Once again this house has been taken under by that ravaging beast the flu that has visited us so many more times this winter than is polite.
This time I was its target. I’d evaded for months, deftly side-stepping its grasp, but like an inevitable game of tag when you’re the last man standing I darted left when I should’ve gone right and it caught me, and Good God it sucks!
I’m still feeling foggy and not quite right, but I’ve had this killer quiche all set and ready to go for the Easters brunch and so, excuse my brevity, but here it is and I want you all to make it—unless you can’t have gluten or dairy or meat, in which case, I’m very, very sorry because it is so extravagantly good. If you just raised your hand at that last sentence then please see, Huevos Rancheros: also very, very good.
I hope you enjoy the long Easter weekend. We are having friends over for a low-key brunch and some plastic eggs stuffed with jelly beans.
This quiche starts off with an all-butter pastry crust that I made when I was coaxed into cooking the cover of February’s Bon Appetite Magazine by a friend. The roasted garlic and cheese pie was amazing, but it was the crust I fell hardest for, something about vinegar always gets me.
An easy trick to trim off excess dough is to let it hang over the tart pan and run the rolling pin over the top. The sharp edge of the pan will cut off any overhanging dough. It will also scrunch down the dough inside the pan, so make sure you give it a little press to stand it upright again before chilling.
This stuff makes prime pie-crust cookies. Lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with milk, cream, or beaten egg. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar and bake until golden and crisp.
If you’re a real go-getter you can whisk the egg mixture for the quiche together while the crust is blind baking. After you take the pie weights or beans out, brush the inside of the crust with a little of the egg mixture to seal it and make double sure it stays crisp.
Then fill ‘er up and put it in the oven. You might want to line the baking sheet with parchment or foil to make any drips or spills easier to clean up.
For the Dough:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
For the Filling:
- 9 ounces Mexican-style pork chorizo
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 ounces aged white cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 heaping cups grated)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
For the Crust:
- Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. Toss the butter in the flour mixture then using your fingers or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse cornmeal with a few larger pieces of butter.
- Stir the cider vinegar into 1/2 cup of very cold water and drizzle that over the flour mixture. Toss the liquid into the flour by scooping the flour up from the bottom of the bowl with your fingers then letting it fall back down into the bowl through your fingers, pinching it gently here and there until the dough is shaggy and holding together when you squeeze it. Add a tablespoon or two of more water if it is not coming together.
- Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
- Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add chorizo and sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally until potatoes are just tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Turn heat down if chorizo starts to get too brown. Remove from heat and let cool, slightly.
- Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in the middle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll crust out to about 1/4-inch thick and about 12-inches in diameter. Transfer dough to a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough into the bottom and up the sides so it fits snuggly. Fold any excess dough over the pan and roll the rolling pin over the edge of the pan, cutting away the dough. Press dough into the sides of the pan, then freeze for 15 minutes. Line dough with a foil or parchment paper, fill with pie weights or beans and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes or until dry on the sides. Remove beans, return crust to the oven and continue baking until golden, about another 10 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, salt, and pepper until smooth.
- Put chorizo mixture into the bottom of the crust. Top with cheese and cilantro and pour the egg mixture over the top.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until puffed on the sides and set in the middle. Let cool at least 30 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.
One More Thing
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