Simple and Flaky Pie Crust - great for quiche or a sweet treat
(Remember to keep cold items cold)
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 stick of cold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of cold water
Put dry ingredients into food processor and pulse to incorporate.
Cut butter into 8 pieces and add to the food processor.
Pulse repeatedly until the flour and butter bind into pea-sized pieces.
Add water and continue to pulse.
DO NOT KEEP MOTOR RUNNING OR BUTTER WILL MELT.
Pulse. Pulse. Pulse and over a couple of minutes the dough will come together.
Remove dough from machine and work gently to a nice uniform ball. Do not overwork dough, your hands will heat it up. A few kneads should do it.
Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
After an hour, preheat over to 350, remove dough from plastic wrap and use hands to create a large disc on a floured sheet of parchment paper.
Roll dough gently, avoiding breaking the edges apart to the best of your ability.
Once the dough is about an inch from the edges of the parchment, slide rolling pin under the paper.
* Save time and use two aluminum pie pans. Place dough over one that is upside down (see video) and then place the other on top of the dough - so the dough is in between the two.
Flip the pans over and trim around the edge leaving aprrox. 1 inch of overhand.
Lift the edge of the dough and tuck the edge under to create a seamless crust.
Place top pan back on the dough and place baking beans (approx 1lb) in the top pan.
Place on middle rack of the over and cook for 15 minutes.
For a quiche, blend 8 egg whites (or use 1 cup of carton egg whites) with 1/4 cup of cream. Salt and pepper to season then add herbs like parsley, chives or basil to flavor/color the quiche filling.
In the prebaked pie crust, add protein (think of using leftover chicken, ham, turkey, bacon, etc) as well as precooked vegetables like broccoli, peppers, mushrooms and such. If adding spinach, add later to create appearance (see video).
Add cheese of choice, approx 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Feta goes great with egg whites.
If adding spinach, do that last and spread them around to lace the top.
Pour egg white mixture slowly all around the fillings to make sure it fills in all of the little pockets of air space.
Bake on 350 for 30 minutes and check with a toothpick. Ovens vary so a clean toothpick from the middle of the quiche can be any where from 30-45 minutes depending.
Allow to rest 2 minutes outside of the over before slicing.
For sweet potato pie, in a stand mixer cream 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup softened butter.
Add 2 room temperature eggs, mix well, add 3/4 cup evaporated milk and continue mixing.
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Allow to mix for 30 seconds to ensure well incorporated.
Add approx 1 1/2 lbs of precooked sweet potatoes (see video). This will be 2 to 2 1/2 medium sweet potatoes without skin.
Mix well to break down fibers of potatoes and incorporate all ingredients.
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then reduce to 350 for 30-40 minutes more. Use a toothpick to check doneness starting at 25 minutes and each 5 minutes thereafter until cooked.
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