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IMG_6530What is more French than a quiche? Not much; it is the perfect combination of flaky,  buttery crust and a savoury, creamy, cheesy filling. Quiches can take many forms, the most famous most probably is Quiche Lorraine, which is a lardon (bacon) and gruyère filling. What makes a quiche, a quiche, you might ask? Well, firstly you need the delicious buttery crust and then you fill it with a mixture of eggs and cream. That is it in a nutshell. The choice of fillings is endless and only limited by your imagination. I have included some common suggestions below. But for now, lets make the crust and the filling and then you can decide on the variations. As you can see, for these photographs I have used a store bought tart shell for this one. My next post will be a quiche with duck confit, watch out for it.

IMG_6524IMG_6526IMG_6527To make one 23 cm / 9″ pâte brisée

Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon salt
60 ml / 1/4 cup cold water
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon baking powder
125 g / 7 tablespoons butter
170 g / 1 1/4 cups flour

Preparation:

In a food processor, place the flour,salt and baking powder and process until combined
Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds)
Pour up to 1/4 cup (60 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched
Do not process more than 30 seconds.
Turn the dough out onto your work surface and gather it into a ball
Flatten it into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour before using
Place the pastry, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to fit into a 8 or 9 inch (20 to 23 cm) tart or pie pan
The pastry should be about an inch larger than your pan
When the pastry is rolled to the desired size, lightly roll pastry around your rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll
Unroll onto the top of your tart or pie pan
Gently lay in pan and lightly press pastry into bottom and up sides of pan
If using a tart pan, roll your rolling pin over top of pan to get rid of excess pastry
The pastry is now ready to use

To prebake the tart or pie shell: With the tines of a fork, prick the bottom of the dough (this will prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes)
Refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill the butter
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) and place rack in center of oven
Line the unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil
Fill tart or pie pan with pie weights, rice, or beans
Bake crust for about 15 minutes
Remove the paper and weights and bake another 5 minutes
Cool crust on wire rack
Proceed with desired recipe that calls for a pre-baked shell

 

The filling:

Ingredients:
250 ml / 1 cup heavy cream or crème fraîche
3 eggs
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:
Mix all the ingredients together until smooth
Pour over the filling of your choice
Bake at 200 C / 400F for about 30 minutes until lightly browned, puffed and set
Enjoy!

A choice of fillings:
  • Quiche Lorraine – sauté 250 g / 9 oz lardons or cut up bacon until crisp, add a handful of grated gruyère cheese on the tart shell, sprinkle lardons over and pour in filling
  • Asparagus, well drained if using canned or slightly blanched if fresh
  • Artichokes, well drained and quartered
  • Tuna, drained and flaked
  • Mushrooms, 200 g / 7 oz, sliced and sautéed in a bit of butter
  • Leeks, 2 cut up finely and sautéed in a bit of butter until softened
  • Spinach, 1 or 2 bunches fresh leaves plunged into a pan of boiling water, drained and excess water squeezed out and chop roughly or use frozen, chopped leaves
  • Tomatoes, onions and olives – skin and chop 3 large tomatoes and sauté in olive oil with 1 onion chopped, add a garlic clove, crushed, some dried origanum and a few olives

 

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