pie dough recipe adapted from cook’s illustrated.
For the dough:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
- 1/2 tbsp table salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 3 tbsp vegetable shortening
- 4 – 5 tbsp ice water
For the filling:
- 6 to 8 slices of bacon cut into 1/2-inch pieces (see note below)
- 6 tbsp shallots, chopped (depends on the size of shallot used)
- 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp ground white or black pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
For the dough:
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Place the butter pieces over the flour mixture and toss to coat. Cut the butter into the flour with about five pulses. Add the shortening and continue pulsing until the flour is pale-yellow and looks like coarse cornmeal, just a few more pulses. The butter bits should be no larger than small peas. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl.
- Evenly sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture, and fold the dough with a rubber spatula to bring it together. Fold and press down with the spatula until the dough sticks together. Add another tablespoon of ice water if you need to, until it comes together. Work quickly if it’s warm in your house so that your butter doesn’t get too soft — which isn’t good for pie dough. Shape the dough into a ball until it’s cohesive, then flatten it into a 4-inch wide disk. Dust it lightly with flour and wrap securely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days before rolling out.
- When you’re ready, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften slightly, just until its easier to work with. If you kept your dough in the fridge longer than 30 minutes, it may need up to 20 minutes at room temperature to become pliable. A good way to test is to squeeze the dough gently — if you can do this easily without applying too much pressure, it’s ready to roll. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Gently transport the dough to a pie pan. An easier way to do this is to gently fold the dough in quarters, then place it in the center of the pie plate, and unfold. Press the dough carefully into the corners of the pan by lifting the edges of the dough with one hand and pressing on the bottom of the pan with the other hand. Trim the edges so that just 1/2-inch of the dough hangs from the lip of the pie pan. Tuck this 1/2-inch rim of dough underneath itself so that the folded edge is slightly beyond the lip of the pie pan by about 1/4-inch. Flute the edges of the dough however you’d like. Refrigerate the pie shell for 40 minutes and then freeze for an additional 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat your oven to 375 degrees with the oven-rack in the middle. Place a sheet of aluminum foil inside the dough shell and evenly distribute pie weights or dried beans over the foil. Leave the pie weights or dried beans in place and bake the dough until it dries out slighly, about 17 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights, and continue baking for about 8-10 more minutes until lightly golden brown. If you’d like a fully baked crust, continue baking for about 15 minutes longer, then let cool. This is called “blind baking”. It allows our bottom crust to set up so that it doesn’t become soggy during the entire baking process. The beans keep the bottom crust from rising up, which could totally ruin the dish.
For the filling:
- Make sure your oven is still heated to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp and brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. In the same skillet, saute the chopped shallots in about 1 tablespoon of the residual bacon fat until softened and lightly golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic to the shallots and cook for just 30 seconds. Transfer this mixture to a small bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients — except the cheese. Spread the cheese, shallots, garlic, bacon and chopped parsley evenly over the bottom of the warm pie shell. Set the dish in the oven, then carefully pour the custard mixture into the pie pan leaving about 1/2-inch of the rim visible. Bake until lightly golden brown or until a knife inserted about an inch from the edge comes out clean — about 30-35 minutes. The center should be soft like gelatin and will continue to set up after it’s baked. Cool the quiche and serve warm or at room temperature.
If you’re using THICK cut bacon, you’ll only need about 4 or 5 slices. If your bacon is thinner, the more commercially available kind, use 6 to 8 slices. Please be mindful that bacon is naturally salty and so is the cheese being used. Using too much bacon OR cheese can make the entire quiche too salty. Please use your best judgement, and by all means, taste the filling before it’s baked if you must.
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.