This easy spring leek and bacon quiche with a tender and flaky homemade crust is a family favorite, and is perfect for any meal from breakfast to dinner!
The word "quiche" comes from the German word kuchen which means "cake" or "tart". Isn't Wikipedia great?
I sometimes think about the people who spend their valuable time writing and editing Wikipedia entries. In these dark times, it kind of gives me hope in humankind knowing that, with no monetary incentive or real recognition, there are people willing to do this work for the pure joy of contributing to peoples' general knowledge. It is both noble and inspiring.
While I was on the quiche page, I couldn't resist looking up Wikipedia on Wikipedia. We're talking 40 million articles in 250 languages. Amazing.
And while we're on the subject, quiche is a pretty amazing thing too. Appropriate for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, it freezes and reheats perfectly. It is healthy, tasty and kid-friendly. And do not be intimidated by the pie crust. I make a simple all-butter pie crust that is perfectly tender and flaky and, best of all, pretty hard to mess up. But in case you're apprehensive, here are the keys to successful pie crusts in my opinion:
- Work with cold ingredients, especially the butter and water. Some people even chill the flour, but let's not get crazy here.
- Add only enough water to make a cohesive dough that will not fall apart as you roll it out. Adding too much water makes the crust hard and tough.
- Forget the food processor. It's important to have visible chunks of butter in there, because that's what makes for a flaky pie dough. Every time I've used the food processor, I overdid it and got sand.
- Once the dough is fitted to the pie plate, chill it again, especially if you're par-baking it. This help the dough keep its shape and reduces shrinkage as it bakes.
I make quiche year-round, using my basic recipe, and varying the filling as the seasons dictate. This leek and bacon quiche is perfect for spring. Use any kind of cheese you like and any combination of vegetables and herbs you have around. Add ham or sausage or bacon, or keep it vegetarian if you're so inclined.
Oh, and If you love buttery leeks as much as we do, check out this silky leek and potato soup. It's warm creamy comfort at its best.
This spring leek and bacon quiche is a personal favorite, but the possibilities are as endless as a Wikipedia rabbit hole.
Spring Leek and Bacon Quiche
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup ice water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 medium leeks, white and light green parts, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 5 slices bacon (hardwood smoked if possible)
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme and oregano
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, a knife, your hands, or some combination thereof, until butter is in pea-size pieces.
- Stir in water gradually and form a ball with your hands. If the mixture is too crumbly, add more water, one tablespoon at a time, but only enough to make the dough cohesive. flatten the ball into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 4 hours, or overnight. I like to make the dough the night before.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out the pie dough into a circle on a floured surface. Fold the dough into quarters and unfold over a 9-inch pie pan, leaving a 1 inch overhang. Trim and crimp the edges. Put the pie plate in the fridge or freezer for a few minute to firm the dough back up.
- I personally like to parbake the crust a little at this point, but this step is not absolutely necessary. If parbaking, put parchment paper in the bottom and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 10 minutes.
- Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and sautée over medium heat until browned, stirring frequently. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving a tablespoon of grease in the pan.
- Add the sliced leeks and sautée until tender and browned. Add to bacon.
- In the meantime, whisk together the eggs, milk, herbs, salt and pepper.
- To fill the quiche, put half the cheese in the bottom, then add the leeks and bacon. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese evenly over the top, and pour in the egg mixture.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the center has set and the top has golden brown spots.