Served warm in the winter or cool in the summer this is a prince among comfort foods. If you use a store-bought crust this can be ready in 40 minutes, add another 30 minutes for the adventure of making your own crust. Either way it fits well with a busy schedule.
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ¾ stick unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 egg yolks
- 5 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp salt
Mushroom & Shallot Filling (serves 4 to 6)
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup swiss and gruyere cheese, shredded
- 4 mushrooms, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 tbsp cream
- 1 tsp parsley
- ½ tbsp parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
Start with the pie crust. Preheat oven to 350°F and get out a 9” pie or tart pan. Sift flour and mix with salt. Work in the cubed butter with your fingers (or use a low setting on a blender, but fingers are best). It will be done when the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs. If you do not have unsalted butter handy you can use salted, but do not add the additional teaspoon of salt.
Beat the egg yolks and milk together. Add half the liquid to the dry mix and gently, but thoroughly, work it in. Add the last half of the liquid and work it in. This should be the consistency of cookie dough.
Press the dough into the pan using your fingers. First do the sides and then cover the bottom. Try for less than 1/8 inch thickness but don’t stress over lumpy spots. The only important thing is to fill in any holes.
Put the pan into the 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Since you’re not rolling out the dough, there’s no need to chill it in the fridge — another time saver. At the end 10 minutes you’ll have a crust that can be used for quiche, tart or pie. It all depends on your mood.
While the crust is going through its initial baking begin to work on the filling. Steam the chopped mushroom and shallot for 3 minutes, then cool under cold running water. This will stop the cooking process and make them cool enough to handle. Then blend the eggs, cream, parsley, and salt and pepper.
Pour in the blended egg mixture, rotating the pan if necessary for an even distribution. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and place in the 350°F oven for an hour or until the top begins to brown. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Alternatives: Try using asparagus instead of mushroom and shallot. Zucchini works well, too. Crisp bacon segments or diced prosciutto is wonderfully decadent. Also — if you’re using a store-bought crust you still need to bake it for 10 minutes before adding the filling.
This pairs with anything remotely green. In this case, I made a salad of grape tomato, cucumber and dill.