Did you hear what I said? Bacon and quiche in the same sentence. What's not to love!
And all of this only gets better with a buttery flaky wonderful crust. My version, though a slight adaption from Julia Child's, encompasses some other things I swear by when I make pie crust - using a combination of butter and lard or shortening, an egg yolk for flavor, and an egg white for all that protein that also gives the crust some structural strength.
In short, you've got what it takes to never fail at pie crust...ever..again!
The rest is just wonderful full on flavor ingredients - cream, Gruyere cheese, bacon and leeks sauteed, and some fresh thyme. A band wagon of yumminess all around! I love serving my quiches with a spinach strawberry salad but y'all can serve fresh fruits is you like.
Bacon, Leek & Gruyere Quiche
Slightly adapted, "From Julia Child’s Kitchen"
For the Pate Brisee - 9" Quiche :
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 stick CHILLED butter, unsalted
2 Tbs CHILLED lard or shortening
1 egg* (not in original recipe)
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 Tbs to 2 Tbs ice cold water* (qty reduced due to addition of egg)
For the Filling:
6 slices thick bacon
1-1/3 cup heavy cream or half & half
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Also: dried beans or rice, Aluminum foil, 9" metal French tart pie dish with removable bottom
Water: Chill in the freezer or add ice cubes to water for a quick fix.
Butter: cut into 1/2" cubes
Bacon: Cut the bacon into 1” pieces.
Leeks: Separate the white parts from the thick green leaves and discard the leaves. Cut the leeks into 2-1/2” sections. Halve and cut into ¼” wide lengths. Repeat for all the remaining leek sections.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add all-purpose flour, chilled butter (from refrigerator), lard, salt & egg.
Process for a minute or so - the mixture should look like coarse meal; add the water and count
to 25; a ball should have formed by then.
Cook's Note: If in 25 seconds the mix is still crumbly & a dough ball has not formed, add 1/2 tbs
chilled water and knead again for 25 seconds till a dough ball has formed.
Flatten dough ball between palms. Frissage as illustrated and wrap it in cling wrap and freeze for
10-15 minutes until cold.
Remove from the refrigerator, discard the cling wrap and sprinkle with 1 Tbs flour.
On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough until it is 12” diameter of the dish.
Lift it onto the rolling pin and unroll it over the pan; lift the edges to settle them in the bottom
of the pan.
With your thumbs, work the dough gently down the sides of the pan to make them thicker and
sturdier than the bottom.
Roll the rolling pin over the top of the pan to trim off excess dough.
Refrigerate the tart for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven 375 deg F.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned and crisp,
about 7 minutes; drain the bacon, leaving 2 Tbs of the bacon fat in the pan.
Add the leeks and thyme to the skillet, season with ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper,
and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a bowl and let cool; stir in the bacon & set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs, salt, pepper, heavy cream; whisk in the cheese and set aside.
Take a large piece of Aluminum foil. Ease it, onto the refrigerated quiche shell. Fill with dried
beans or pie weights.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is set but still slightly soft. Remove the foil and beans or rice.
Spread the bacon and leek mixture at the bottom of the pie crust.
Pour the custard into the tart shell and bake for about 22-25 minutes, rotating the sheet
halfway through for even baking, until puffed and lightly browned. A skewer inserted into the
center of the quiche should be clean when withdrawn. If necessary, continue baking for 3 or 4
Transfer the quiches to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove the rings, cut the quiches
into wedges, and serve.