Asparagus & Bacon Quiche

Tender, flaky crust and a filling with the right ratio of veggies to egg and cheese--that's the combination for a perfect quiche. And Theresa over at Island Vittles has nailed it. We love this short crust. It's easy to work with and it makes a sturdy base for the hearty quiche filling. Thanks for another keeper, Theresa!


Ingredients for the Short Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut in ½” cubes
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup ice water

Ingredients for the Quiche Filling:
1/2 lb Asparagus
2 sliced thick cut bacon
1/2 Onion finely diced
1/2 tsp dried whole leaf Thyme
1 tsp minced preserved lemon or the zest of one lemon
2 large eggs
1 egg white (leftover from the short crust recipe)
1/2-2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions for the Short Crust:
Stir together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Rub the cubed butter into the flour with your fingertips, until the butter is reduced to small pea-sized lumps, and the flour is the color of cornmeal.

Whisk the yolk together with the ice water, then add it to the bowl and use your fingertips to bring the dough together into a “shaggy ball” — add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time , if necessary. The goal is to add just enough water to hold the dough together – it should not be too soft.

Place the dough ball on the counter, pour any loose flour left in the bowl onto the dough. Lightly knead the remaining flour into the dough to form the dough into 1 or 2 smooth-surfaced discs, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least ½ hour.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly dust the counter with flour. Roll the short crust dough out to an 11-12” disc about ⅛” thick, loosening and turning the dough occasionally. Roll the dough lightly over the rolling pin and transfer to a 9-10” tart pan. Lightly press the dough into the pan and trim the crust to a ¼” above the top of the pan.

Fold the excess dough over, toward the pan, and press the dough into the side of the pan, so that it sits approx ¼” above the top of the pan (see notes).  Prick holes all over the bottom of the crust with a fork.
Blind bake the crust by lining the crust with parchment paper and filling the pan with pie weights or uncooked dry beans.  Blind bake the crust for 10-15 minutes.  Remove the pie weights and parchment and return the crust to the oven for 10 more minutes, until dry and lightly colored.  Cool slightly on a rack.

Directions for the Quiche:
Trim the woody ends from the asparagus, then cut into ½” pieces, leaving the tips whole.
Heat a heavy pan over medium heat. Add the bacon, and cook slowly to render the fat. When the bacon is golden, add the asparagus and onion, and cook until the onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Whisk together the eggs, egg white and cream. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle half of the parmesan on the par-baked crust. Spread the asparagus, bacon and onion mixture evenly on top, then pour the egg and cream mix over that. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the custard is set firm and the top is golden.
Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature with a side salad.

Tips from Theresa:

  • By doubling over the sides of the crust and pressing the dough to sit above the top of the pan, you are allowing for the inevitable shrinkage that occurs during the blind baking of the crust. (You want the blind baked crust level with the sides of the pan to minimize leakage.)
  • If you refrigerate the short crust dough for more than ½ hour, you may have to rest it for a 10-15 minutes at room temperature before it will be soft enough to roll out.
  • It takes most 2 or 3 attempts at this crust to learn how much water is needed to just hold the dough together. Too much water will result in a tough crust.
  • If you refrigerate the dough for more than ½ hour, you may have to rest it for a few minutes at room temperature before it will be soft enough to roll out.

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