Sunday, February 10, 2013

Crab Quiche

I received a copy of the classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking for my birthday and while I've enjoyed flipping through it, I'm sad to say I haven't really put it to good use. This recipe should be a reminder not to let good resources go to waste. It's a simple, straight-forward recipe that tastes amazingly rich (thanks to cream, crab, and cheese). Now you could use a pre-made pastry base, but the recipe included in the book is too good to pass up. It's rich and flaky with a perfect texture. It also rolls out like a breeze. The original calls for a mixture of butter and vegetable shortening. We don't have shortening, so I substituted lard.

One year ago: Cabbage and Cucumber Slaw with Roasted Peanuts
Two years ago: Ninfa's Red Sauce
Three years ago: Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Cheese Chowder

Crab Quiche (from Mastering the Art of French Cooking)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp butter
2 1/4 tbsp lard (or vegetable shortening)
4 1/2 tbsp water
3/8 tsp salt
pinch of sugar
2 tbsp minced shallots or green onions
3 tbsp butter
1/4 lb cooked crab or diced cooked shrimp or lobster
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
2 tbsp madeira or dry white vermouth
3 eggs
1 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese

1. Place flour, salt, sugar, butter, and lard in large mixing bowl. With a pastry blender or your fingers mix until fat is broken into pieces the size of oatmeal flakes.
2. Add water and blend into a mass of dough.
3. Place dough on lightly floured pastry board. With the heel of one hand, press pastry into a smear. Gather the dough back into a mass, knead into a ball, and wrap in wax paper. Place in freezer for 1 hour or in fridge for 2 hours or up to overnight.
4. Roll dough until it is thin enough to be placed into a 8 or 9" tart pan. Fold dough edges around pan.
5. Place quiche dough in oven until oven is preheated to 400F.
6. Prick bottom of quiche with fork. Cover with aluminum foil. Weight down with beans or pie weights. Bake for 8 - 9 minutes.
7. Remove foil and weights and prick pastry a few more times with weights. Cook another 2 - 3 minutes.
8. Reduce oven temperature to 375F.
9. Meanwhile, cook shallots in butter for 1 - 2 minutes over moderate heat in a medium frying pan until tender.
10. Add crab to onions and warm for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle on salt and pepper.
11. Add wine to crab and boil for a moment. Allow to cool slightly.
12. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with cream, tomato paste, and seasonings.
13. Blend in crab. Pour mixture into pastry shell, sprinkle with cheese, and bake for 30 minutes until quiche has puffed and browned.

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