Buttery Pie Crust (Pate Brisee) and Ham & Cheese Quiche

This is one of the first things you will see as you start preparing this pie crust.  2 whole sticks of pure and lovely butter.  So you know it’s gotta be good.

There is nothing at all wrong with buying your pie dough.  I do it all the time.  Those twin packs of Pillsbury pie dough are convenient and really tasty.  However, if you can find the time to make pie dough from scratch, it is well worth it.  The great thing about this particular recipe is that it makes enough for a double crusted pie so you can use one now and keep the other in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Since I was going to make quiche with this pie crust, I had to blind bake it.  I hate blind baking.  I always feel like my efforts to make an attractive edge are futile.  After putting the dough in the pie plate you have to put in and take out the foil and pie weights which inevitably causes some part of the edge to get bumped.  I am not good at this.  This time I also had a little trouble with the crust sliding down from the top of the plate during baking, so I had to squish the still pliable dough back up to the top of the plate.  After searching a little on this issue I learned that a quick rest in the freezer would have kept it from losing as much of its shape during the blind baking.  An obvious thing that I probably should have known to do, but didn’t.   Even though this crust was far from the prettiest it was delicious.

Thanks to the generous amount of butter, this crust is absolutely delicious.  You just cannot beat the flavor of butter.  The crust is also slightly flaky and the layers just melt in your mouth.  A mix of butter and shortening is supposed to yield a more flaky dough, so I will have to try that sometime.  The dough comes together quickly in a food processor, but you can also use a pastry blender.  It rolls out easily, but do make sure you dust your surface and rolling pin with flour as you’re rolling.  After a few rolls make sure you pick up your dough and rotate it 90 degrees.  I have the tendency to roll with more pressure when the pin is closest to me and less pressure when it is far away.  So rotating the dough not only helps with sticking, but also with keeping your dough an even thickness.

This recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.

Pâte Brisée


  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water, more if needed
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine.  Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (Or use a pastry blender to combine ingredients.)
  2. With machine running, add ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough comes together without being wet or sticky.  Do not process more than 30 seconds.  Dough should hold together and not be crumbly.  Add 1 tablespoon more of water if it is crumbly.
  3. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface.  Divide in half, place each on a piece of plastic wrap.  Shape into flattened disks and wrap in the plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Roll out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick.  Place your pie plate on the dough and make sure you have about 2 inches excess all around.  Roll dough onto pin, then unroll into pie plate.
I searched for a healthier quiche just to kind of balance things out since I was using an all butter pie crust!  I found some that used skim milk, but we all know how well those things usually turn out.  Bad.  That’s how.  So I kept looking and found some that used non-fat evaporated milk.  So I decided to combine some 2% milk with some evaporated milk.  I also noticed many recipes that used whole eggs and egg whites.  So I used 3 whole and 3 whites.  The resulting texture was different than the usual whole egg and all milk quiches I have made, but it wasn’t weird.  The flavor was quite good and we finished the quiche off in 3 days.  Feel free to use any meat you have, any cheese, and any vegetables.  Quiche is good for emptying the fridge.  Pardon this bad picture!  Still documenting food with the iPhone and it is getting old.  I miss my camera.

Ham & Cheese Quiche


  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup non-fat evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated white cheddar
  • 1/2 cup chopped ham
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 pie crust


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Blind bake the pie crust for 7 minutes, then remove the pie weights, (rice, beans, etc.) and bake for an additional 4 minutes.
  3. Whisk eggs, whites, milk, salt and pepper until foamy.
  4. Stir in ham, cheese and scallions.
  5. Pour filling into pie crust and bake for 35-45 minutes.  Center can be slightly jiggly, but bake for the longer time if you want a firmer texture.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting.