Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Quiche, Julia, and Me

A few years ago Nick gave me "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" for my birthday.  Many pleasant afternoons have been spent pouring through it over a cup of tea, but not a single recipe had come to fruition, until yesterday. I've been a little intimidated by the over 1,000 pages of recipes, terms and technique.

I had my heart set on a summer quiche, so I consulted Ms. Child and decided I was thoroughly capable of this dish, something that is considered a light "luncheon"meal took me the better part of a day, but that's another story.  The instructions for the crust alone are over 8 pages, so I will give you a brief overview here.  However, I suggest you read through her directions to get  a thorough understanding of making pie crust!

First I made the pastry dough or "páte briseě" as we call it in France.

2 cups flour (I sifted)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
4 TB chilled shortening

Scant half cup of iced water

Mix the dry ingredients in a food processor, add butter and pulse until it resembles pea-sized crumbs.

Add the iced water and blend with hands. Julia is a bit particular about exactly how to finish up the dough.  Consult her book for exact directions.

I rolled it out and pushed half the dough into an 8-inch cake pan.  Again, this is not quite right according to Julia (she's very demanding of her ingredients and tools) but I did my best with what I had.  She suggests sending away for pans and such by mail order, FYI.

Once you have it rolled out, put some dry beans or a weight in and cook at 400˚ for about 10 minutes or until very lightly browned.

I have made a few quiches before, but mostly I've just sort of thrown eggs and milk into a pre-made pie crust and hoped for the best.  Yesterday I scrupulously followed the recipe.

6-8 slices bacon, simmered and chopped
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of nutmeg

I also added some leeks.

Pour into prepared par-baked pie shell and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until top puffs up.

Puff up little quiche! Puff!!

When Nick got home from work yesterday I had a chilled glass of white wine ready, a quiche in the oven and the table set.  I would have felt like the quintessential 50's housewife if only I had showered in the last couple of days and Callah was wearing more than a diaper and marker stains.

Ah well. I think my next quilting project is going to be an over the top frilly apron so I can look the part!

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