check out my sexy, homemade pie crust
I have to take a moment and come out as a proponent of making your own crust for pies, quiches and tarts. I have to come out as a proponent of this for two reasons: short crust has 4-5 ingredients in it and is really simple to make and because homemade pie crust tastes absolutely amazing. Not to knock store-bought pie crust, some of it is quite good. But, when you make it at home you have the opportunity to tailor it to your dish. For example, if you want to add a little sugar to a fruit pie crust, you can. If you’re making a savory dish, you can skip adding any sugar.
Yes, it is a little out of focus. I was covered in flour, what do you want?
This week, we got a bunch of kale in our share, so we decided to saute the kale and add it to a quiche along with some chorizo from the farmer’s market. Step one of this whole process was making the crust. To make crust, you start with cold shortening (or lard or butter) straight from the fridge, we used butter flavored vegetable shortening, broken up into little bits (maybe cut up into quarter inch squares) and some flour. You mix these two things together until you have little pea sized chunks of shortening and flour. You want to work it as little as possible because you don’t want it to be all melty and greasy. To this you add a few tablespoons of cold water (the colder the better) and mix it around with your hands until you get a ball of dough. You put all of this in your fridge for at least a half hour and let it chill.
This is what a 12 egg quiche looks like next to a 6 egg quiche
Once it has chilled, you can roll out the dough and stick into the pie tin. If you are making something like a quiche or a pudding or custard pie, you want to bake the shell first. We tossed our pie crusts into an oven heated to 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes after poking the crust with a fork all over a few times (this keeps it from puffing up and out of the pie tin too much). While this was happening we sauteed the kale and cooked up the chorizo. We then added our ingredients to the shells. We intended on making 3 quiches, one for each household that shares in our CSA share. And, we did this. However, it turned out that our “pie tins” for two of the quiches were more cake pans. This meant we made one 6 egg quiche and two 12 egg quiches. Seriously. We put chorizo and kale in each of the pies and then poured a mixture of egg and cream over the top. Not surprisingly, the 12 egg quiches took forever to bake.
The outcome of this quiche was splendid! I had it for breakfast a couple of mornings this week. The egg mixture was cream and rich but not too heavy. The chorizo wasn’t as spicy as I had thought it was going to be, but it stood up nothing to the kale. There was a nice balanced mixture of kale and chorizo in the quiche, while you didn’t get both in every bite you weren’t overwhelmed by any one of the flavors. If I have any complaints about this dish, it is that we had one frozen pie crust that we used and I ended up with the quiche. The frozen pie crust had a sweetness to it that picked out some of the spices of the chorizo, which would have been nice if it hadn’t been so distracting.