The City Magazine Since 1975

Lowcountry Quiche

April 2018
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For the cornmeal crust:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (Geechie Boy Mill blue cornmeal preferred)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
4 oz. unsalted butter, cut into small dices and refrigerated
3 Tbs. cold water
9-inch deep-dish pie pan

For the quiche filling:

8 oz. thick-cut hickory smoked bacon, cooked
and crumbled, 2 Tbs. bacon grease reserved  
1/4 cup small dice yellow onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
Pinch cayenne pepper 
1/2 lb. medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined  
1½ cups heavy cream
6 large eggs, beaten
Splash Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup pimiento cheese (Palmetto Pimento Cheese preferred)


For the cornmeal crust:

Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the butter and mix it in with your fingers until it is in pieces the size of peas. Stir in the water one tablespoon at a time, just until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and quickly gather it into a ball. Pat the dough into a disk about one inch thick, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least three hours, or overnight. If you refrigerate it overnight, let the dough soften a little before rolling it out.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Start rolling it by lightly pressing it with the rolling pin and rolling it from the center out. Do this a few times, then pick up the dough, rotate it a quarter turn, and roll again. Continue to roll, rotating the dough and flouring the work surface and the dough as needed, until you have a 12-inch circle that is approximately 1/8-inch thick.

Loosely fold the dough into quarters and unfold it into the center of the pie pan. Gently fit it into the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the dough, leaving about 1/2-inch overhang. Crimp the edge, wrap in plastic, and freeze overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Line the frozen crust with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Place the crust on a rimmed baking sheet and bake it for 15 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and remove the beans or weights and the parchment. Return it to the oven without the weights and bake it for about 10 minutes, until it is just starting to become golden brown. Cool while making the filling.

The crust can be made to this point up to two days ahead of filling it. To store, cover it with foil and leave at room temperature.

For the quiche filling:

Heat the bacon grease in a sauté pan over medium heat, and add the onion, garlic, and cayenne and cook until the onions are translucent, three to four minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, for two minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let cool.

Combine the heavy cream, eggs, Tabasco, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together.

Sprinkle the bacon on the bottom of the pie crust. Spoon the shrimp mixture and pimiento cheese over it. Pour the egg mixture on top. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 45 minutes, until the egg mixture is set. Let cool for five minutes and cut into eight to 10 wedges.

The quiche can be baked, cooled to room temperature, wrapped and refrigerated up to three days in advance, or frozen. Bring to room temperature and reheat in a low oven. If you decide to freeze it, thaw it in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature, and reheat on low.