The following recipe for a classic onion tart, a.k.a. quiche, is adapted from Linda Dannenberg's collection appearing in Paris Boulangerie-Patisserie: Recipes from Thirteen Outstanding French Bakeries . My version of this recipe for onion quiche is adapted from a 1995 article in The Washington Post.
FOR THE PATÉ BRISÉE:
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for working the dough
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3 tablespoons cold water, plus more as needed
FOR THE FILLING:
3½ ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
*NOTE: This tart can also be made free-form on a baking sheet, pizza-style. Roll out the dough to a 13-inch circle and gently transfer to a baking sheet. Brush around the outer edge of the dough with cold water and then roll the edge inward about 1-inch to form a raised border. That could result in a very, thick crust on outer edge; a regular pie plate is another alternative and avoids the "pizza effect" but disallows presenting a free-floating quiche to your guests.
BACON and CHEESE QUICHE
This quiche from "How to Bake" by Nick Malgieri is a perfect example of a simple, yet elegant, brunch or lunch dish. This version of Malgiens recipe is adapted from an article in The Washington Post, appearing on Wednesday, October 18, 1995.
FOR THE CRUST:
1¼ cups bleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for working the dough
FOR THE FILLING:¼ pound thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
To make the crust: Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium mixing
bowl or the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, stir or pulse to mix. Add
the butter to the dry ingredients and toss or pulse once to coat the pieces of butter. Rub
the butter into the dry ingredients with your hands or a pastry blender, or, if using a
food processor, pulse at 1-second intervals, until the mixture resembles coarsely ground
cornmeal and no large pieces of butter remain visible. Beat the egg and water together in
a small bowl and pour over the flour mixture.
Stir with a fork or pulse 10 times or so, until dough begins to form a ball.
Scatter a teaspoon of flour over the work surface and scrape the dough out onto it. Press and knead the dough quickly 3 or 4 times, until it is smooth and uniform.
Press the dough into a circle. Sandwich it between two pieces of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch circle. Refrigerate the dough until firm, at least 1 hour., can be longer, depending on when you plan to use it When ready, roll out the dough to fit a 9-to-10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.* Chill the crust while you prepare the filling. Set the rack at the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 375° F.
To make the filling: Place the bacon in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over low heat and drain the water off immediately. Return the bacon to the pan and cook over low heat until the bacon renders some of its fat and begins to sizzle, about 5 min. Do not cook the bacon until it is crisp, or it will be hard in the quiche. Remove the bacon pieces from the pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
Combine the milk, heavy cream, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl and whisk to blend. Arrange the bacon and grated cheese evenly over the chilled crust and strain the filling over it. Dot with the butter.
Bake the quiche in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until the pastry is baked through and the filling is set and puffed.
Place the pan on a rack to cool for a few minutes. To unmold, stand the pan on a large can or canister and allow the rim to fall away. Slide the quiche from the pan's bottom onto a large, flat-bottomed platter.
Yield: 8 servings
*Note: Special tart pans are not absolutely necessary for quiche. A regular pie plate will do. Presenting the uncut quiche out of the baking pan is an aesthetic consideration.
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