Quiche Lorraine and more “Pineapple” Buns

Quiche Lorraine

I don’t know what came over me but I was suddenly struck by the overwhelming urge to make and eat quiche.

I followed Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe for Quiche Lorraine and it was fantastic, way different than other quiche recipes I’ve tried before. I can safely say I’m a quiche convert.

The quiches I’ve tried in the past have had lumpier, curdled egg textures like fritattas or omelettes, even adjusting the bake time. I think the ratio of egg to liquid in those recipes must have been too high. The Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe, though, is light, uniform and extremely smooth in consistency. It’s very similar to the mouth-feel of silken tofu, Chinese steamed eggs or Japanese chawanmushi. And even when I microwaved the leftovers the next day the texture stayed the same; the eggy custard didn’t curdle. I was amazed and delighted.

I was originally hesitant to try this particular recipe because of all the bacon it requires (8 slices!). In my home I’m notorious for being a bacon hoarder. All I can say is bacon’s expensive, yo! I only use it on rare occasions for recipes that absolutely can’t be accomplished with a substitute such as for BLT sandwiches, creamy chowders, and now this quiche. No regrets. It was totally worth it!

I didn’t bother crimping the crust. If it’s for a bake sale, sure, but when it’s just my immediate family and me I don’t feel the need to get fancy. After all, it tastes the same with or without.

The only adjustments I made to the recipe were I used black pepper because that’s all I had and I added a large, thinly sliced sauteed onion. I thought with all of the butter in the crust and the cream, bacon and eggs in the filling that there needed to be some veg to balance things out.

It was delish! I highly recommend giving the recipe a try.

Quiche Lorraine from Cook’s Illustrated

Serves 8

The center of the quiche will be surprisingly soft when it comes out of the oven, but the filling will continue to set (and sink somewhat) as it cools. If the pie shell has been previously baked and cooled, place it in the preheating oven for about five minutes to warm it, taking care that it does not burn. Because ingredients in the variations that follow are bulkier, the amount of custard mixture has been reduced to prevent overflowing the crust.

Ingredients

For the Dough
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
4 – 5 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling
8 ounces bacon (about 8 slices) cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

Instructions

FOR THE DOUGH

  1. Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in food processor workbowl fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, tossing to coat with flour. Cut butter into flour with five 1-second pulses. Add shortening and continue cutting in until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.
  2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, using folding motion to mix. Press down on mixture with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if it will not come together. Shape dough into ball, squeezing two or three times with hands until cohesive, then flatten into 4-inch-wide disk. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling.
  3. Remove dough from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly, about 10 minutes if dough has chilled for 30 minutes or 20 minutes if it has chilled overnight. (The dough should be pliable. Use your hands to squeeze the dough; if you can squeeze it without applying too much pressure, it is ready to roll.) Roll dough on lightly floured work surface or between two sheets plastic wrap to a 12-inch disk about 1/8-inch thick. Fold dough in quarters, then place dough point in center of pie pan. Unfold dough. Alternatively, roll dough in 2-gallon zipper-lock bag to a 12-inch disk about 1/8-inch thick. Cut away top of bag. Grasping bottom, flip dough into pie pan and peel off bag bottom.
  4. Working around circumference of pan, press dough carefully into pan corners by gently lifting dough edges with one hand while pressing around pan bottom with other hand . Trim edge to 1/2-inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is about 1/4-inch beyond pan lip; flute dough in your own fashion. For quiche or tart pans, lift the edge of the dough, allowing the extra dough to flop over the sides. Then run the rolling pin over the top of the pan to remove excess dough. Next use your forefinger and thumb, press the dough evenly up the sides from the bottom to increase the height of the rim. Refrigerate pie shell for 40 minutes and then freeze for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Press doubled 12-inch square of aluminum foil inside dough shell; evenly distribute 1 cup or 12 ounces ceramic or metal pie weights over foil. Bake, leaving foil and weights in place, until dough dries out, about 17 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights by gathering sides of foil and pulling up and out. For partially baked crust, continue baking until lightly golden brown, about 9 minutes more; for fully baked crust, continue baking until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

FOR THE FILLING

  1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Fry bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate. Meanwhile, whisk all remaining ingredients except cheese in medium bowl.
  2. Spread cheese and bacon evenly over bottom of warm pie shell and set shell on oven rack. Pour in custard mixture to 1/2-inch below crust rim. Bake until lightly golden brown and a knife blade inserted about one inch from the edge comes out clean, and center feels set but soft like gelatin, 32 to 35 minutes. Transfer quiche to rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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I also gave the pineapple bun recipe I mentioned last time another try. I was a wimp with the edible baker’s ammonia before and only used 1/8 tsp. This time I used the full 1/4 tsp amount and I think it looks even better than before.

“Pineapple” Buns

“Pineapple” Buns

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