When you think of summer picnics, does quiche come to mind? You might have relegated quiche to that folder in your mind labeled 80s concepts best forgotten, but I’m hoping that after you read this post, you’ll layer your picnic basket with rich and butter individual quiches for when the summer finally arrives. Not only is quiche delicious, but it has all the protein kids (and grown ups) need for a fun afternoon of games on the lawn.
Although summer has yet to rear its gorgeous head in Chicago, Juju and I had quite a picnic on Friday. As part of the soon to be aired AOL Originals Anthony Eats America series, Juju and I sat down and had a full French picnic feast with Anthony Anderson and a full camera crew. I’d been baking furiously ever since I first spoke to the director on Wednesday night, and our spread included a French apple tart, Salade Nicoise, a rich Moelleux au Chocolat, as well as individual quiches Lorraine. We saved the quiches for last and plunged on plastic forks deep in the swiss cheese custard, hunting for bits of bacon and chunks of buttery crust. It was epic.
I worried that Juju would get tongue tied and nervous in front of the cameras, but she was a true natural, hamming it up for the crew and joking around with Anthony. When the shoot wrapped, I was the only one to have any quiche left, too preoccupied by the filming to really give the quiche the attention it deserved. Juju and Anthony licked their bowls clean. As the camera men put away their gear, Juju was twirling around on the grass, asking when we could do it all again with more quiches, more cameras, and more fun. Just a small taste of quiche and fame, was all it took to get her hooked.
I’m not sure when we’ll get another opportunity to get her in front of the camera, but I can fulfill her hunger for quiche and plan to do so again during many picnics this summer. We’ll be keeping it traditional, with just Swiss cheese and bacon, a simple quiche Lorraine. The picnic episode of Anthony Eats America should be airing sometime in July. I’ll be sure to share it with you then, but for the rest of this week, I’ll share each of the recipes of our picnic feast. Stay tuned for French Apple Tart, Salad Nicoise and a decadent French chocolate cake.
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp baking powder
- 8 tbsps (1 stick) of butter
- 2 to 3 tbsps cold water
- ½ pound of bacon (8 - 10 strips - adjust to your liking)
- 1 cup 2% or richer milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste (we used about ½ teaspoon)
- ½ teaspoon of ground mustard
- 1¼ cups of grated Swiss cheese
- First, make the dough. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse 2 or 3 times quickly to mix.
- Cut the butter into 1 tbsp pieces and add to food processor. Pulse over and over again very quickly until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. You should not be able to see any more large pieces of butter.
- Scatter 1 tablespoon of tap water on the butter and flour mixture and pulse 5 to 6 times. The dough should begin to hold together. If the mixture still appears dry and crumbly, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Remove the dough from the food processor. In your hands, roll it into a uniform ball. Place it on a piece of plastic wrap. Press it down into a 6-inch disk and cover with another piece of plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate the dough until firm, or until you are ready to use it, about an hour, to help the crust come together.
- Remove the crust from the fridge and give it 10 minutes to come to room temperature.
- During that time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease individual pie tins.
- Roll out the pie crust and cut circles of dough to fit pie tins. Lay them carefully into the greased mini pie tins so the crust reaches the top. Fix any holes and place in the oven for 15 minutes, until the crust is baked and just beginning to darken.
- While the pie crust is blind baking, cook your bacon in a pan over medium heat until brown. Place on a plate covered with paper towel to soak up the grease.
- In a large measuring cup, combine the milk, eggs, heavy cream, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk aggressively to combine and add a little air.
- Fold in the bacon and the swiss cheese.
- Once the pie crust is light golden and hard to the touch, remove from the oven and pour the egg mixture ¾ of the way up in each pie tin.
- Cook at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and not jiggly. Enjoy warm or cold.