EASTER QUICHE

Quiche is an Easter classic, and honestly, one of my favorite hostess tricks. I love that is can be made ahead of time, that you can serve it warm or room temp, and that it makes a gorgeous centerpiece for a meal. I went classic with this recipe, doing a variation of a quiche lorraine, with plenty of caramelized onions, bacon, and gruyere, but the great thing about quiche is that it can be a canvas for almost any flavor combination. So for easter this year, I’m whipping up a few of these with a big, bright arugula salad. It’s elegant, easy, and so delicious.

INGREDIENTS (QUICHE):

I made this in a 9 inch deep fluted tart pan with removable bottom.

1/2 recipe savory pie dough (below)

4 slices bacon, chopped

1 yellow onion, sliced

2 cups half and half

5 eggs

big pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

pinch of grated nutmeg

1 cup gruyere, grated

INGREDIENTS (SAVORY PIE DOUGH):

This is a double crust recipe, so you will only be using one. Refrigerate or freeze the other one for future use.

2 1/2 cups flour

8 ounces (two sticks) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4-1/2 cup ice water

DIRECTIONS:

For the pie crust, in a food processor or quickly using your fingertips, combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter until the chunks of butter are broken down to the size of peas and the flour feels like wet sand. Add the first 1/4 cup of water and mix until the dough comes together easily. It’s too dry if it immediately clumps apart. Add two tablespoons of water at a time, you can always add more water but not more flour, so careful not to add too much! Bring the dough into two balls and plop them on top of two sheets of plastic wrap. Loosely wrap up the ball and press down, smooshing the ball into a disc about an inch thick. Pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes while you busy yourself with the other stuff.

Pre heat oven to 425 F. Unwrap and place one of the doughs on a well floured surface.  Sprinkle with flour, and roll out with a rolling pin (turning often to get an even thickness) until the dough is about a 1/4 inch thick and about 11 inches wide. Place the dough into a tart pan (with a removable bottom) and press in the sides. Trim off the top of the dough, place a small sheet of parchment paper on top of the bottom of the tart, and fill with pie weights or beans. This will prevent the dough from rising and will keep the sides from shrinking down.

Bake on the center rack for 10 minutes, then turn down the heat to 375 F, remove the parchment and weights/beans and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven. It doesn’t have to be cool to continue.

Heat oven to 375 F. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until just crisp (about 10 minutes). Remove bacon and add the sliced onion to pan.  Sprinkle with salt and cook for 20-25 minutes, until limp and golden brown.

In a bowl, whisk together the half and half, eggs, and additional flavorings. Add the bacon, onion, and cheddar and combine.

Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and the edges are cooked, but the middle jiggles a bit like jello. Remove the quiche and let it cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

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