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Onion Quiche

Any dish that highlights the sweetness of cooked onions is a good one, and this gives them center stage.

Yield: 4 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe Generous Pie Shell made without sugar, or Rich Tart Crust made without sugar, in a 10-inch tart pan or 9-inch deep dish pie pan, and chilled
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or olive oil
  • 6 cups thinly sliced onions
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups cream, half-and-half, or milk, gently heated just until warm

Generous Pie Shell

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus some for dusting work surface
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tespoons sugar
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • About 4 tablespoons ice water, plusmore if necessary

1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the container of a food processor; pulse once or twice. Add the butter and turn on the machine; process until the butter and flour are blended and the mixture looks like cornmeal, about 10 seconds.

2. Place the mixture in a bowl and sprinkle 4 tablespoons of water over it. Use a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula to gradually gather the mixture into a ball; if the mixture seems dry add another 1/2 tablespoon ice water. When you can make the mixture into a ball with your hands, do so. Wrap in plastic. flatten into a small disk, and freeze the dough for 10 minutes (or refrigerate for 30 minutes); this will ease rolling. (You can also refrigerate the dough for a day or two, or freeze it almost indefinately.)

3. You can roll the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap , usually quite successfully; sprinkle both sides with a little more flour, then proceed. Or sprinkle a countertop or a large board with flour. Unwrap the dough and place it on the work surface; sprinkle its top with flour. If the dough is hard, let it rest a few minutes; it should give a little when you press your finger into it.

4. Roll with light pressure, from the center out. (If the dough seems very sticky at first, add flour liberally; but if it becomes sticky only after you roll it for a few minutes, return it to the refrigerator for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Continue to roll, adding small amounts of flour as necessary, rotating the dough occasionally, and turning it over once or twice during the process. (Use ragged edges of dough to repair any tears, adding a drop of water while you press the patch into place.) When the dough is about 10 inches in diameter (it will be less than 1/4 inch thick), place your pie plate over it to check the size.

5. Move the dough into the pie plate by draping it over the rolling pin or by folding it into quarters, then moving it into the plate and unfolding it. When the dough is in the plate, press it firmly into he bottom, sides, and junction of the bottom and sides. Trim the excess dough to about 1/2 inch all around, then tuck it under itself around the edge of the plate. Decorate the edges with a fork or your fingers. Freeze the dough for 10 minutes (or refrigerate for 30 minutes).
6. When you're ready to bake, prick it all over with a fork.

Rich Tart Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups (about 7 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into about 10 pieces
  • 2 egg yolks, plus more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons ice water, plus 1 tablespoon if needed

1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the container of a food processor; pulse once or twice. Add the butter and turn on the machine; process until the butter and flour are blended and the mixture look like cornmeal, about 10 seconds. Add the egg yolks and process another few seconds.

2. Place tyhe mixture in a bowl and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water over it. Use a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula to gradually gather the mixture into a ball; if the mixture is dry, add another tablespoon of ice water. When you can make the mixture into a ball with your hands, do so. Wrap in plastic, flatten into a small disk, and freeze the dough for 10 minutes (or refrigerate for 30 minutes); this will ease rolling. (You can also refrigerate the dough for a day or two, or freeze it almost indefinitely.)

3. You can roll the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, usually quite successfully; sprinkle both sides of it with a little more flour, then proceed. Or sprinkle a countertop or large board with flour. Unwrap the dough and place it on the work surface; sprinkle its top with flour. if the dough is hard, let it rest for a few minutes; it should give a little when you press your fingers into it.

4. Roll with light pressure, from the center out. If the dough seems very sticky at first, add a little flour; but if it becomes sticky while you're rolling, return it to the refrigerator for 10 minutes before proceeding. Continue to roll, adding flour as necessary, rotating the dough occasionally, and turning it over once or twice. (Use ragged edges of dough to repair any tears, adding a drop of water while you press the patch into place.) When the diameter of the dough is about 2 inches greater than that of your tart pan, move the dough into the pan by draping it over the rolling pin or by folding it into quarters, then unfolding it into the pan. When the dough is in the pan, press it firmly into the bottom, sides, and junction of bottom and sides. Save scraps to patch holes, or just bake them as small, smple cookies.

5. Before filling, freeze the dough for twenty minutes (or refrigerate it for 1 hour).

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prick the crust all over with a fork. Line it with tin foil and weigt the bottom with a pile of dried beans, rice (these can be reused for this same purpose), or other weights that will sit flat on the surface. Bake 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the weights and foil; turn the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Meanwhile, place the butter or oil in a large, deep skillet and turn the heat to medium; when the butter melts or the oil is hot, add the onions, salt, and pepper. Turn the heat heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft and golden brown, at least 20 minutes. Add the thyme, stir, and turn off the heat.

3. Beat the eggs with the liquid and stir in the onions. Place the baked crust on a baking sheet. Pour the egg mixture into the crust, right to the top. Carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes, unitl the mixture is set but is still moist; it should jiggle justa little in the middle. Cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

From How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food by Mark Bittman
Copyrightę 1998 by Mark Bittman
Permission by Macmillan
New York, NY

 
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