How Do I Choose the Best Quiche Crust?
As you are considering different recipes for quiche crust, you should typically look at two major elements of the recipe: the fat and the liquid. Different types of fat can be used in crust recipes, including butter and oil. Generally, butter is often preferred over oil as it allows for better control in preparing the crust and often provides greater flavor and a flakier texture. You can consider quite a few different types of liquids in a quiche crust, including ice water, milk, and even vodka.
One of the first things you might think about regarding a quiche crust is any experience you have had with other crust recipes. If you have a favorite recipe for making sweet pies, then you might consider using it to make a quiche. There are a number of companies that make commercial crusts that you can buy from a store, but a homemade quiche crust is almost always superior in flavor and texture.
You should typically look at the type of fat that is called for in a recipe for quiche crust. Some recipes can call for the use of oil, which can be somewhat difficult to work with as it is a liquid and mixes with the flour too easily. Solid butter is often preferable, since it provides you with greater control during the creation of the crust.
Slices or cubes of chilled butter can be mixed, by hand or with a pastry blender, into flour for the quiche crust. This process results in small pieces of butter that are coated in flour. During baking, these mixed pieces create pockets of butter, which results in an even and delicious flavor for your crust. This combination of solid fats and flour also produces a crust that is flaky, which is the ideal consistency for quiche.
You should also look at the type of liquid that is used in a quiche crust recipe, and choose one that preserves the proper texture. Ice water and cold milk are both commonly used in crust recipes, which are typically combined with the mixture of flour and butter. Milk is usually a slightly better choice, as it provides flavor and richness that water does not.
Some traditional recipes for quiche crust can use crème fraîche, which may be hard to find in some areas. This provides a tangy flavor and richness to the crust that is unmatched by either water or milk, though sour cream can also be used when crème fraîche is unavailable. There are even some recipes that call for the use of vodka in the crust. While this may seem strange, it is actually more effective than water, since it does not form gluten when combined with flour, which can result in a gummy crust. The alcohol and flavor in the vodka cooks out during baking, leaving a crust that is rich and flaky.
@Scrbblchick -- I confess, I had the same thought -- why make a crust for a quiche unless company is coming? Takes too long.
I am partial to puff pastry crusts, too, and you can find these frozen, too. They puff up so nicely!
You can also cut refrigerated biscuits in half and put them cut side down, sides touching, around the pie pan. You don't have a crust, but you will have nice brown biscuits. Of course, you put the biscuits around the pan when the quiche has about 15 minutes left to bake. You'll end up with a lovely browned edging, but without all the effort.
If I feel like making a crust for a quiche, I just use my standard pie crust recipe, which uses butter, flour, salt and ice water. I usually put it together in my food processor and then gather it into a ball and chill it for at least an hour before I roll it out.
But honestly, unless I was doing it for company, I normally don't make a quiche crust. That sort of defeats the purpose of quiche as a quick meal. Rolling out a crust is too much trouble for a weeknight supper. So I usually buy a frozen crust and pre-bake it. No trouble.
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