Crust: (If time is a concern, by all means, use a good quality pre-made crust.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup very cold lard, cut in small cubes
(you can use half butter and half lard for a crisper crust)
½ cup ice water (more or less)
In a large bowl, mix flour and salt.
Make a well in the center and scrape in the lard cubes.
Using your fingers or a pastry blender, quickly rub the lard into the flour until it resembles oatmeal, with a few pea-sized chunks.
Again, make a well in the center, and pour in a little more than half of the water.
Using your fingers, just toss the flour into the water and without exerting too much pressure, ‘encourage’ the mixture into a ball.
The Number 1 reason for tough pastry is over-handling!!
If it is a bit dry, add more water, a bit at a time until the mixture comes together.
Divide the dough in half, form it into two flat circles, and refrigerate to ‘rest’ for about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, assemble the filling for the quiche.
Four large eggs
½ tsp. salt
few grinds of fresh pepper (about ¼ tsp.)
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 can of Carnation milk or 1 cup whole milk and ¼ cup heavy cream.
Beat eggs with a whisk, and add milk, whisking to combine.
The variations for quiche are endless. The classic involves cheese, bacon and green onion, but your imagination will guide you.
I often make it with small amounts of leftovers from the fridge. If you use mushrooms, spinach or fresh vegetables, like broccoli, cook them first and drain them very well, so your quiche won’t be watery.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll out one circle of pastry on a well-floured board. Gently fit it into the pie plate. Trim the edges to just a bit bigger than the pie plate and fold them under. Crimp the edges evenly with your fingers.
If you have time, cut a circle of parchment and fit it in the bottom of the pie plate.
Fill it with pie weights or dried beans and pre-bake it for about 10 minutes.
Remove the pie weights, prick the bottom in a few places with a fork
and return to the oven for about 5 minutes.
Allow it to cool to room temperature.
(This step is not necessary, but it helps to avoid a soggy bottom crust.)
Cover the bottom of the shell with grated cheese and your choice of fillings.
Pour the custard gently over the cheese mixture. (I put the shell on the oven grate and pour it in.)
If you have pre-baked the crust, after about 5 minutes, turn the oven down to 325 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes or until there is just a little circle about the size of a loonie in the middle that still jiggles.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes at least.
If you don’t pre-bake the crust, put the crust in the plate, add the fillings and the custard and bake at 400 for about 10 minutes before turning down the oven.