Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cooking Challenge Week 22 - Tarts - Bacon and Red Pepper Quiche

I will jump at any excuse I can to make quiche, although I'm still working on getting my pie crusts to be pretty, as you can plainly see.

In past pastry posts, I've linked to a good shortening-based pie crust recipe; but this time, I was out of shortening.  I did have five sticks of butter in the freezer (buy butter on sale and freeze it!), so I tried smitten kitchen's all-butter crust.  I have to say, it was a lot easier to handle than my previous pie crusts, so I think I might very well be a butter convert now...

If the flavor profile here looks familiar, it is.  What can I say, they're delicious together!  I left out the onion here, though, because my bell pepper was huuuuuge and I didn't want the egg filling to overflow. 

Bacon and Red Pepper Quiche
(makes 2 9-inch tarts)
  • 2 pie crusts from your preferred recipe
  • 6 strips thick-cut bacon
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Mexican-blend shredded cheese (cheddar would also be lovely)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper
Make your pie crusts.  While the dough is firming up in the fridge, proceed with the filling.

Also, get your oven preheating to 400 F.

Chop the bacon into 1 1/2" inch pieces.   Cook over medium heat until done but not super-crispy; remove bacon pieces with a slotted spoon or spatula as they look done, so none overcook while the others are finishing. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate, and set aside.

When all the bacon is out, throw in the bell pepper and cook over low heat until tender, stirring often.  I like a little bit of char on mine, so I turned up the heat to medium-high for the last minute, but that's purely optional.

As the red pepper is cooking, roll out your two pie crusts and get them into your pie pans.  Dock well and blind-bake (ie, line with parchment or foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights) for 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven, carefully lift out the foil and let your weights cool off somewhere. 

Turn the oven down to 350 F.  (Do not forget this step!)

Divide the bacon, bell pepper, and cheese evenly between the two crusts.

In a small bowl (or preferably, a 4-cup liquid measuring cup, for easier pouring) whisk the eggs until well-blended.  Add the sour cream and whisk until there are no lumps; finally add the milk and whisk until smooth.  Season well with salt and pepper.

Divide the egg mixture between the two crusts and bake 30-35 minutes, until the edges are browned and the filling is set.  Allow to cool on wire racks 10 minutes before serving (for hot) or longer to nearly room temperature, which is quite nice on a hot summer night like tonight.

Refrigerate leftovers.  Also, this freezes incredibly well; I often freeze the second quiche whole.  To reheat from frozen, bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes, covering the edge of the crust with foil if necessary to prevent over-browning.

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