Pie crust!! I can simply break off the crusty portions of a quiche and gobble them up. And then you have the fillings. Any kind you want. So since we are talking quiche here the filling better be savoury. But then oh the pie crust!!!
So now that I am drooling over the crust you might wonder what is so special about it. Well it is the flakiest, tastiest, crustiest crust. And what makes it so? The trick is to use shortening. Many folks turn up their nose at shortening. It is butter’s poor cousin. While butter imparts flavour, shortening creates flakiness. Do give it a try before deciding you do not like shortening.
A very important thing while baking pie crust is to use super cold ingredients. The butter, shortening and water has to be absolutely cold. Then once the pie starts to bake then the butter melts, creates steam and makes the crust flaky. So pop all three into the deep freezer before use. The water should be just short of turning into ice. Use your hands but sparingly because the warmth of your fingers will start melting the butter and shortening. Also do not knead. This is very crucial. Absolutely no kneading. Just bring the dough together gently. If the dough seems unmanageable then do not worry. Once you freeze the dough again it will hold its shape.
For the pie crust
1 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp salt
¼ cup shortening, cubed
50 gm butter, cubed
¼ cup water, ice cold
Mix flour and salt. Add butter and shortening and crumble and mix using your fingers. The flour will start looking like breadcrumbs.
Let few pea sized portions of butter and margarine remain. Start adding water 2 tbsp at a time. You might not need the whole ¼ cup. The dough simply has to come together. Once it does, wrap it in a clingfilm and pop into the freezer for some time.
Preheat the oven at 190 degrees Celsius. Take the dough out of the freezer. Lay out a clingflim on the kitchen working surface and place the dough in the centre. Now slowly start rolling it out, pushing form the centre towards to the edges. Keep dusting the rolling pin so that it does not stick to the dough.
Now gently lift the rolled out dough along with the cling film , turn it upside down and place the dough side down on the pie dish. The clingfilm will be on the side facing you so that you can peel it off gently.
Tuck the dough into the pie dish. Cut off the edges and crimp them.
Poke the base with a fork a few times. Now place a parchment paper full of beans to blind bake the pie crust.
This way the crust will not puff up while baking. Bake for about 20 minutes till the edges start to brown a bit.
Take the pie dish out, remove the beans and paper. Brush the pie crust with beaten eg and bake again for 5 minutes. This creates a layer over the pie crust and it prevents it from becoming soggy when the filling is poured in.
Your pie crust is ready!
For the filling
I bunch of spinach, chopped
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 eggs, beaten
¾ cups milk
½ cup cheddar cheese
Salt to taste
½ tsp black pepper powder
Heat the butter and add the garlic. Now add the mushrooms and cook till the water dries up. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt and cook till it dries.
Assembling the quiche
Pour the mushroom spinach filling in the pie dish.
Spread the cheese over it. Whip the eggs, milk and some salt together and pour over the cheese.
Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes. Cool the quiche for 15 minutes and then unmould it. The quiche is best eaten warm.