Bacon and Leek Quiche

Ahhh… piecrust.  It’s the bane of my existence!  There was something written on the Smitten Kitchen blog about how piecrust smells your fear and I’m pretty sure that’s true– it has an almost predatory quality. It senses your weakness, culls the herd and tries to ruin any effort to conquer it.  It has brought my sister-in-law to tears. Having said that, once in a while, inexplicably it turns out great (which often has an inverse proportion to how it looks).  I have found that when I care too much, the piecrust turns out awful. When I’m sort of winging it, kind of loosy goosy, it turns out pretty well. This is adapted from Food and Wine.

2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 sticks salted butter
roughly 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
I use the food processor or a pastry blender tool to cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse meal.  If you use the food processor, dump the mixture into a bowl before proceeding and add a little more than 1/3 cup of the water.  Toss this very gingerly with a fork- I usually find that I have to use all the water, if not more to make a dough that holds together.  The key is not to overwork it.  Divide the dough into two pieces and gather into two discs and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  Roll the dough out gently and fit it into a quiche pan (times 2).  Do not use a tart pan with a removable bottom unless you are Jacques Pepin or you will end up with custard leaking out onto your counter rather than staying in your quiche.  I went through this heartbreak already so trust me on this. Put the pans into the fridge for an hour or more.  Preheat the oven to 425ยบ and line the tart shells with parchment paper and dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, remove parchment and beans and bake another 5 to 10 minutes.  Let cool.
Or you can purchase an already made pie dough and proceed with the pre-baking, saving yourself fits of rage and uncontrollable tears…
12 oz. bacon ( I like Trader Joe’s, it has no nitrates, nitrites etc. and is less salty)
3 large leeks,white and light green parts sliced thinly
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. nice cheddar cheese (or whatever you like or happen to have), shredded
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
Cut bacon into little pieces with scissors and cook until crisp. Drain the bacon, leaving 1 T of fat in the pan.  Add the leeks and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes until softened. Stir bacon back into leeks.
Split the bacon mixture between the two quiche (or pie) pans and split up the cheese as well.  Mix the eggs, yolks, cream and salt and pepper to taste and divide that equally between the two pans as well. Cover the pie edges with foil or with a pie shield if you have one (and if you don’t, you should) and bake for about 35 minutes until puffed and nicely browned.  This is delicious with a salad and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

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