Thursday, March 11, 2010

Week 10: Frittata's Fancy Cousin Visits for a Birthday Party

It's hubbie's birthday and he requested Quiche Lorraine for his birthday dinner—which he insisted should take the place of the frittata this week, phew. While attending a pastry course at the French Culinary, we made this dish as part of our pastry dough and custard session. I brought it home and hubs loved it so much and couldn't stop going on and on about it. Whenever we're looking for something to make he always mentions Quiche Lorraine, much to my chagrin. It is incredibly delicious, but I remembered it being a bit daunting to make, so I always shy away from it. But I could not deny a special birthday request, despite a hectic schedule. After Pasta Pietro on Monday, a lovely friend helped me prep for Tuesday night's dinner—I made the dough and she weighed and finely grated the Gruyere (we also made a chocolate buttercream for the birthday dessert). Tuesday morning before work, I rolled out the dough, placed it in tart pans, then covered and chilled for the day.

Pâte Brisée (flaky tart dough)

For a 8 to 9” tart , ~240 grams

125 grams cake flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp granulated sugar
62 grams cold butter, cubed
32 mL water

Mix together flour, salt and sugar. Cut the cold butter into ½ cubes. Add butter cubes to flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are the size of dried lentils. Form a well in the butter-flour mixture and add some of the cold water (be careful not overwork the dough). Dough should be soft and shaggy, add more water as needed. Gather pieces together and wrap in plastic, chill for at least 30 minutes.

Quiche Lorraine

240 grams of pâte brisée
50 grams bacon, cut into ¼ cubes (I used pre-cut proscuitto)
50 grams Gruyere, grated
125 mL milk
125 ML heavy cream
2 eggs
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground black pepper

Roll out dough until 10” in diameter and 1/8” thick. Line your tart pan and chill the shell. Preheat the oven to 350°. Blind bake the tart shell until light brown, set aside to cool. Cook the bacon in a bit of oil until the fat is rendered and the bacon is lightly browned, remove and drain on paper towels.

Making the custard: Scald the milk and cream by heating on the oven top until there is a “skin” layer on top, set aside to cool. Whip the eggs and spices in the mixer and add the semi-cool scalded milk and cream. You don’t want the milk mixture to be to warm—it could start to scramble the eggs. I added the milk mixture while my mixer was on low-medium speed and then turned it up and whipped the eggs and milk until it was quite frothy on top. My French Culinary recipe has you fine strain the custard, I skipped this step.

Arrange the bacon and Gruyere on the bottom of the cooled tart shells. Pour the custard over the bacon and Gruyere. Bake the quiche for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the custard is set and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

My quiches were in the oven for over 45 minutes…I don’t think I blind baked my tart shells long enough— the dough could have been a little flakier, and the custard took forever to set. But the end product was very tasty and hubs was happy! I am confident I can take on this quiche more often in the future.

Friends added to the birthday feast: dates wrapped in bacon, red potatoes stuffed with onions and smoked salmon, fried cheese with cilantro paste, a green salad laced with dill, and an awesome potato salad. The meal was finished with double chocolate melt in your mouth whoopie pies. Yum.


Kate said...

YUMMMM. We are so sorry we missed it! xo

SS said...

Hardy is such a lucky birthday boy! Looks so lovely! Delish!