The other day, I decided to make some pasta brise’. It is essentially a salty pie crust which is the base for quiches and I forgot how easy it is to make and store!
Making your dough is super easy just mix flour with half its weight of butter (so for 250g flour you’d need 125g butter or for 1lb of flour you’ll need 1/2 lb butter) a pinch of salt and as much cold water as needed to get a smooth dough. For a pound of flour you probably need 3 to 4 tablespoon of water, so add water slowly.
The sweet version of this is made by using milk instead of water and adding 3 or 4 of spoons of sugar per pound of flour.
I usually make the thing in large batches and freeze whatever I do not need immediately. Just form the dough into a brick shape and wrap them in aluminium foil and freeze them. When you need pie or quiche crust get them out of and they will thaw in an hour or two.
Home-made pie and quiche crust
- 1 lb flour
- 1/2 lb butter
- 2-3 spoons water (or the same amount of milk milk for sweet crust)
- 2-3 spoons sugar (only for the sweet version)
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt and sugar if you are doing the sweet version).
- Dice your cold butter (it is important that the butter is cold) and add it to the flour mixture.
- Quickly mix the flour with the butter and you should get a crumbly dough.
- At this point, start adding your cold liquid (water or milk) and remember it is important that is cold.
- Knead the dough quickly and you should get a very smooth and elastic dough. Dough is ready!
- If it is very soft pop it in the fridge for 20 min or so before rolling it out to a 1/3 of an inch thick round.
List of sweet fillings:
– apples and/or pears quickly browned in butter with 2 spoons of sugar and a sprinkle each of cinnamon and cloves. You can add soaked raisins if you like them. You can use the dough for both the bottom and top of the pie or for a carb friendly version just cover the fruit. Cut out some holes to allow the steam out.
List of savory fillings:
– cooked diced bacon or pancetta and a mixture of 2 eggs and half a cup of milk or cream. You can add diced cheese if you like it. Use the dough only for the bottom and leave the pie uncovered.
– zucchini diced and cooked with onion (and possibly bacon or pancetta) and a mixture of 2 eggs and half a cup of milk or cream. Use the dough only for the bottom and leave the pie uncovered.
– zucchini diced and cooked with onion and mix with ricotta and 2 eggs. Use the dough for the bottom and top of the pie.
– eggplants diced and cooked with garlic and oregano (and capers if you like them) and a mixture of 2 eggs and half a cup of milk or cream and a spoon of concentrated tomato. Use the dough only for the bottom and leave the pie uncovered.
– radicchio cooked with onions or shallots (and possibly bacon or pancetta) and a splash of marsala or other sweet dessert wine, and mixed with taleggio and/or ricotta. Use the dough only for the bottom and leave the pie uncovered.
– thinly sliced carrots and butternut squash glazed in water, butter, sugar and rosemary and mixed with swiss or other mild cheese. Use the dough only for the bottom and leave the pie uncovered.
– boiled spinach and melted blue cheese. Use the dough only for the bottom and let the pie uncovered.
– boiled spinach with tuna and black olives. Use the dough for the bottom and top of the pie.
– boiled spinach and ricotta. To make it richer you can also dig some wells in the spinach and ricotta mixture and place whole eggs into the wells (6-8 eggs per quiche) they will cook in the oven and turn out like boiled eggs encased in the quiche. With the eggs this is a traditional Easter dish in Italy. Use the dough for the bottom and top of the pie.
– stew: just put left-over stew in an oven dish and cover with the dough. Heavenly!!!
All pies cook at 375-400F for about 30/40 min