Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bacon and Cheese Quiche for #SundaySupper and #CookForJulia


Who doesn't love Julia Child? Her crazy high-pitched voice, her fondness for butter and wine, and above all her enthusiasm for life and food. She was a great light and a great inspiration, especially for people who love food and for late bloomers.


Because I am so fond of her, I knew I had to participate in this week's #SundaySupper event, despite a nasty flu-like bug that has left me aching and feverish. This week's #SundaySupper is all about honoring Julia Child, who would have turned 100 years on August 15, by cooking some of her recipes. The last words of her introduction to The Way to Cook express some of the ideals of the #SundaySupper group: "The pleasures of the table--that lovely old-fashioned phrase--depict food as an art form, as a delightful part of civilized life. In spite of food fads, fitness programs, and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."


After flipping through my copy of The Way to Cook, I decided to make a bacon and cheese quiche with a scratch-made crust, which may have been a little ambitious given the fever I've had all day, but hey, it's Julia, you know? How could I possibly just go and buy a crust?

This is the first pastry crust I have ever made, and I am happy to have finally tried it. I feel capable of making more pies, tarts, and quiches now (honestly, if I didn't have a bunch of book chapters to clean up for a client, I'd do it again tomorrow). Let me be clear, this wasn't easy. Making a good pie or tart crust is a difficult, fiddly business. But it's remarkably satisfying. And it tastes good and buttery, and it's nice, crisp, and flaky. The base recipe is also easy to repurpose for savory or sweet uses, so if you learn to make this one crust, you can make a lot of different tasty treats.  

For the quiche shells, I deviated only in one respect from Julia's recipe. In place of the vegetable shortening required in the recipe (which I don't feel comfortable using because it's a mystery ingredient to me), I used lard. (I was so excited to find a source for local, grass-fed pork lard at the farmers market this morning; I know, call me a food nerd, it'll make me happy.) Let me explain a little about lard. Before the invention of hydrogenation, "shortening" was equivalent to "lard," which is white pork fat. Lard doesn't taste porky at all, it is a clean fat that is solid at room temperature (and very easy to make yourself). It prevents the formation of long strings of gluten, which means that your dough will be tender, not chewy like bread. If you don't want to use lard, just swap it out with vegetable shortening.

OK, so let's get to work. (And don't forget to skip to the end of this post and check out all the other tasty recipes and blog posts that are part of today's #SundaySupper #CookForJulia event!)

Ingredients for the Quiche Shells (Butter Dough)
  • 1 1/2 cups (7.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 tsp salt (for savory tarts) OR 1/4 tsp salt and 2 Tbsps sugar (for sweet tarts)
  • 6 ounces chilled, unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 ounces chilled lard (or vegetable shortening, if you must)
  • 1/2 cup ice water (plus a few extra drops as needed)
You will also need two 9-inch tart pans (or you can use two 9-inch pie pans), plastic wrap, tin foil, pie weights (or dried beans), and extra butter.

Instructions for the Quiche Shells

I recommend making the shells at least a day before you plan to make the quiche. You can also shape the crust in the tart pan and freeze it for another day.

First, mix together the dry ingredients: the flours and the salt (or the flours, the salt, and the sugar).


Then, add the flour mixture and the diced cold butter to a food processor. Pulse the flour and the butter about 5 to 6 times (don't overwork this). Next, with the food processor running, add the lard (or shortening). Then add the ice water and pulse again about 5 to 6 times. The mass in the bowl should be loose and clumpy.


If you pick up a fist-sized clump of the dough, it should just come together. If it's too dry, add a few more drops of water. 


Turn the loose, clumpy mass out onto a baking board (if you have a marble board, now's the time to use it). Just barely mash it all together and make two flat discs. (Keep in mind that you want to work this dough as little as possible.) Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least two hours and up to two days to let the gluten relax.


After you've let the dough chill, roll it out on a floured board. (Keep the dough cold. If it gets too soft to work with, just chill the dough again for 20-30 minutes and start over.) Roll it out to a diameter of about 12 inches (about an inch larger than the tart pan). Then roll the dough onto the rolling pin. Butter the tart pan.  

  
Gently roll the dough on top of the buttered tart pan. 


Push down the extra dough to thicken the side walls of the tarts. Cut off any excess dough by rolling the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan. Use any extra dough to fill holes as needed. Prick the dough all over and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (Here's where you can freeze the dough to bake it another time.)

When it's time to bake the shells, preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a sheet of tinfoil and place it butter side down on top of the raw dough. Place either dried beans or pie weights on top of the foil, filling the pan. Slide the pan into the oven. 

After 15 minutes, take the pan out of the oven (be very careful if you have a pan with a bottom that separates from the ring). Remove the pie weights or beans and the tinfoil. Prick the dough again and slide back into the oven for another 4 to 5 minutes to get some nice color. 

   
After you take the shells out of the oven, let them cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove the pan and let them cool completely. 


Ingredients for the Bacon and Cheese Quiche Filling

(This is enough for one shell. Feel free to use the second shell for another filling, or wrap it carefully and freeze it.)
  • 6 slices bacon, sliced into pieces (of course, I used the Haskins' incomparable bacon
  • 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese (cheddar would be good too)
  • salt, pepper, grated nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs plus enough heavy cream, half and half, or milk to get 1 1/2 cups
Instructions for Assembling and Baking the Bacon and Cheese Quiche

Place the shell back into the tart ring or pan for stability. 


Cook the bacon until it's crispy and let it drain a bit on paper towels. Line the bottom of the quiche shell with the pieces of bacon. 


Sprinkle all but a tablespoon of the cheese on top of the bacon. 


Mix the eggs with the cream, half and half, or milk (just enough to break up the yolks and disperse them evenly throughout the custard). Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. I also added some fresh thyme from the garden. Pour the eggs into the shell and sprinkle the reserved cheese on top. Slide into the oven for 30-35 minutes until the eggs have puffed and browned.  


Let the cooked quiche cool on a rack for a little while, slice, and enjoy.


You can find other quiche fillings and lots of other great Julia Child recipes at these #SundaySupper blogs:


#CookForJulia Breakfast
Râpée Morvandelle by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings 
Croissants by Cookistry 
#CookForJulia Lunch
Tuna Salad Nicoise by Magnolia Days 
Blood Orange, Walnut, and Rocket Salad by Granny’s Down Home Southern Cooking 
Croque Monsieur by Webicurean
Spinach and Cream Cheese Pancakes by Happy Baking Days 
Julia’s Chicken Salad by My Trials in the Kitchen 
Pissaladière Niçoise (Onion Tart with Anchovies and Black Olives) by The Wimpy Vegetarian
Provencal Tomato Quiche by Are you hungry?
Quiche Lorraine  Spoon and Saucer 
#CookForJulia Dinner
Boeuf Bourguignon by Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence
Orecchiette Con Broccoli Di Rape and Sausages by Doggie at the Dinner Table 
Boeuf Bourguignon by Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
Veal Stew with Onions and Mushrooms with Baked Cucumbers and Boiled Potatoes (Blanquette de veau a l’ancienne with concombres au buerre) by Kimchi Mom
Salmon en Papillote by Girlichef
Poached salmon with cucumber sauce by Katherine Martinelli
Lobster Souffle and Deviled Chicken by Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends 
Roasted Chicken with Julia’s Mustard Marinade by The Meltaways
Wild Mushroom and Herb Stuffed Chicken by Mama Mommy Mom
Puree of White Beans with Garlic and Herbs (Brandade á la Soissonaise) by Avocado Pesto
Poulet au Porto by Family Foodie 
#CookForJulia Sides
Hollondaise over Blanched Asparagus by The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Scalloped Potatoes with Milk, Cheese, and Garlic (Gratin Dauphinois) by Home Cooking Memories 
Ratatouille by Basic N Delicious 
French-style country pate by There and Back Again
White Bean Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips by Momma’s Meals
Oeufs à la Diable by What Smells So Good?
Soubise by The Weekend Gourmet
Ratatouille by Cupcakes and Kale Chips
#CookForJulia Desserts
Cream Cheese and Lemon Flan by Juanita’s Cocina
Strawberry Sherbert in Cooky Cups by Cravings of a Lunatic
Creme Brulee by Wine Everyday
Mousseline Au Chocolat by Small Wallet Big Appetite
Peach Tarte Tatin by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Cinnamon Toast Flan by Vintage Kitchen Notes
Dark Chocolate Crepes by Family Spice
Crepes Fines Sucrees by Mangoes and Chutney
Pommes Rosemarie:Apples Rosie by The Daily Dish Recipes
Espresso Soufflé by Chocolate Moosey
Best Ever Brownies by In the Kitchen with Audrey
Orange-Almond Jelly Roll Cake by Mrs. Mama Hen
Orange Spongecake Cupcakes by Mama’s Blissful Bites
Orange Mousse with Greek Yogurt by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
Wine Pairings: Relishing Food and Wine; Thanks to Julia Child! by ENOFYLZ

The fun starts every week at 3:00pm ET by showcasing fabulous recipes. At 7:00 pm ET, we will start our live chat. Join us on Twitter by using hashtag #Sundaysupper or using Tweetchat. See you there!

65 comments:

  1. I LOVE quiche! This looks and sounds delicious!

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    1. Thanks! It was really delicious. Making my own shells really made a difference.

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  2. This look gorgeous! Thanks for sharing Tora!

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  3. Wishing I had a slice now! I was planning to make one of Julia's quiches and thought about using lard in the pie crust too. You have convinced me do to so. Thanks!

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    1. Definitely use lard in the crust combined with some good butter. The crust was just so flaky and good.

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  4. Your crust looks amazing! Quiche is always a great choice and while I usually cheat and use pre-made crust, I'm going to have to attempt to make this one.

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    1. Thanks! Apparently you can pre-bake and freeze them, which I think I might do because the crust just tasted so much better than any purchased I've come across.

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  5. A homemade pie crust puts this quiche in another place. I wish I had this waiting for me right now! Nice pics. Have a great sunday!

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    1. It really does. You see so many quiches in the store, and they don't seem all that special, but this was really something above.

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  6. There is NOTHING better than a beautiful and well-made quiche. And then you add in the homemade crust? Simply divine!

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    1. Thanks, Jen, from you that's very high praise indeed!

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  7. I know some people say different - but I think homemade crust is a world of difference (and way above) storebought. Your crust and the quiche that lies within looks absolutely mouthwatering!

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    1. I know, some people do, but there really is a world of difference.

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  8. This looks to die for, you make the dough look so easy to make! Great job! Happy #SundaySupper!

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    1. Thanks so much! Happy Sunday Supper yourself!

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  9. I truly love quiche. You did a great job with the crust - looks delicious!

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    1. Thanks so much. It was great. I want to try a few variants on quiche now.

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  10. What a beautiful quiche! This sounds soo good for breakfast right now!

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    1. It was so good. We had it for dinner AND breakfast. :)

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  11. I have to be honest, I have never made a quiche because I am so intimidated about making a crust! And for your first time...wow is all I can say! Well done! Thank you so much for being a part of this #SS :)

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    1. Well, I was definitely scared to try it, but you know, it's for Julia and her "what-the-hell attitude." I look forward to doing it again, especially now that I have some wonderful local lard.

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  12. You did a fine job on that crust! I can't believe you have a source for local, grass-fed pork lard--I'm still wrapping my brain around that lol

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    1. Ha ha ha! I know, right? I knew if I looked in the right places, I was sure to find it.

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  13. Quiche is something even my stepbrother likes!! Will be passing this one on to mom for sure

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  14. Great job on the crust! They look fantastic.

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  15. OMG Tora your display is absolutely gorgeous!!! Hubby would flip over this quiche for sure. Added to the top of my Julia recipe list and had to share it on Google too.

    Hope you are feeling better.

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    1. Thanks so much for the lovely compliment! Had another week of misery (other kinds), which is why I am so late responding to these wonderful comments, but I think things are turning around at last.

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  16. You are a brave woman to tackle a pastry crust and yours looks pretty beautiful! You've inspired me to try to make crust again!

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    1. Do it! It's fun, even if it's hard. And when it turns out, boy do you feel good!

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  17. This quiche looks delicious! I've never made my own crust, but I'm sure it makes such a difference.

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  18. Looks so wonderful! I've never made a quiche, but you've inspired me to give it a try.

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    1. Oh you should totally do it! The crusts are a bit tricky, but once you have them, the rest is easy peasy.

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  19. I have a complete fear of making crust, so I'm impressed you did it for the first time for this post...and that you did it while sick! Bravo! You have inspired me to try again until I get it right.

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    1. I have wanted to make a pie crust for years, but I haven't had the guts to try it. Now, I think I could make a pie as well, using the same dough and method.

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  20. That looks amazing! What a great job you did and kudos on diving right in and trying a crust the first time for this post. Brave woman, gutsy — just like Julia! Good for you. :)

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    1. Thanks so much! It was fun, and Julia is such an inspiration to try things you've never done before.

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  21. Love the thyme! And the bacon! And the cheese! Ok, so I need to make this one too. :)

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    1. LOL! Thyme, bacon, and cheese do go rather nicely together. :)

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  22. This is a stunning quiche. Love the crust.

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  23. Yummy ! Great combo. Have never made a crust from scratch ! Yours looks perfect !

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    1. Thanks so much! It's a little scary the first time, but if you know your way around a kitchen it's definitely worth trying.

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  24. Congrats on your first pastry shell - and I love all the photos you made of all the steps in making the pastry shell. Once you start making your own, you never look back!

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    1. Thanks! I will definitely make this crust again. It was so flaky, and the flavor was just lovely and buttery.

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  25. Of course you couldn't go buy a shell! Nothing like homemade and your came out great. You are right, vegetable shortening is kind of a mystery ingredient! Bacon, cheese, eggs, pastry - yes please!

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  26. Quiche is one of my favorite foods and I've never even made one at home! Crazy! Your bacon egg and cheese quiche recipes would be perfect for my first try!

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    1. Oh I am sure your family would love it. It was excellent.

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  27. Absolutely lovely! I love quiche! I feel the same way about vegetable shortening, I'm really not a fan of it, and tend to just do all butter pastry crust, which tends to be my down fall :-( I've never worked with lard, but I think I'll give it at try now!

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    1. I think the trick is to combine lard and butter. That way you get the wonderful flavor of the butter, while the lard helps to create that nice flakiness. I was really pleased with how they turned out.

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  28. I love that you used lard LOL I've always wondered how vegetable shortening is even possible.

    Anyway, I love a good quiche and this looks amazing!

    Jamie @ www.mamamommymom.com

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    1. I just don't know what vegetable shortening really is, and I even started college decades ago as a chemist. Lard makes more sense to me, especially since I know it came from pigs who lived happy lives.

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  29. Gosh, hope you're feeling better! Your quiche looks just delish! Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner! And I'd be happy eating it 3 times in one day :)

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    1. LOL! Well, we ate it twice in one day and enjoyed it a lot. It was so good.

      And thank you, I think I am finally starting to come out of this miserable trough I've been in for a few weeks now.

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  30. Thank you for the great tutorial on quiche shells! Those wonderful pictures are really helpful :)

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    1. Wonderful! The book I used had a bunch of great pictures, and it really made sense to show what the crumb is supposed to look like. A verbal description probably wouldn't be enough.

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  31. Made it today! it is divine! the only things I changed was: no bacon or lard because my daughter is a vegetarian and I just added chopped fresh rosemary to the dough before baking, it gave it a delicious taste! Thanks for the wonderful pictures and directions!

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  32. There are two very important features to an excellent quiche: a light, flaky crust and a heavenly filling. Quiche is such as simple meal. It can be served for regular family dinners, a brunch or for an elegant entree for guests. Basic quiche recipes begin with eggs beaten light and frothy. The number of eggs depends on the size of the quiche. In most cases, 4 eggs may be adequate to balance out other ingredients.

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