Evie is my free-time senior quiche chief who perfected the art through the years and many different experiments. And she was baking mini-quiches over and over for several weeks. Those are tiny little crispy beauties; savory or sweet, with different fillings. My favourites from her selection are with seafood and spinach. With some nuts inside.
Her little quiches are juicy, crispy and absolutely addictive. She is a true follower of traditional French recipe of quiche dough with some personal touch. It does not even take too long to prepare them. But apparently there is a true alchemy how to make the perfect dough, how to roll and how to perfect the blind baking process.
And when it comes to blind baking, you need to use some non-cookable weight for the dough to not to get bubbly. Usually chickpeas or beans are used. But Evie has a more picturesque idea. The stones she collected over the years from Mediterranean, right in front of her home in Crete are now used as the weight on the dough. Don’t they just look like seaside?
So we decided to spend a beautiful Sunday of quiche-making while she is teaching me the secrets of dough rolling, blind baking and quiche filling.
Apparently there are two important points for the perfect dough: Use the exact measurements mentioned in the recipe of flour and butter. And always keep the butter cold. This implies keeping the butter in fridge, rolling the dough very quickly and using tips of fingers rather than palms. Palms are warm!
The quiche recipes will follow later on. First, we gotta learn how to make the perfect dough:
Quiche Dough Ingredients
- 2 cups of sifted all-purpose fine flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 pinches of sugar
- 140 gr chilled butter, cut into small cubes
- 3 tbs chilled vegetable shortening
- 5 tbs cold water
Making the Dough
- Place flour, salt, sugar, butter and shortening in a mixing bowl. Rub the flour and butter rapidly between the tips of your fingers until the fat is broken into pieces. It’s important to keep the butter cold and don’t overdo this, butter should not be melting into the flour.
- Add the water and blend quickly with one hand, rapidly together into a mass. Sprinkle up 1 tsp more water to put the dough together. Then press the dough firmly into a ball. It should hold together, but not damp and sticky.
- Place the pastry on a lightly floured flat board, and with the heel of your hand rapidly press it down on the board. Repeat several times. This blends the fat and the flour together. Do not use the palm of the hand, as it’s warmer.
- Gather the dough again into a rough ball, sprinkle lightly with flour, and wrap it into plastic bag tightly. Leave it in the fridge minimum 2 hours or over the night.
<This process should be done as quickly as possible to not to melt the butter.>
Rolling the dough
- Take the dough out of the fridge, place it on lightly floured flat surface. Round into a ball.
- Lightly flour the top of the dough. Flatten it with a rolling pin into a 3 mm thick layer, changing sides.
- Butter the bottom of your pan. Locate a mini pan on the dough, cut it round 5mm larger than the pan. Take the dough with your fingers and shape it into your pan. Re-use the rest.
- Make several holes on the bottom of your molded dough with a knife.
- Put parchment paper on the pie pan with the dough. Place the dry beans, chickpeas or clean stones. Preheat the oven 400 degrees and place the pan. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.
- Take it out of oven; remove the stones and the paper. Let it cool.
With this recipe you can make sweet or savory fillings. The quiche recipes will follow quickly after!