On my last trip to Brasília, my aunt Paula gave me a wonderful gift: Gui Poulain’s Cartas Amarelas! The book is as beautiful as the autograph! Of course, I was dying to try one of the book’s recipes – to start our Pie Tertúlias, I chose his recipe for Quiche Lorraine, one of my favorite savory pies!
I followed the recipe ALMOST to a T – I changed the way to roll out the crust, because I didn’t want to make a mess on my counter! As expected, it was delicious. The best thing is that this pie is equally good hot and at room temperature. This recipe yielded six servings – lunch, dinner, and lunch again! Nobody complained of eating the same thing three meals in a row… 😉
For the crust
250 g flour
125 g cold unsalted butter
2 tsp salt – next time, I’ll use just one, as I thought the dough was a tad too salty
1 tsp sugar
1 egg yolk
50 mL water
For the filling
300 g bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
250 g heavy cream
salt, pepper, nutmeg
150 g gruyère, coarsely grated – I’m sure any melty cheese would work just fine, but gruyère and emmental are the traditional options
Start by making the crust. Whisk the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and, with your fingertips or a pastry cutter, mix until you get a coarsely crumbly mixture. Add the yolk and the water and combine just until you can make a ball – don’t knead it, or else it will be too hard! Wrap this ball with some plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Fry the bacon on low heat. Be patient, so that the bacon grease can render. When it’s all nicely fried, remove SOME of the grease, add the chopped onion and fry it until it’s golden. Set the bacon and onion aside, and try not to snack on it too much until it’s time to assemble the pie.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the heavy cream and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Remove the crust from the fridge. The normal way of rolling out the crust is by dusting your counter with flour. As I didn’t want to clean the flour mess, I cut two sheets of wax paper, placed the crust between the sheets, and rolled it out with a rolling pin. Then, I removed the top layer of paper, placed my 9-inch pie dish upside-down on top of it, flipped everything, and the crust just… fell into place beautifully. (And then, obviously, I removed the second layer of parchment paper)
Now comes the easy part: cover the bottom of the crust with the bacon and onions, then pour the egg and cream mix, and cover everything very well with the grated gruyère!
Bake on a preheated oven for about 40 minutes, give it or take, or until everything is golden brown and firm! You can eat it as soon as it comes out of the oven (which is what we did here) or you can wait and eat it at room temperature (which is also what we did here! 😀 )
Salt cod is a big deal in my family. We eat it for Christmas, Easter, special occasions, not-so-special occasions… Here in Uruguay, we can only find it around Easter. The worst thing is that it’s almost impossible to find nice thick pieces! Although it’s a bit of a pain to deal with thin salt cod, I buy it whenever I see it – did you say salt cod cakes? Bacalhoada? Basically anything with salt cod?
Looking for a different way of preparing it, I found this recipe on Receitas de Minuto. It was great – a much lighter way of eating salt cod!
For a 9-inch quiche, you’ll need:
1 cup flour
80 g cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
½ cup chopped onions or leeks
10 olives, give it or take
200 g salt cod, de-salted and shredded
1 cup heavy cream
Pepper, nutmeg, and paprika
Start by making the dough, which is basically the same as in the cheese empada. In a bowl, place the flour, salt, and butter. Mix the ingredients using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, crushing the chunks of butter until the texture resembles wet sand. Add the yolk and shape the dough into a ball. If you live in a dry area, you may need to add a couple Tbsp of water to be able to bring the dough together.
Roll the dough over a 9-inch round pan, pressing well on the bottom and sides of the pan. With a fork, unleash your inner murderer and prick the entire crust. Bake on a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside.
While the crust cools, prepare the filling: in pan that fits all the ingredients for the filling, sautée the leeks/onions and olives with a bit of olive oil until they soften a bit. Add the shredded salt cod and season with pepper, nutmeg, and paprika. Taste for salt – you usually don’t have to add any!
Remove the pan from the stove, mix in the heavy cream, and let it cool a bit before adding the eggs – you want a quiche, not scrambled eggs! 😀
After mixing in the eggs, pour the filling over the crust and bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until the filling is set and golden-brown. Wait a few minutes before slicing the quiche and serve with a nice green salad!