Sunday, June 19, 2005

Easy Quiche Crust from Scratch

This dough is called "pâte brisée" in French (pronounce "pat breezay"). It is the base for all quiche and pie recipes. If you take the time to make your own crust, your quiche will taste a million times better (at least!) than if you buy it ready-to-use.

The ingredients below are enough to make 2 thin crusts. Use one half of the dough right away and freeze the other half for your next recipe!

  • 250 grams of flour (1 and 3/4 cups or a little over 1/2 pound, unbleached, all-purpose)
  • 125 grams of unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tea spoon of crème fraîche (or sour cream if you can't find it)
  • 1/2 tea spoon of salt.

The base ingredients are the flour, salt and butter. The egg and crème fraîche are here to help them stick together (plus the egg will give the crust a nice golden color). I got the tip from a marvelous little book called Quiches, cakes & compagnie. You can replace them by water.

  1. First sift the flour over a large bowl and add the salt.
  2. Cut the butter in tiny cubes. Incorporate the butter to the flour with your finger tips (you can't really use a spoon here... You could use a pastry blender but you'd loose all the fun of making your own "pâte brisée"). The dough will feel like coarse sand grains between your fingers.
  3. Push the flour and butter mix on the sides of the bowl, digging a hole in the center.
  4. Break the egg and pour it in the hole in middle of the bowl. Beat it a little with a fork then use a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour little by little. Add the crème fraîche or sour cream and mix again until the dough is homogeneous. (Alternatively, or if the dough is still dry, pour a few drops of water and knead.) Use your hands to knead the dough and form two balls of the same weight.
  5. Place the balls of dough in plastic wraps and let them rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using or freezing.
  6. Let the dough warm up a little before rolling it out.

I'll publish quiche and pie recipes separately... So keep posted! :-)


Nandita said...

Hey Estelle- Check out my recipe in which I used your tart shell- came out perfect-thanks for sharing the recipe

Estelle said...

Wow, your tarts look awesome! I would have never imagined that my recipes would travel all the way to India! Thanks so much for letting me know!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting information. Thank you! I've got a blog about French cooking, maybe you will find something useful for you:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Estelle, I'm Laila from Egypt. I've tried your crust receipe for some friends coming for breakfast and it was real great, eveyyone loved it !!
Thanks a lot :)

Dorothy said...

Bonjour Estelle - hello there. Yesterday I was desperate for a good pie crust recipe and found yours on the web. Thank you so much. It rolled out like a dream; I usually have problems with it crumbling. Good taste too. I made a poireaux/oignon/lardons fumés quiche - it was magnificent.

I think you and I must have passed each other crossing over the ocean. I grew up in Pennsylvania, half American and half Dutch. My husband is French and we live in Marseille - I have been here for 18 years and LOVE Provence and Marseille. We have 3 kids. I am trying to bring them up to love cooking and baking as my Mom did for us. We 4 sisters and one lucky bro really grew up in the kitchen!!! Mom let us help with everything. Yesterday my 11 yr old daughter Lydia decided to do Oma's recipe for honey cake with 4 spices. Turned out great - did it all by herself.:-)

bye for now, hope to hear from you.


Dorothy said...

Help. Does anyone have a good recipe for homemade buns for hamburgers or hot dogs? I've tried various ones and they are boring. And the store bought ones turn to cardboard in your mouth.... Got to have egg in them.

Liz Pietila said...

I had these buns at my brother's wedding 4 years ago and have made them at home ever since. I really like them for French Dip - MMMmmmmm... Kids love them too. Only 6 ingredients..
1 cup of water
2 TBS of butter
1 egg
3 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp yeast
Combine all ingredients and mix. Let raise and bake at 350 until golden brown. This recipe is perfect size for a bread machine on dough cycle if anyone has or uses one and then I bake it in my oven after forming buns.

Enjoy! Liz

Anonymous said...

Say Liz - did you roll the dough into balls ... what size? How long did you bake them?

Anonymous said...

hi Estelle.

A nice thank-you from Minnesota on the wonderful crust recipe. I've always seemed to have problems with butter crusts and consulting plethora of online information only seemed to confuse things until I found your recipe via Google. It was well-detailed and turned out perfectly for the quiche I promised to bring for friends! Due to time constraints, and having kept my apartment below 65f, I merely spread out 1/2 the dough somewhat loosely between 2 sheets of waxed paper - instead of forming it into 2 balls and refrigerating.

The filling was different from yours, as I have been using 4 whole eggs per 2 cups of whipping cream, baked for 35 minutes or so in 400f oven.

Thank-you again!

- Charles

Amalie Brown said...

Wonderful quiche crust recipe!

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I don't know a lot about preparing food, so excuse my newbie question... Can you freeze this crust? If so, at what point?

Thanks for any help. I've promised 4 quiches and would rather make the crust ahead of time if I can.

Estelle said...

Hi there,

No worries: this is a great question and I'm sure other people are wondering too.

You can definitely freeze this crust, either as a ball of dough or after you roll it out.

If you freeze it as a ball you can unfreeze it in the microwave (be sure not to warm it up too much or the butter will melt and it will be impossible to roll out).

If you freeze it rolled out, place it between two sheets of parchment paper in the freezer and make sure to freeze it nice and flat. When you take it out, remove the parchment paper immediately and let the crust warm up at room temperature (it will only take a few minutes).

Hope this helps. Good luck with the 4 quiches!

Anonymous said...

Perfect quiche crust recipe! came out tender and flaky and wonderful. Thank you so much! I've been looking for a good crust recipe for ages!

Banu said...


Please take a look at what I made with your incredible quiche crust recipe!

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It is really the first time a quiche crust I made turned out so flaky and delicious! I have always added water for the liquid; I like your method much better to use egg and cream. Mmmmm.

krista said...

Thanks to everyone who left comments before me, this crust came so highly recommended by all of you! I used King Arthur white whole wheat flour instead of white flour and the results were incredible! I will use this recipe again and again, great flavor and texture!

Heidi Powers said...

This was great! Thanks for the recipe-it made my dish most excellent.

Lisa said...

This is a great recipe! Thank you. I live in Italy right now and didn't have the cream on hand and sour cream can be a bit difficult to find. Also, I was making it on the fly... I substituted plain white yogurt and the consistency and taste were still perfect. I used it for a "torta salata" which is like a vegetable cake/pie. The Italians loved it! I'll definitely be making it again.

Anonymous said...

As an engineer I totally dig that you are explaining what some of the ingredients are physically contributing - Thanks - I love knowing what contributes what in the land of baking :O)

PrplRabbit said...

Excellent recipe! The crust was tasty and light. I did have trouble rolling it out, but I think I put in a little too much flour since I was in a hurry. I just put the dough into the baking pan and spread it out by hand, worked great. I'll definitely be using the recipe again. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

an amazing quiche crust recipe! thanks so much for sharing!

Janet said...

Thank you so much for the recipe - it was super-quick to make (I did cheat and put the ingredients in the blender). I will definitely make this again, much to my husband's delight. It was flaky and crispy and melted in the mouth! yum!

Anonymous said...

its sooo fun to coo with your recipe because you are so enthusiastic and it makes cooking funner! thank you!

Leeba said...

Hi! Your recipe has made it to the shores of Australia now. I am trying your quiche crust for a smoked salmon/asparagus and fresh mozarella quiche right now. Will let you know how much I like it.


Jen said...

I'm not anywhere too far (just Wisconsin), but I LOVE this crust. I used it to make mini quiches to freeze for later. Thank you!!! And thank you for such clear instructions!

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Anonymous said...

I would like to know if you can tell me what size quiche shell will the pastry make and what depth please im catering for a family christening and would like to make about 6 quiches

Estelle said...

These quantities would be good for two 10" quiches, about 1" deep. In doubt, you can always make more and freeze it... I would work in batches, though, or the dough will be impossible to knead.
Good luck !

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Elyse Orecchio said...

Thanks for the recipe. My quiche is in the oven so I can't comment on taste yet, but these quantities yielded me one 10-inch crust, not two. Not sure what I did wrong? Maybe my crust wasn't thin enough?

Tantalise my tastebuds said...

This is definitely different to the other pâte brisée recipes that I have tried and I am curious to see how it turns out.

The recipe calls for All Purpose flour... I have never had much success using All purpose flour and would like to know, if I use cake flour instead how much more flour would I require?