If you’ve conquered your fear of pastry dough, you may have tried blind baking a crust for a pie or quiche. Roll it, chill it, line with foil and weights, and bake. In my experience, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Since I usually make all-butter doughs, more often than not, my beautifully crimped crust shrinks and sags before I ever get the filling in. Don’t even ask about my Thanksgiving maple cream pie (I ended up baking the custard separately and serving a sliver of crust as a garnish).
Blind baking also adds time to the process, and especially when you’re baking for breakfast, anything that takes less time is a bonus. So I’m thrilled to share a great all-butter crust recipe for your quiche or custard pie that doesn’t require blind baking, but still comes out of the oven pleasantly crispy on the bottom. I’ve tried it several times, and there’s very little shrinkage.
You can prepare the crust and chill it in its pan while you mix up the filling, or better yet, make it the day before and let it rest in the refrigerator until morning. Stagger out of bed, heat the oven, pour in the filling, and bake. By the time the rest of your household has risen, you’ll have a lovely quiche cooling on the table.
All-Butter Quiche Crust
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
pinch of salt
6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg, beaten
Stir together the flour, cornstarch and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, or pulse it in the food processor until the mixture looks roughly like the texture of oatmeal. Mix in the egg until the dough comes together. You may need to use your hands to gently knead it two or three turns into a ball.
Roll the dough between two sheets of waxed paper or parchment into a 12-inch circle. Press the dough into a 9-inch pie plate or quiche pan. Crimp the edges, if necessary, and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight (cover with plastic wrap if overnight).
Fill with your favorite quiche filling, and bake in a 350 degree oven until the filling is puffed and golden brown. Remove and cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Melissa Jerves writes about food, family and 21st century home economics on her blog, Home Baked.