Friday, April 15, 2011

Homemade Dough for Quiches or Fruit Tarts

Use this easy recipe to make the pastry shells for brunch quiches and for fresh fruit tarts. This tart pan has a removable bottom for easy serving.

Tart Dough:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
1/4 cup shortening
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
Mix flour and salt. Add the butter and shortening using a pastry blender tool or 2 knives. Continue until it makes  coarse looking crumb. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time stirring with a fork after each addition just enough water to forms a dough. Using floured hands make a flat disk. This can now be used to cut out the tarts, quiche or anything else you need a pastry dough for. This makes enough for one 9 inch quiche or tart shell. Around 8 to 12 miniature individual tart pans. If not using immediately refrigerate up to 2 days.
Suggestions for dessert tarts: Fill with lemon, chocolate or vanilla puddings with a combination of fruit added. Or just fill with fresh fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, kiwi, pineapple, cherries. Fruits can also be used as a topping to the cream filled tarts.  Garnish with chocolate curls, whipped cream or meringues.

For savory quiches, you can use this crust recipe above and this is a great quiche recipe:

Bacon and Spinach Quiche
6 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped
1 shallot, minced
6 cups baby spinach
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Prepare the pastry shell
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees
On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch round tart pan and trim the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the overhang back over itself and pinch to create a sturdy edge. Pierce the dough all over with a fork. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Bake the pastry shell until the edges are lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool briefly. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Make the filling:
In a fry pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes or more I like mine crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan, add the garlic and cook just until soft, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the spinach mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.
Place the bacon and the cheese in the pastry shell. Pour in the spinach mixture on top. Bake until the filling is set and the crust is golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool briefly. Remove the pan rim, cut the quiche into wedges and serve warm.

Another recipe from a previous post for a filling, try this one below:

Amaretto Strawberry Cream Pie
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