Here’s the thing about quiche: Even if you don’t like eggs you probably like quiche. Why? Because it doesn’t really taste—or look or feel—like eggs. Mixed with some combination of rich dairy products and studded with the ingredients of your choice, quiche offers the suggestion that egg was here, but wearing a mask of savory fillings. And when all that’s baked in a buttery crust to boot, what’s not to like? This one has crispy bacon, sharp white cheddar cheese, and onions caramelized in butter and bacon fat (I couldn’t help myself). It’s a little safe perhaps, I mean, who’s not going to like this? But isn’t that the point—to make food that we and the people we’re feeding actually like?
I like quiche. It’s the kind of thing I cut a reasonable piece of, eat, then go back for another skinny sliver, and another, and another until I’ve eaten about a third of the pie. I think you’ll do the same.
You can pretty much add whatever you like to the custard base as long as it doesn’t get so full that it overflows. Chives would be nice, scallions too. Even a leftover roasted sweet vegetable—squash, say, or a yam—would be a nice counterpoint to the salty business already in place. I strongly encourage you to make your own crust (see the very basic and very best version below) but if you must use a pre-made one, check its ingredient list. You’re looking for dough with only ingredients you can pronounce and preferably one made with all butter. It may be a little hard to find but I promise you they’re out there).
This quiche is built for a standard-sized pie plate, that’s 9½ inches across, but if you’re going into a deep dish, just increase the eggs and half-and-half (to 6 and 2 ¼ cups respectively) and you’ll be fine. Eat this warm out of the oven (but give it a bit of time to cool), cold out of the fridge, or reheat it, covered, in a 300°F oven until warmed through.
Bacon, Egg, and Cheddar Quiche
For the crust:
For the custard:
Make the crust: Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine (or whisk together in a large bowl). Add butter and pulse until butter is about the size of peas. Add water, a little at a time, pulsing as you go, until dough looks crumbly but just starts to hold together when squeezed together in the palm of your hand, about 20 pulses. Transfer the crumbs to a sheet of plastic wrap and gather together, pressing gently to form a disk (use the plastic wrap to help). Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 4 days, or freeze up to 3 months.
Let dough sit at room temperature until it just gives when you press firmly with a thumb. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9½-inch pie plate, pressing dough gently into the corners of the plate. Trim dough to a 1-inch overhang (sprinkle those strips with cinnamon-sugar and bake at 350°F until golden—you’re welcome!). Tuck overhang under and crimp as desired; freeze 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in the lower third. Line dough with a piece of parchment paper leaving a generous overhang, and fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake on lower rack until edges are golden, 15–20 minutes. Let cool with beans or weights in place; remove when cool (bottom of dough will still look wet).
Make the custard: Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Place bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until crisp, flipping as needed, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. To bacon drippings add butter and onions and cook, stirring often until onions are tender and golden, 10–12 minutes, transfer to paper towels with bacon.
Whisk eggs, half and half, ½ teaspoon salt, several grinds pepper, and about ¾ of the cheese in a medium bowl. Pour egg mixture into par-baked crust. Scatter onions and bacon over top, breaking up the bacon as you are moved to, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on lower rack until filling is set and slightly puffed, 40–45 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.