Real men MAKE quiche. With Bacon. In the crust… yeah, I said it: Bacon in the crust. I have been using the same Good Eats pie dough recipe for a couple of years. Of course, I made a few adjustments like using blue corn meal, and replacing the apple juice concentrate with vodka (blue corn meal and vodka are two of my favorite ingredients). But recently I started to consider the science behind the recipe that I took out of the book once a year. Why was there cornmeal in the original recipe? What role does the liquid play? And I began experimenting…
I always loved the texture that the corn meal added to the crust… distinctly grainy, almost Al Dente. Recently, I also figured that the corn meal would not hydrate the same way as the four does. And when it did hydrate, it was non-gluten forming… which made for a more tender dough. So I thought to myself, what could I use besides cornmeal? Bacon came to mind almost instantly. Bacon is often near my mental forefront… I’m happy to report that the bacon substitution worked well. Next time, I’ll even leave it in larger pieces. I also have a few other ideas, stay tuned for more pie crust ideas.
400g AP Flour.
85g Cooked Bacon, chopped. (you want the bacon extra crispy, dry, and cool).
60g (~4 tblspn) Lard, cut into small pieces, very cold.
180g (~12 tblspn Butter), cut same as lard, very cold (freezer).
Vodka/water solution (50/50) about 4 tablespoons.
Okay, so this is what we call “the biscuit method”. Basically, we’re going to combine all of the dry ingredients, cut in the fat, and add as little liquid as possible. Here goes.
Dry ingredients combined, ready to have fat cut in:
I don’t own a food processor… not a big one anyway. This is intentional to make me keep my knife skills up. I also don’t own a pastry blender … I’ve done this before with my fingertips, works pretty well. You want to use your fingertips to prevent the fat from melting. This time around, I found a new use for one of my favorite kitchen utensils:
Use the whisk to cut in the fat by mashing down on the butter/flour mix. Kind of like a large muddling stick and a butter/flour mojito.
After your butter and lard* are all cut in, add the crumbled bacon:
*Why use butter and lard? Simple: Science. The dough is tenderized when the fat is heated… the water content in the fat helps to create lots of thin layers of dough. In other words: flakey delicious! We use two different fats because each has its own melting point, so we get layers created throughout the baking process. Flakey. Delicious. Not low-calorie.
Next, sprinkle in just enough water/vodka mix to bring the dough together… better yet, use a spritzy squirt bottle to evenly spread the liquid over the entire dry mix. I couldn’t find my spritzy squirt bottle, so I flicked the liquid in with my fingers.
Oh yeah, this works better when your Vodka comes from Texas:)
Wrap the dough and refrigerate for about 30 minutes- 2 hours.
In a hurry? Chef Michael Symon suggests that you can speed this resting period up by sealing the dough with a food saver. I’ve tried it and the results were good, but I have not done a side-by-side comparison.
While the dough is resting, we can work on the filling…first step, about 1/2 onion, sliced and caramelized with a pinch of salt.
Once those are nice and brown, shed up one russet potato, and knock out some hashbrowns.
Let the onion and potato cool, then combine. Add 4 eggs, and about 90 grams of shredded cheddar cheese.
Roll out the dough about 1/8″ thick and transfer into a tart pan.
*Tip: you can roll the dough up on your rolling pin to make transferring easier. Then just roll over the edge of the tart pan with the rolling pin to trim the excess.
I re-gathered the excess and rolled it out for a rustic galette.
Use a sheet of parchment paper and some dry beans to blind bake your crust for about 12 minutes at 425.
Take the blind-baked shell out of the oven and remove the beans and parchment. Add the filling and cook for about 5-7 more minutes or until the eggs are barely jiggly… allow to cool and slice and serve!
This was supper yummy! The crust came out perfect, crispy, tender, buttery, flakey. The potato, onion, cheese filling is very manly… a really great breakfast/brunch item.
As I mentioned earlier, next time I will leave the in slightly larger pieces. But I also plan on experimenting with other substitutions… keep an eye out for more pie crust delights!