16. Quiche in olive oil crust.

My sweet tooth needed a break this week, so I made a quiche for my weekly Sunday brunch. I went to foodie heaven (Dekalb Farmer’s Market) preparing to get everything I needed for the quiche.  Though not actually a farmer’s market in the traditional sense, DFM is nonetheless the first wonder of Jen’s grocery world. Now, going to DFM is an event.  I’ve gotten in and out in 20 minutes before– but what a waste of a trip.  Some girls get giddy walking through clothing stores or shoe stores or Home Depot.  A good grocery store is my happy-inducing equivalent.  I like to examine everything.  I search out new types of cheese, a bizarre root vegetable, grains I’ve never used, the 9th type of bok choy, and revel in the spices.  I greet piles of my most frequently purchased produce like old friends.  I fantasize about new food combinations in my head. I wonder what on earth people use that yellow root for (answer: as a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory).  I people watch and hypothesize about the content of their character based on the contents of their carts.

So a good hour and a half later, after walking through every square inch of the store I walked out loaded down with quiche ingredients (and just a few more bags).

Then I got home and realized I had no butter.

Instead of going back to a store I decided to use the opportunity to experiment. I’ve always doubted oil crusts.  The first rule of pie dough making is that you don’t want liquid fat.  In fact, you don’t want too much liquid at all.  But if I was going to make a bad crust, I’d rather it be on a quiche.  Besides– I was planning on ingredients that would go nicely with olive oil flavor.  Why not olive oil pie crust?

Olive Oil crust (makes a 1-Crust, 10″ pie) :

  • 1-1/2 c. sifted Unbleached Flour
  • 1/2 t. Salt
  • 1/3 c. Olive Oil
  • 1 T. vodka
  • 1 T. vinegar

Mix together 1 c. flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

Add oil, vodka, and vinegar, mixing in.  I use my granny fork:

My handy-dandy granny fork. Old school.

Toss in the remaining flour and mix gently.

Using your hands, work the dough into a ball.  Mine was rather crumbly, and maybe I should have added more liquid to account for this: but I like to err on the side of dry to avoid a tough crust– and I was already worried the crust would bake like femo clay.  Given how well the finished crust worked for this quiche I’m happy with my choice.  But as you’ll see it did make the crust nigh impossible to work with– and if I was making lots of these, I’d find a way to make the crust more workable.

When I tried to roll out the dough, I found that the dough didn’t like that idea.  It simply crumbled:

Crummy dough has a bad attitude. Won't stick to itself, will stick to non-stick rolling pin.

Instead of overworking the dough trying to get it to stay together I scooped it up, set it in the pie pan, and mashed away.

It wasn’t the prettiest:

But it worked.

I prebaked the crust for 20 minutes at 325: spread a piece of oiled aluminum foil over the crust, and weigh down with dry beans to prevent the center from rising.

Meanwhile I got to work chopping veggies.  You can use whatever fillings you want (bacon, potato & cheddar; spinach, mushroom & swiss; deviled egg quiche— ooo may actually have to try that).  Mine worked pretty darn well though.

Vegetable mix:

Vegetables, chopped and waiting for the pan. You can see one of my recent ceramics in the background, holding the broccolini that wouldn't fit on the board.

  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 or 1.5 cup mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 2 cups (lightly packed) brocolli rab, chopped finely
  • 1 smallish onion, diced
  • 1 small hot cherry pepper, deseeded and chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 T. sun dried tomatoes soaked in oil to partially rehydrate, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1tsp dry oregano
  • healthy dose of pepper (I used both white pepper and crushed red pepper flakes)
  • dash each of thyme, marjoram, and salt
  • 5 fresh basil leaves

Cook everything in some olive oil (drained from the tomatoes) until soft.  Remove the bay leaves.

Egg Custard

  • 3 eggs, gently beaten
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt (up to 1tsp if desired), 1/4 tsp pepper, dash of nutmeg

beat all ingredients together until frothy.

Lay some shredded cheese (I used swiss here) on the prebaked crust.  Top with veggies.  Pour in egg custard.  Mix in up to 1/4 cup cheese (I used parmesan), gently.

Bake at 325 for 60-90 minutes.

Super delicious, veggie-loaded, light custard, flavorful everywhere.

Enjoy!!!

This is a very flat image. Oh well.

The crust was very flavorful and fun.  The crust seemed to absorb some of the cheese and egg– just enough to endow it with a great flavor beyond just olive oil.  It wasn’t tough (YAY!!!).  It was not a crust you’d want on a fruit pie- in either flavor or texture.  But for a quiche it worked fantastically.

And the egg-veggie custard… mmm.  I think I have to stop writing this blog so I can go eat another slice.  The major improvement I’d like to make is to get a higher rising custard.  Expect another quiche to work out this kink.

Conclusion: oil crusts have their place.  That place is not anywhere near my fruit pies though.

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