Quiche Lorraine

I signed up with America's Test Kitchen to be a home tester of their recipes. This is the first one I've tested. It turned out really well!

GOAL: Quiche can run the gamut from super eggy and bouncy to wet and soupy. We were looking for a silky smooth just-set texture. For the dairy in the custard we found that a mixture of half and half and sour cream provided the best creamy, nicely set texture with an added tang of flavor. Yet the cheese was a little more problematic. Time and again the quiche was cooked before the cheese was fully melted. Reducing the amount of cheese, finely grating it, and filling the pie crust with the cheese-laced custard mixture while still warmed all promoted a silky, evenly textured custard. However, after settling on the ideal amount of cheese in the custard tasters wanted more cheese flavor, so we decided to turn to a cheesy crust. Gruyère was ok in the crust but Parmesan lent a stronger, nutty flavor tasters loved. We all really loved the crust! I don't think I'll ever use another recipe for quiche crust. It was REALLY good! I served it for dinner with salad and hard rolls. Notes: Once the dough is pressed into the pie plate, it can be refrigerated for 2 days or double-wrapped in plastic and frozen for 1 month. Once baked and cooled, the shell can be wrapped in plastic and held at room temperature for 1 day. If making ahead, heat the pie shell in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes before adding the custard in step 4. Shred the Gruyère on the fine holes of a box grater.

Crust Ingredients:
1 C all-purpose flour
½ C grated Parmesan cheese
¼ t salt
6 T unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces cream cheese, softened

Custard and Topping Ingredients:
5 slices bacon, chopped fine
¾ C half-and-half
¾ C sour cream
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
Pinch nutmeg
½ C finely shredded Gruyère cheese (see note)

1. MAKE DOUGH Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk flour, Parmesan, and salt in bowl. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until dough forms large clumps, about 1 minute. Reserve 3 tablespoons dough. Flatten remaining dough into 6-inch disk and transfer to center of 9-inch pie plate.
2. BLIND BAKE Following steps 1 through 4 below, press dough evenly into bottom and sides of pie plate and form crust using reserved dough. Refrigerate dough 20 minutes, then transfer to freezer until firm, about 10 minutes. Spray two 12-inch square pieces of foil lightly with cooking spray and arrange, greased-side down in chilled pie shell. Top with pie weights and fold excess foil over edges of dough. Bake until surface of dough no longer looks wet, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and continue to bake until crust is just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool until just warm, about 15 minutes.
3. MIX CUSTARD: Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. While crust cools, cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes; transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Whisk half-and-half, sour cream, eggs, yolk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, Gruyere, and ¾ bacon in large bowl.
4. BAKE Pour custard mixture into warm pie shell and bake until crust is golden and custard is set around edges, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle remaining bacon over surface of quiche and continue to bake until custard is just set around edges but center of quiche still jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 5 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack 15 minutes. Serve. (Quiche can be refrigerated in airtight container for 3 days.)
Serves 8

Step-by-Step: No Fuss Crust The savory pat-in-the-pan pie dough for our Quiche Lorraine provides an amazingly flaky, flavor-rich crust without the headache of rolling out dough.
Step 1: Working from the inside out, evenly press the dough disk over the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.
Step 2: Roll each tablespoon of reserved dough into an 8-inch coil and lay around lip of pie plate.
Step 3: Squeeze coils ends together and to the sides of the pie dough to make the pie crust’s cuff.
Step 4: Using the thumb of one hand and the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, crimp the dough.

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