Home-made pie and quiche crust

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

Ingredients

  • 1 lb flour
  • 1/2 lb butter
  • salt
  • 2-3 spoons water (or the same amount of milk milk for sweet crust)
  • 2-3 spoons sugar (only for the sweet version)

Directions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt and sugar if you are doing the sweet version).
  2. Dice your cold butter (it is important that the butter is cold) and add it to the flour mixture.
  3. Quickly mix the flour with the butter and you should get a crumbly dough.
  4. At this point, start adding your cold liquid (water or milk) and remember it is important that is cold.
  5. Knead the dough quickly and you should get a very smooth and elastic dough. Dough is ready!
  6. 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.

3.1

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

Eggplant quiche recipe

A friend came and visited while I was in Italy and she kept asking me for the recipe of an eggplant pie my mom made for her. Finally, I oblige and let her have the famous recipe. Hopefully she won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 spring onion
  • pecorino
  • basil
  • puff pastry or pie dough

Directions

  1. Slice 2 eggplants, oil them and roast them in a non stick pan (or you can place the eggplants under the grill in the oven). Sautee a thinly sliced red pepper and a spring onion in a pan with little oil. Grate 2 zucchini. Now in an oven dish start layering the ingredients. First, of course, the puff pastry (if you cannot find puff pastry make some pasta brisee, you can follow my recipe in the pies posts), then the eggplants, then the zucchini and then peppers, cover with some grated pecorino cheese and basil leaves and repeat: eggplants, zucchini, peppers, pecorino, basil until you run out of ingredients. Fold in the sides of the puff pastry, so that you have a nice little frame for your cake and put in the oven preheated at 400F for about half an hour. Enjoy!
  2. The ingredients here are key, meaning vegetables should be ripe and full of flavor, which rarely happens in the Midwest, so I suggest to salt the eggplants and let them loose some of their water for about half an hour before cooking it. Basically after slicing the eggplants, put it in a colander and pour quite a bit of salt on those slices. Let them rest for about half an hour and then rinse the salt out, pat the slices dry and cook as above. Usually it greatly improves the taste of a not so flavorful eggplant….

Celeriac and potatoes quiche recipe

BF keeps telling me how much he likes potato and turnips gratins you often get as sided in restaurants so I decided to put a quiche together inspired to those sides.

Celeriac and potatoes quiche

Ingredients

  • pie dough
  • 3 or 4 thinly sliced tomatoes
  • 1 big celeriac root thinly sliced
  • 1 or 2 quarts milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cups bechamel
  • grated parmesan
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. First I prepared the pie dough according to the base recipe and put it to rest in the fridge. Then, I boiled the potatoes and celeriac in a mixture of salted milk and water for about 10-15minutes, until the celeriac was soft. I used about 2 quarts of milk and 2 quarts of water. Then I drained the vegetables from the milk mixture and let them cool down a bit. Meanwhile, I prepared my bechamel according to the base recipe and seasoned it with black pepper and grated parmesan. I then rolled out my dough to a thin circle that I used to line a spring form pan. To make life easier, I lined the bottom of my pan with some parchment paper before lining it with the dough. I arranged the vegetables in the pan starting with a layer of potatoes, a layer of celeriac and finally a mixed layer. I poured the bechamel over the vegetables and put my quiche in a 400F oven for about 30 minutes. For the last couple of minutes I turned on the broiler to brown up the bechamel.

Celery and apple quiche recipe

I almost forgot I had this quiche lined up for you. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to brunch by a friend and I offered to make a quiche. I decided I wanted to put apples in there (as I said I went apple picking). When an idea forms in my mind about ingredients, I rarely give up, but combining apples into a quiche was going to be a challenge.

So I looked around the web and tried to find inspiration, but was then confronted with my semi-empty fridge. I saw some celery stalks eyeing me from the back of the fridge and I figured celery would go well with the apples (or at least it wouldn’t be horrible…).

I’m happy I gave it a try. The combination of flavors works surprisingly well, with the celery and the green apple playing off each other. The result is a bit pungent and pretty sophisticated (at least, that is what my friends thought) and wouldn’t look bad in a creative restaurant. If you are curios, give it a try!

Celery and apple quiche

Ingredients

  • dough for quiche crust
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 heart celery
  • 2 oz. asiago or other sweet, melty cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

    1. First prepare the dough according to the instructions here. Making dough for pies and quiche is really easy, but if you are really not into kneading and such use pastry or phyllo dough.
    2. In a pan cook, the diced apple and celery in a bit of olive oil. Cook until the vegetables are soft, then turn the heat off and let them cool down.

  1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and salt and pepper to taste. Add in the diced cheese and the cooled down vegetables.
  2. Prepare an oven dish by lining it with parchment paper and then with the pie dough. Pour the filling in the dough and put in the oven at 375F for about 30 minutes or until the eggs are golden brown.
  3. Wait for the quiche to cool down before cutting so that the eggs can set. Enjoy warm or cold.

Red cabbage quiche

Today I am going to propose a simple quiche. I had a lot of leftover cabbage and I had it for like 3 meals in a row before deciding I had to do something different with it. So I decided to transform it into a quiche.

I usually do quiche crust using butter and water, but I had seen on some websites people doing the dough with oil and white wine so I decided to give it a try.  And it turned out awesome! I could have eaten the crust alone. There is something in the wine that gives the crust a great taste.

The filling was just leftover cabbage. I wrote down my recipe, but you can use your leftover vegetables if you have some lying around.

Red cabbage quiche

Ingredients

For the crust:

    • 5 oz. flour + some
    • 1/4 cup oil
    • pinch salt
    • 1/4 cup cold white wine

For the filling

  • 1 small red cabbage
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green apple
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch caraway seeds
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • oil
  • 2 oz. diced cheese

Directions

For the filling:

    1. Start by braising the cabbage. Clean the cabbage by discarding the outer leaves and eliminating the core. Slice it thinly and wash it. In a pot, warm up a bit of oil and add in the sliced apple and onion. Let them cook until soft.
    2. Add the cabbage, the bay leaves, the caraway seeds, salt and about 1/2 cup of water. Cover the pot and let the cabbage wilt down for about 10 minutes. When the cabbage has softened up stir it well and add the vinegar. Let the cabbage braise for another 20 minutes or until completely cooked, stirring frequently and adding more water if needed.
    3. When cooked throughout, check seasoning and add salt or vinegar and let the cabbage cool down.

For the crust:

  1. Quickly mix the ingredients adding the wine slowly. You should obtain a soft pliable dough. If needed add a bit more flour or a bit more wine.
  2. Once the dough is well mixed, wrap it in plastic and pot it to rest in the fridge for half hour.
  3. Roll out the dough in a disk, put it in a cake pan and cover with the cooled down cabbage. Add the diced cheese on top and cook in a 380F oven for about 45 minutes.
  4. You can enjoy the quiche both hot or cold.