A couple months ago, I wrote a post about Berry Cobbler. We were on the cusp of summer, school was out, and our garden was just beginning to blossom. Then I turned around and the next thing I knew, it was September. September? It's practically fall, the kids are back in school, and our garden is putting out the last of its late-season tomatoes. And - as those of you following along may have noticed - I have posted not a single recipe. Not. Even. One. How did this happen?
I'm still cooking and baking. Still taking (a few) pictures. As the summer slipped away, I mentally composed dozens of posts, even started and stopped a handful, but I just could not seem to follow through. It's a long story, one that involves jobs lost and found, kids troubled and recovered, relationships torn and... well, if not yet made whole, let's say on the mend. Those last two have been the toughest. On an intellectual plane, I rationalized that things weren't that bad. I mean, comparatively, things could have been a lot worse. We were surviving. But all that rationalizing wasn't making me feel any better. Because I didn't want to just survive. I wanted to thrive.
Sounds pretty easy, right? Maybe it should be. But lately, I've been so busy surviving all the little and big challenges of life, I've sort of lost sight of the simple joys of life. Most people probably haven't noticed a difference in me, but I've noticed. When the hell did I become so serious? Honestly, I just don't know.
Here is what I do know: I want to start having a lot more fun. To that end, my husband and I have started dating again. That's right - dating. (Each other, obviously. What were you thinking?) What a concept! We actually go out of the house. Like, to grown-up restaurants. Without the kids. We hold hands and talk. We laugh. And you know what? Even if we haven't solved all our problems, it feels so good.
So what does any of this have to do with quiche tart? Nothing, really. But this is a wonderful recipe: it looks good, it tastes good, and it's easy.* In my world, that's reason enough to share it.
Potato Bacon Quiche Tart
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Quiche Lorraine
A food processor - even a small one - makes quick work of the crust, but you can also make it easily by hand. I was tempted to call this "Leftover Quiche Tart" since it can be made with pretty much whatever odds and ends you happen to have in the fridge (on this particular day, I used baked potatoes from the previous night's dinner, along with a few bacon stragglers and tomatos from our garden). Pair with a farmer's market fruit salad and a gorgeous, sunny morning. It'll do you right.
1 1/4 cups flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, diced
4 eggs, divided
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk**
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain, whole milk yogurt***
1/2 cup diced cooked potato
6-8 slices cooked bacon, diced
3/4 cup grated soy cheese
2 tablespoons parmesan-flavored rice topping -or- nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon micro-basil -or- slivered regular basil (optional)
handful cherry or grape tomatoes (optional)
In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, cornstarch and a heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pulse briefly. Add the butter; pulse a few times until the mixture resembles tiny bits (if making by hand, cut butter in with a pastry blender). Add one egg and pulse or mix until a dough forms. If dough is too dry, add cold water a few drops at a time until a small amount pinched between your fingers holds together. Remove dough and gently form it into a ball.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 10- to 11-inch circle. Place the dough into a 9-inch tart pan and press into the edges. Cut off overhang, and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or place in freezer for 10 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 350 F. While the tart shell chills, mix the milk and yogurt together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining three eggs. Add a pinch each nutmeg, salt and white pepper; whisk briefly.
Remove the tart shell from the fridge or freezer. Sprinkle the bacon and potatoes evenly onto the shell. Top with the grated cheese and 1 tablespoon of the parmesan topping (or nutritional yeast flakes). Pour in the egg mixture. If using basil, sprinkle over the tart. If using tomatoes, cut in half and arrange cut side up on the tart. Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan/yeast flakes over the top. Carefully place the tart in the oven (it will be full).
Bake until puffed and golden, about 50 to 60 minutes (note: Smitten Kitchen baked her quiche only thirty minutes or so, but mine was still liquid at that point. Maybe my old oven's temperature is off kilter, so I would strongly advise checking your tart after 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool slightly on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*to paraphrase a friend's criteria for what makes great food.
**I have used raw cow's milk, goat's milk, and plain soy milk with equal success.
***I like the tartness of goat's milk yogurt, but any will do.
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