Sep 5, 2011

can't really call this LABOR...

Most of you know I enjoy playing in the kitchen.  But it has to be clean, and I need to have TIME.  Well, today was the day.  Having no real plans for Labor Day, hubby and I just took it easy.  Well I guess I better speak for myself, since he did trim some tree branches today.  But I was still in my jammies at 2 pm.  Seriously.

Remember that peach pie from the other day?  Well, I still had 4 pie crusts left to use up.  So for our breakfast, I made us a quiche.  It's got to be the best kept secret in the world how easy it is to make these things, judging by the price you pay for a slice at a restaurant.  

There are so many varieties of quiche to be made, but today I just used what I had in the house.  So this one was 8 eggs, beaten, and about 1/4 ~ 1/2 cup milk.  To that I added cut up leftover sausage that was already cooked, some fresh mushroom slices, chopped scallions, and about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  For seasoning, I used a little dry mustard and some Tony Chachere's original Creole Seasoning.  Then I poured it into an unbaked pie shell and baked it at 375℉ for about 35-40 minutes.  

This coming weekend I will host a brunch for my daughter-in-love who is coming in from out of state for a wedding.  I will plan on making five different quiches using ingredients such as spinach, kalamata olive and feta cheese, chicken and swiss cheese, ham and cheddar cheese, tomato, green pepper, pepperoni and mozzerella cheese, and  another one like this, sausage, mushroom and cheddar cheese.  My pie crust recipe makes 5 crusts, and I will have the meat cooked ahead of time.  The rest is simple:  I will set out all the ingredients and assemble the variety of quiches.  I will serve the quiches with some fresh fruit. Sound good?

Here's the recipe for the pie crust, which my aunt gave me when I graduated from high school 44 years ago!

Never-Fail Pie Crust

5 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 tablespoon vinegar
cold water
Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add shortening and work into the flour with two knives until course, about the size of peas, (or use a pie crust cutting tool.) Into a one cup liquid measuring cup, break one egg and beat slightly with a fork. Add vinegar, and then enough cold water to make one cup liquid. Add this to the flour/shortening mixture and mix into a good consistency for rolling.

Tip: divide the dough into 5 equal sized balls. Work with one at a time, and cover the others with a clean damp dish towel to keep from drying out while you are working. Roll out crust quickly on countertop or board covered with flour. Try not to handle the dough more than necessary--just roll into a circle to the desired thickness and circumference, carefully fold it in half, then in half again, and center on your pie plate, carefully opening up the sections. Press into ungreased plate gently. If there is too much excess dough hanging over the edge of the plate, just cut it with a knife or scissors, and tuck edges under evenly. Flute with fingers.

I decided I wanted to make another pie today to take with us when we went to visit my mom and her neighbor tonight.  I didn't have any more fresh fruit in the house, so I decided to make a chocolate pie.  Using another pie shell that I only had to roll out, I followed a new-to-me recipe. I don't have a doube boiler anymore, so I was very careful when I heated the following in a regular sauce pan, and it worked fine.

Mississippi Mud Pie filling

3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1/4 cup butter
3 TBSP corn syrup
3 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Note:  I removed the pan from the direct heat when I added the eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla

Next, I baked the pie shell for 10 minutes at 425℉ and then I added the filling, returning it to the oven for another 35-40 minutes to bake at 350℉. 

  The baked chocolate filling had the texture of a brownie on the outside, but inside it was more of the texture of a pecan pie filling.

I served the pie with a dollop of cool whip on each slice, sprinkled with chopped walnuts.

 If I thought the entire pie would be eaten at once, I would have just spread the cool whip on top of the cooled pie, hiding all the chocolate, and sprinkled the entire top with the chopped nuts OR chocolate shavings.

 I was not happy with what the extra pre-baking of the crust did to the texture.  It also made it way "over done". So the next time I make this I will not pre-bake the crust.  I also think I will double the pie filling recipe to make the chocolate part a lot thicker, and then I will most likely need to bake the pie a total of about 45 minutes.

So if anyone is counting...I STILL have one pie crust left.  I think I hear a lemon-meringue calling my name!  I can always bring it to a meeting hubby and I will be attending tomorrow night...

Other than playing in the kitchen and the visit to mom's condo tonight, we spent a good bit of the day just reading our books and relaxing.  A very good non-Labor Day!  What did YOU do today?


Rebecca said...

We went crazy in the yard as early as we could. Gary needed to get lawn mowed before the gang came and the croquet course was established! I pulled tons of weeds and trimmed some of the perennials and set out some artificial flowers just in case it warmed up enough to eat out. (It didn't.) We did spend some lovely hours outside later on. I wrapped up in an afghan and enjoyed a cup of coffee while I watched "the games".

Your pies sound and look SO tempting. Yes, quiche are not hard to make - but the price of eggs keeps inching up there! Your idea for Ellie's luncheon sounds wonderful!

Diana said...

I am up in the middle of the night because I just can't sleep right now and now thanks to you, I am starving on top of it all!!!
Feeling to lazy to get up. Your pies look and sound scrumptious Jacquelyn!
Love Di ♥

Walking on Sunshine... said...

Can you believe I couldn't find your blog anywhere? Thankfully I saw the link on Nellie's blog a few minutes ago. NOT that I don't know where I can find you...on Facebook! Anyway, LOVE pie, want some pie now!! You're the second pie blog I read in 10 minutes. The quiche sounds delicious!!!