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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pie Crust and Quiche Filling

Pie Crust and Quiche Filling
This is the perfect recipe for a lovely Valentine’s Day Brunch no matter if you have a special someone in your life or you are cooking for a group of single friends. I have been making quiches for many years and I love them, dearly! I have never met anyone who does not love creamy, cheesy egg custard served in a tender flaky crust! You can easily make the crust and line your pan with it the day before. Just wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator overnight, until you are ready to throw the filling together and bake it! To really wow, your love, or your friends, serve it with fresh, stemmed strawberries and champagne! One of my favorite movies is Like Water for Chocolate, simply because it was all about a love affair that was wrapped up with food! Food prepared with love and compassion gives it that wondrous sensation that increases passion, excitement, happiness, and feelings of contentment. No wonder it impels people on the brink of falling for someone, to leap over the edge! Maybe this truly, yummy brunch will get that certain someone’s attention and Cupid’s arrow will strike!
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
¼ cup butter, cut into chunks about the size of the tip of your middle finger
¾ cup ice water
1. Makes one 12” pie crust
2. Every ingredient must be very cold if you want your crust to turn out flaky and delicious!

Prepare your quiche pan by using a butter paper to grease it. Place the flour and the salt in a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the shortening, using your fingers squeeze the shortening into the flour making sure to leave small chunks (about the size of the tip of your middle finger) of shorting in the flour mixture. Add the butter a few pieces at a time, with your fingers, gently mix the butter into the flour mixture until the butter chunks are coated with flour. Then add the water a little at a time, still mixing gently with your fingers, until your dough starts to come together. As soon as your dough will form a loose ball, stop adding water. Do not mash your dough ball together; otherwise, your crust may not be flaky. Your dough should not be crumbly or wet but should stay together in a ball. Place your dough ball on a cold, floured surface. Gently press your ball of dough into a circle, then using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle about 2 inches larger than your pan and about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough turn it and make sure, it has flour under it so that it does not stick to the surface you are using. Gently fold your dough in half and place into one-half of your quiche pan. Then gently lift the folded half and pull it over the rest of your pan. Gently press into the pan so that about one inch of dough is overhanging the edge of the pan. Press into sides of the pan and starting from the outside of the pan gently roll the overhanging dough up to sit on the rim of the pan. Using your index finger, your middle finger, and your thumb (your thumb should be on the outside edge of the pan) gently squeeze the dough to make a crimped edge.
Notice the chunks of shortening and butter in the crust. As you roll out your dough they flatten out and will make your crust very tender and flaky!
See how flaky this crust turned out!
1. If your dough ball is a bit too wet, roll it around on your floured surface to remove the dampness.
2. If your dough ball crumples, return it to the mixing bowl, add a little more water, and try to form a ball again.
3. When you roll out your dough, make sure it is about 1/8 inch thick otherwise; it may not cook through in the time it takes for the filling to cook.
4. If your dough cracks or splits use, your finger dipped in ice water to rub both edges of the split, then gently press together to cement the dough back together.
5. If you have more than one inch of dough overhanging the edge of your pan just trim off the excess and roll up to crimp.
6. If part of your overhanging dough is less than one inch, you can use the trimmed scraps to add dough to the edge. Just use the ice water cement to glue it together.

1 – prepared quiche pan with prepared dough (recipe above)
1 – 10 oz package frozen spinach
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup half n’ half
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
A few grinds of fresh black pepper
10 large eggs

Place a sheet pan on the middle rack of your oven. Preheat your over to 350 degrees. Place the spinach brick in a bowl and microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes or until completely thawed but not hot. Dump the spinach onto a clean kitchen towel, fold up, and press all the moisture out of the spinach. In a medium sized skillet sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon of butter, sprinkle with a teaspoon of kosher salt, and continue cooking stirring occasionally, until the onions are opaque and slightly caramelized, cool before adding to the egg mixture. In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle, crack the eggs into the bowl, beat slowly until the yokes are broken, turn the mixer up to medium, beat for about 2 minutes, turn the mixer to high and beat for an additional minute or until the eggs are frothy. Turn the mixer off and remove the bowl from the machine. Add the half n’ half, the spinach and the onions. Mix well to break up the spinach and completely combine, add the cheese and a few grinds of black pepper. Fold to combine. Pour into your prepared pan. Place your quiche on the hot sheet pan in your oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until the filling is just set in the middle and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Do not over bake.
Tips :
1. Makes one 12” quiche
2. For a lower fat, healthier version of this recipe replace half of the half n’ half with 1% milk, reduce the amount of grated cheese to 1 cup, and sauté the onions in 2 teaspoons of olive oil instead of the butter. Your quiche will not be as creamy, though. You may also want to substitute half of the unbleached flour, in the crust, with whole-wheat flour. I like my pie and quiche crust made with unbleached flour as I feel that whole-wheat flour is just too heavy for the delicately flavored ingredients in most quiche and pie recipes.
3. You can easily vary the ingredients in this quiche recipe. Some ideas are bacon, one sautéed jalapeño pepper (seeds and the ribs removed), shallots, and Monterey jack cheese; or bell peppers, red onion, garlic, ham, and Swiss cheese; or Italian sausage, fresh oregano, fresh basil, tomato, and mozzarella cheese.


  1. Cannot wait to try this quiche. Should not read this while I'm hungry! Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes Debbie!

  2. This looks amazing Debbie! I have never made a quiche crust {I do the crustless thing a lot because I never knew how!} thanks so much for the tutorial and super easy directions!

    1. That fear of making pie crusts is directly related genetically! However, my mom was the pie crust queen!