When most of us think about quiche we flashback to the 70s, to bellbottoms and the Bee Gees. Quiche actually originated centuries ago and this dish’s history has various stories-some say the quiche has roots in England, some say Germany.
Quiche is an often-overlooked brunch dish that is also wonderful for lunch or dinner. A freshly baked crust provides the best vessel for this savory egg dish. My Mom, who was quite industrious, would make several pie crusts at a time, freezing the extra pastry dough for use at a later time. I confess, I have not adopted her wise practice! (But if time is tight, don’t be afraid to use a store-bought pastry crust.)
When I make the pastry for a quiche I pull out the same recipe I use for pies and tarts, minus the sugar. (Check out our recipe for Blueberry Tart.) For convenience, I’ve included it with this recipe. The great thing about quiche, you can use the basic recipe for the custard then add the vegetables or meats you or your family like.
Tomato and Bacon Quiche
For the pastry:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, 1-1/2 sticks
1/3 cup cold water
For the quiche:
1 prebaked 9” pastry shell
5 extra large eggs
2 cups half and half
½ cup Gruyere cheese, grated
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp, then chop
½-3/4 cup diced tomatoes
Cut the butter into cubes, if it’s not really cold chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Combine the flour and kosher salt in a food processor, mix for about 5-10 seconds. Scatter the cold butter cubes on top of the flour.
Pulse about 10 times, just until the butter is the size of peas.
Add the cold water and process for about 10-15 seconds, or just until the water is blended into the flour and butter. Don’t over process or your pastry will be tough. Turn out the mixture on a lightly floured surface and lightly dust your hands with flour.
Gently pull the dough together and press into a disc.
Roll out the dough, shaping into a round about 15”-16”, turning occasionally so the dough doesn’t stick to the surface.
Roll the dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll into a pie pan that has been lightly sprayed with a cooking spray.
Carefully line the pastry shell with parchment paper and fill with either dried beans or pie weights.
Bake the crust on the lowest rack in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to brown. Remove the pastry shell from the oven, take out the dried beans and parchment paper then continue baking for about 15-20 minutes, or until the center is just starting to brown. Cover edges if they start to brown too quickly.
While the pastry shell is baking make the custard for the quiche. Whisk together the half and half, the eggs, shredded Gruyere cheese, kosher salt, black pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper.
In the bottom of the prebaked pastry shell, evenly spread the bacon and the tomatoes.
Place the pastry shell on a baking sheet and pour the egg mixture into the pastry shell.
Set the pan on the center rack of the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the quiche is just set in the center.
Remove and let cool for 10 minutes to allow the custard to fully set.