I want to introduce you to my friend Tracy who blogs over at Back to Basics. Tracy is one of the sweetest gals I know in the blogosphere, and her recipes, thoughts on God and family, and daily ponderings are always on my list of places to stop.
One thing about Tracy is that she can cook. Seriously, I want to have dinner at her house! Today she is going to show us how to make pie crust and fill it to make a lucious quiche. Her post is called Easy as Pie!
Please leave comments for Tracy here in the comments section.
Hi everyone! My name is Tracy, and I blog at Back to Basics. I'm thrilled that Randi asked me to guest-post at her place today. We're going to talk pie crust, and because I try to live a locavore lifestyle as much as possible and use what I have on hand, I made a quiche for you.
Homemade pie crust isn't near as difficult as you might think, and practice does make perfect. Let's get started!
In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, 1 1/4 cups shortening, and 1 tsp. salt. I like to use a shortening that contains both vegetable shortening and lard, but you can use straight vegetable shortening, or even butter if you prefer.
Cut the shortening into the flour with a pastry blender or fork until you have pea-sized crumbs. Don't use a mixer or a food processor. The secret to a flaky crust is very minimal handling. The more you handle the crust, the tougher it will be.
In a separate small bowl, combine an egg, 1 tsp. vinegar, and 6 Tbsp. very cold water. Mix well, and add to the dry ingredients all at once. I like to stir this with a big rubber spatula until everything is incorporated, and then I use my hand. Don't worry if the dough is still crumbly at this point.
At this point you can wrap your dough into plastic wrap and chill it for an hour, or you can use it straight away.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour over the bottom of the pie plate to keep the dough from sticking, and set the plate aside.
Flour the counter well, and form half of the dough into a round disk. Sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour. Make sure you flour your rolling pin, too.
Gently roll your dough, working it in all directions until it's about 1/8 inch thick and big enough to cover your pie plate. Thick dough will taste tough. If you've floured your surface properly, you won't have to worry about the dough sticking.
Place the rolling pin on top of the dough, far away from you. Gently pick the far edge of the dough up, and bring it over the rolling pin, back toward yourself. Roll the dough onto the rolling pin, loosely. Bring the pie plate back to your work station, setting it just beyond the rolling pin.
Now, working in a forward motion, gently let the dough unroll over the pie plate.
Trim the dough so that only about 3/4 inch overhangs the plate.
Fold the overhang under at the top, creating a thicker edge to the crust.
Flute the edges of your dough. There are many ways to do this, and the more you practice, the prettier your pie crust edges will be. If you feel intimidated, you can simply use the tines of a fork to crimp the edge.
If you're making a one crust pie, and the pie will be baked, it's ready to fill. If you're making something with a filling that doesn't get baked, like a strawberry pie, now is the time to bake it. Let's cover that for a minute.
If you bake an unfilled pie shell, it will tend to fall in on itself, or puff up on the bottom. To prevent that, preheat your oven to 350 F.
Prick the crust all over with a fork to let the steam escape.
Place a square of foil inside the crust,
and fill it with about 2 cups of clean, dry pinto beans or pie weights. Bake the crust like this for about 18 minutes.
Remove the crust from the oven, lift the foil and beans out, and bake for 5 more minutes. Cool the crust and it's ready to use.
If, however, you're filling your crust with something that needs baked, the above steps aren't necessary.
Today I made Ham, Potato, and Spinach Quiche. First, I placed about 7 ounces of lean ham on the bottom of the crust.
Next, I added about one cup of parboiled potatoes.
I sprinkled about 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese over the potatoes.
I rough-chopped about 2 cups of fresh spinach and sprinkled that over the cheese.
Finally, I combined 6 beaten eggs, one can cream of celery soup, and 1/2 c. milk. I mixed it all very well, and poured it over everything else. My oven was preheated to 375 F, and I baked the quiche for an hour until the center was set.
Such a hearty dish, and a great way to use our fresh eggs and spinach from the spring garden! Leftovers are great for breakfast, too!
And for dessert?
Lemon meringue pie. Yum!
Tracy, thank you so much for this how-to! This quiche is on my menu for this week. :)
You can visit Tracy here on her blog, Back to Basics.