May 15, 2009


Pie crust is one of those legendary things that sounds harder to make than it is. I was scared of them for years and avoided making any pie that wasn't our family's apple pie, as that one has a crust you make in the pan and don't need to roll out. But once you make a pie crust from scratch it's like riding a bicycle. You'll never go back to being that loser with training wheels. I sat myself down with a recipe and a rolling pin last summer to see if I could master the skill and from then on out, I was unstoppable.

One of my favorite things to make with pie crust is quiche. The best thing about quiche, aside from the pie crust making, is you can throw just about anything in a quiche. Once you've got the basic formula down, you can freestyle quiche to your heart's content. It a lot like soup that way.

Here's one I made the other day with asparagus and an orange bell pepper.

Asparagus and Bell Pepper Quiche
Crust from Molly Katzen's Sunlight Cafe
Filling freestyled

Pie Crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, COLD
3-5 tablespoons of milk or water (or buttermilk or cream)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. You can also use a food processor throughout this process if you have one (I don't-boo). Take the butter (and seriously people, as cold as you can get it) and incorporate with a pastry cutter until the mix is in pea-sized crumbles. Be careful not to overwork this as the butter will melt and get soft and it will affect the flakiness in the end. Add 3 tablespoons of liquid and mix until just combined. At this point if the mixture is too dry and not coming together, add a little more liquid. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick. Carefully transport it to a pie pan and trim any edges. You can make a pretty fluted edge or leave it a sloppy mess, either way it tastes good!

1 bunch of asparagus
1 medium bell pepper
5 eggs
1 cup whole milk
4 large slices of havarti cheese
3 tablespoons stoneground mustard (I used a spicy version)
Seasonings of your choice, I chose s&p, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, dry mustard

Chop asparagus and pepper into 2 inch pieces. In a pan over medium heat saute your veggies until they are softened but still have some crunch, throw some s&p in the pan while you're at it, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Spread the mustard evenly on your assembled pie crust. Lay the slices of cheese in an even layer over the mustard. Throw the sauteed veggies over the cheese and arrange in an even layer. Beat eggs, milk and seasonings with a whisk until incorporated. Pour over the veggies and carefully place in the oven to bake for about 30-40 minutes. This can vary a bit so be sure to check the quiche often. You want the middle to be pretty firm when you wiggle the pie plate.

So quichey.

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