Letting Life Lead
So, I made lemon meringue pie for my little brother’s birthday last week, and the curd came out really supercalifragilisticexpialidociously good (I used Meyer lemons), but the crust was…stupid. I followed a recipe, and it didn’t work out. It was edible, and that’s all I can say about it.
Everybody (except my husband because he doesn’t like these kinds of pies; he has texture issues) said it was delicious. But I was mad. The meringue was being an ass too; it wouldn’t whip stiff. Stupid pie.
What’s that have to do with quiche? I had leftovers filling up the fridge and I decided to redeem myself in the pie crust department. I watched a non-measuring chef’s video for quiche crust: flour, egg, butter, pinch of salt, pinch of sugar.
I made my own. I eyeballed it. And BAM! Beautiful crust. This series ain’t called Inconsistent for nothing.
Ready to cook without an exact recipe? Ready to play with ratios? I bet you are. Open up that fridge find some eggs and some sad looking leftovers.
For the crust (approximately):
1 cup of all purpose flour (cold if you can)
1/2 stick of cold butter, small cubes (or some butter and some solid vegetable shortening)
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
1 cold egg
1/2 to 1 tbsp of water
To the flour add a big pinch of salt and sugar. This is for your taste so remember if next time you want to use more or less.
Cut the butter (or butter and shortening) into the flour until it looks crumbly with some nice chunks. If you have pie maker’s hands like me (cold like a zombie) you can use your fingers if you work quickly. All you other hot-handed people are better off with a pastry cutter or food processor (my cheap little Hamilton Beach died five years ago, but I got my eye on this baby…maybe one day).
Combine the egg with 1/2 tbsp of water and mix well. Make a well in the flour-butter mixture, pour in the egg and work through the flour incorporate. Dough should be supple. Not stiff or sticky. Don’t overwork it; don’t knead. There will be butter and fat chunks visible. This is what you want. If the dough is too dry add the remaining 1/2 tbsp of water a few drops at a time until the dry bits come together.
Let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Two hours is better. Overnight is super good — you well-organized cook you.
Thirty minutes worked fine for me…
For the filling:
For every 1 egg use 1/2 cup of milk or half-and-half
(Note: I used 4 eggs and 1 and 1/4 cup of almond milk because almond milk does not have as much fat and too much won’t set right.)
Whisk egg and milk or milk substitute of your choice.
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 cup cheddar cheese or cheese blend
1 ripe tomato
that ham everyone is tired of eating…last week, diced small
half a bag of spinach, steamed, squeezed, and chopped
chives (dried or fresh)
Anything else (cooked or saute’d) you want to throw in there…
Roll out the dough and press into a tart pan; roll a rolling pin over the top to cut the edges off easily. You don’t need a tart pan, but they are fun. Use any damn pan you got as long as it is oven safe. Technically, you can also make quiche crustless, which is also tasty.
Pour in the filling. Be careful not to overflow.
Bake in a 400F oven for about 25-30 minutes. Use your nose and eyes. Don’t trust that dial on the oven if you don’t have an oven thermometer. I chose to pre-bake my crust for about 8 minutes, but that isn’t necessary.
The kids said: What smells so good!
And it heated up nicely in the oven the next day. Oh, yeah!
So, tell me. You ever made pie crust?
writing, traveling, and tap dancing around town.
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