes the cake. You still have to roll out the dough and let it rest in the fridge for another half hour before you need the oven. So I say save energy and wait to turn on the oven! When you do turn on the oven, put in a cookie sheet so it’s hot when you’re ready to put the quiche in. The recipe tells you this little fact a little late in the game – as you’re about the put the thing in the oven.)
4) On a lightly floured counter, roll out the dough into a round 2 inches/5 cm larger than the quiche pan. Fold the dough over the rolling pin and lift the dough over the pan. Ease the dough into the pan without stretching and press down lightly into the corners. Roll the excess dough to neaten the pie shell. Prick the base of the pie shell and chill, uncovered, in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. (See what I mean? You’d have the oven blazing away while your crust rests. My oven takes about 15 minutes to get to temperature, so I turned on the oven about half way through the resting time)
5) Line the pie shell with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake on a heated cookie sheet in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. This process is “baking blind.” Remove the parchment and beans and return the pie shell to the oven for 10 minutes more until quite dry. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F/180C.
6) Beat the eggs and cream together in a bowl. Season well.
7) Put the bacon and onion into the pie shell and carefully pour in the egg mixture.
8) Put it on the cookie sheet and then bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until set and golden brown; it will be quite puffed up. Serve immediately. Alternatively, to serve cold, let cool, cover with plastic wrap, and then store in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours until needed.
This quiche can be made without baking blind as long as you are going to eat it hot straight away; in this case bake at the hotter temperature for 30-40 minutes.
Suitable for freezing. Cool first in a refrigerator for 2-4 hours, then open freeze on a cookie sheet. Remove from the freezer, discard the cookie sheet and wrap well in foil or a large plastic bag. To use, thaw at room temperature for 5-6 hours and warm through in the oven at 250F/180C for 20 minutes before serving.
By the way, if you are interested in this cookbook, the recipes are very British oriented (steak and mushroom pie, sausage rolls, etc)and there is a lot of instruction and background information throughout the book, and you can actually get it for as little as 1 cent (!!) on amazon.com (plus s&h). No, I have not been paid to say this…
Round Two: Rustic Tomato Tart (my original recipe)
- Leftover uncooked quiche dough/savory pie crust (or make or buy dough to make several of these)
- Flour for rolling
- Thinly sliced tomato (about ½ medium tomato, or 3 slices per tart)
- Crumbled feta cheese (about 1 tbs per tart)
- Salt, pepper, dried basil
1) Preheat oven to 400F. If you are just making 1 or 2 of these, you can also use a toaster oven on the bake setting so you’re not heating an entire oven.
2) On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to form a 5-6 inch rough circle. The rolled out dough should be pretty thin, about 1/8 inch. It does not need to have a neat edge as this is a rustic tart.
3) Place the rolled dough on a cookie sheet and place one layer of tomato slices in the center of the crust, slightly overlapping the edges and leaving approximately half an inch free around the edge.
4) Season with salt pepper and dried basil, to taste but a pinch of basil should be sufficient. Feel free to use fresh instead of dried basil if you have it.
5) Carefully spoon 1 tbs of crumbled feta on top of the tomatoes.
6) Fold the edge of the crust over the tomatoes and feta, leaving the center exposed. Press lightly to make sure the dough sticks to itself and won’t open while baking.
7) Bake in a 400F oven for approximately 30 minutes until cheese and crust are browned.
8) Serve hot or at room temperature. You may drizzle a little olive oil on top if you wish.