Brussel’s and bacon quiche

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Quiche! It’s so easy, obviously infinitely customizable, and very tasty… Ever since I learned to whip up a quick and perfectly flaky pie crust, I’ve been making quiches as often as I can. The best thing about a quiche is that there really aren’t any rules: add whatever veggies you have lying around, some cheese, maybe some meat… This particular quiche had some finely sliced Brussel’s sprouts, some salty lardons, and of course a healthy dose of Comté cheese. It was one of my favorite combinations, so I thought I’d share it with you here!

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Being in the kitchen often and testing recipe after recipe helps you to learn when you can cheat, and when seemingly long and silly recipe steps are actually important. When I was in culinary school, I learned why pie crust should be chilled in the fridge after it’s made (this step cuts down on the elasticity of the dough), but my personal experiences have taught me that I don’t necessarily need to follow this step in order to make a flaky and perfect crust. There are days when you can plan ahead and make your crust and have time to let it chill out in the fridge for an hour, and then there are days when you get home from work at 7:30 with no idea what you want to make for dinner and you decide on a quiche and you’re hungry and you just want it to be edible. Well guess what? It can also be delicious!

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I made the quiche dough first, then threw it in the fridge while I prepared the other ingredients and pre-heated my oven. I think it was probably in the fridge for 20 minutes max, and guess what? It was the best dough I can remember! I think the secret was making it in my stand mixer. I love the feel of flour and butter between my little fingers, and find it fun to make dough “by hand.” But you know how most recipes tell you to chill the bowl, use really cold butter, maybe even a pastry cutter to avoid warming the butter too much? Yeah, your hands are gonna do that no matter what. But your stand mixer isn’t. I think that’s what took this dough to the next level!

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Brussel’s and bacon quiche

Ingredients:
For the crust:
250 grams of flour
1 teaspoon salt
125 grams of cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
A few tablespoons of water

For the filling:
6 eggs
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 small package of lardons, or crumbled bacon
2 cups Brussel’s sprouts, halved and then finely shredded
A pinch of nutmeg
Finely sliced onion or shallot (optional)

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Preheat your oven to 375° and get your stand mixer ready! Place the flour and salt in the bowl of your mixer (with the paddle attachment). Add the cold, cubed butter and run the mixer on the lowest speed. Let it mix until the mixture looks sandy and there are no more large clumps of butter. Add the egg yolk and one tablespoon of water, and mix until the dough starts coming together. Add another tablespoon of water, and mix some more. Once the dough is wet enough to form a ball with, you can stop. If you add to much water, you can balance with more flour. On a floured surface, form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, then place in the fridge.

In a large pan, heat your lardons over high heat until they’re cooked to your liking. Don’t burn them, you’ll want to save the fat for your Brussel’s! Set them aside and return the pan to high heat. Add the Brussel’s to the pork grease, toss them around and flash-cooking them for 2-3 minutes. Set aside with the lardons. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and crème fraîche and whisk.

Remove your crust from the fridge. Roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Place it in the pie plate of your choice (I prefer pie rings!) and prick the bottom. Add your lardons and Brussel’s, pour the egg mixture over them, and top with the shredded cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, checking the crust often towards the end to make sure it doesn’t burn. The eggs will puff up during cooking, and then deflate into a beautiful quiche once you remove from the oven. Serve warm with a nice little salad.

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