Saturday, May 11, 2013
Hello, again! I'm back already, and I have yet another delicious recipe that is perfect for Mother's Day to share with you. Yes, I know it's Saturday, and that Mother's Day is tomorrow, but you know me. I leave everything to the last minute and am then always in some kind of major panic mode with my brain scrambling to frantically pull things together. Today is no exception. I have two more assignments left in my college career. They're due in only a few very short days, and I'm not even close to feeling comfortable enough to say that I'm ready for them. Sleep deprivation from portfolio season made me skip/fall asleep in one too many Japanese architecture lectures, so now I'm stuck with incomplete notes and a mega pile of 275 flashcards to memorize (this is not a joke), and my independent research project...sigh. I can't do it! I just can't bring myself to write up the final report, because I just want to be finished with work, and I'm so close! But anyway. My last exam and last presentation in college have had me working nonstop since Tuesday, since I literally can't put off my prep-work any more than I already have.
I've found all kinds of ways to put off doing work though, regardless of how soon my deadlines are. I've done my laundry; I've cleaned my room; I've started packing; I've taken naps; I've gone to the gym. I'm even writing this blog post, which I had been hoping to publish a few days ago and then decided to simply post after Mother's Day due to lack of time, as another attempt to avoid doing the work that's looming over my head. Yep. I'm that desperate. But I mean, Mother's Day and quiche are legitimate reasons to put off doing work, right? I think so.
Quiche has always been one of my absolute favorite things to eat. My aunt makes a really delicious quiche with broccoli that's a staple at nearly every family gathering we have, and that must have been where my love for quiche began. The combination of buttery, flaky crust with cheesy and salty filling is something that should be taken seriously. Quiche has a simple, rustic quality that make it the perfect item to whip up for an easy lunch, or in this case, Mother's Day brunch. Paired with a simple green salad, there's just no way you can go wrong with quiche, especially this quiche. This quiche is a quiche Lorraine, meaning that it's loaded with Gruyere cheese, crispy bacon, and lots of cream. Oh yeah. This is one rich little tart, but celebrating Mom is totally worth a lapse in our last minute pre-summer diets. Mom deserves this quiche!
My mom happened to love the way this quiche turned out (but then again, I can't imagine someone not liking the combination of cheese, bacon, and cream). The crust was buttery and perfectly flaky, and the Gruyere/bacon combo was magical. I have some tips to share, of course. There's not too many tips really, as quiches are such simple dishes, but the one area to watch out for is the crust. To get that perfectly flaky crust, make sure the butter you use is really, really cold. I like to dice up the butter first, and then stick it back in the fridge as I prepare all the other ingredients, because the heat from your hands will warm up the butter too much, even if you add the butter to the flour immediately after cutting it up. Cold butter is key! As important as cold butter is the ice water. If you're using cold butter, the water has to be just as cold. I like to pour some water into a plastic cup, add a few ice cubes, and then place it in my freezer until I need the water, just to ensure that the water is as cold as possible. Try to handle the dough as little as possible with your hands, as this will heat up the butter in it, and could result in a potentially less-flaky crust, and we definitely don't want that. Aside from the crust, you could probably make this quiche with your eyes closed, it's that simple. No joke.
This Quiche Lorraine is a great option to serve mom for brunch on Mother's Day. There's no way she won't love it (and you!). Happy Mother's Day to all the awesome moms out there; I hope you all get to take it easy for a day! Happy Mother's Day to my mom; thank you for being my best friend, for putting up with me for the past [almost] 22 years, and for always letting me go crazy in your kitchen. I can't thank you enough for that. You're the best!
And with that, I'm officially peacing out from Ambrosia, but only for a few days. I'll be back after Wednesday, with a new recipe to share, and officially done with all my college work. Wednesday afternoon can't come soon enough! Until then, Happy Mother's Day!!!
filling recipe from Red Star to Lone Star, crust from Martha Stewart
For the Crust
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, diced
2-4 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling
8 strips (200 grams) bacon, diced
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 oz grated Gruyere cheese
Begin by preparing the crust. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt, pulsing a few times to combine. Add the cubes of cold butter, and pulse a few more times until the mixture begins to form coarse crumbs. With the food processor running, add the ice water in a slow steady stream through the feed tube, just until the dough begins to hold together, but is not sticky or wet. Start out with 2 tablespoons of ice water, adding more only if necessary. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, and shape it into a flattened disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle. Using a rolling pin to help you, transfer the circle of dough to a 10-inch fluted tart pan. Press the dough into the edges, and with the rolling pin, trim the excess dough from the edges of the tart pan (simply roll it over the top edge of the tart pan once). Lightly prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork. Chill the dough in the fridge until it is firm, about 30 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the bottom of the dough with a large circle of parchment paper, and fill the tart pan with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust until the edges are beginning to turn golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and pie weights/beans, and return the crust to the oven. Bake the crust for an additional 10 to 15 minutes so that it is lightly golden brown all over. Cool the tart shell on a wire rack.
While the crust is cooling, prepare the filling. To prepare the filling for the quiche, simply whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl until combined. Set aside.
Sprinkle the fried bacon over the cooled crust, followed by the grated Gruyere, reserving a handful of cheese. Pour in the filling mixture, and then top off with the remaining cheese. The quiche pan will be pretty full!
Bake the quiche in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until the top has set and browned slightly. Allow the quiche to cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing into wedges. Serve the quiche warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Makes 1 10-inch quiche