Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Sweet Potato and Bacon Quiche

I recently tried a French bacon and onion tart that, despite how great it sounded, was really underwhelming. (By far the best thing to come out of that meal, possibly of that whole week, was the black sesame vinaigrette I made to dress a salad on the side.) So I had my doubts about making another French tart so soon, but I reasoned that it was hard to go truly wrong with a quiche, even if it had add-ins that I’d never tried before.

This sweet potato and bacon quiche, by Melissa Clark, has lemon zest that gives it an unexpected bright touch and that goes surprisingly well with the hint of nutmeg. While I love sweet potato, I’d never tried it in a quiche – turns out it’s delicious! I think the key is to roast it well first. I really loved this dish, and the Little Prince not only had seconds, but proclaimed it “the best quiche I’ve had in my life” and has requested that I make it again.

As for the pan: I got confused and used a 10-inch springform pan, but really, I should have used a tart pan with a removable bottom – the crust would have been much prettier then. I think this would also work in a 9-inch deep pie dish, as long as you baked it a bit longer to accommodate for the extra depth. You could also use a storebought crust and roll it out to fit your tart pan. I changed some of the amounts below to suit my taste and dietary restrictions. Note that I didn’t taste the coconut milk in the finished product, but if you don’t want to use it, you can replace with either lactose-free cream (if you’re lucky enough to have access to it), or you could use a smaller amount of whole milk and add an egg to the filling to compensate.

For the crust
2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
¾ tsp. fine sea salt
¼ tsp. sugar
1 cup (2 sticks / 225 g) lactose-free butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, plus more at room temperature for greasing
scant ½ cup ice water

For the filling
1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 3½ cups)
4 oz bacon (4 slices), diced into ½-inch squares
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1¼ tsp fine sea salt, divided
3 large eggs
1 cup coconut milk
¾ tsp finely grated lemon zest
⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
⅛ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¾ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 cup (4 oz) grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup (2 oz) grated parmesan cheese

In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and sugar to combine. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture has formed lima bean-size pieces. Drizzle in the water and pulse just to combine, taking care not overprocess the dough – you may not need all the water. (You can also do this by hand with a pastry cutter.)

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and press it together into a ball. You should see bits of butter in the dough; those will bake up into delectable flakes. Flatten the dough to form a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it for 1 hour or as long as 2 days.

Butter a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to form a 12-inch round, rolling from the center toward the edges and trimming the edges as needed. Drape the dough over the tart pan and press it onto the bottom and up the sides, folding the excess down to bulk up the thickness of the sides of the tart shell. Then use your fingers to push the dough ¼ inch up past the rim. Use a fork to poke evenly spaced holes in the bottom and sides of the dough. Chill the tart shell for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours, uncovered. 

Arrange the racks in the top and lower thirds of the oven, then heat the oven to 425 °F.

Butter a piece of foil or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Line the chilled dough with the buttered foil, butter-side down, and fill the foil with pie weights. Place the rimmed baking sheet on the upper rack in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the baking sheet from the oven, carefully lift the foil and pie weights off the tart shell, and return the baking sheet to the oven. Continue baking until the tart shell is barely turning golden on the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool slightly. 

Meanwhile, make the filling. On a rimmed baking sheet (I prefer to line mine with parchment paper or aluminum foil), toss together the sweet potatoes, bacon, oil, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Place the baking sheet on the lower rack in the oven along with the tart shell and roast until the potatoes and bacon are golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the mixture cool. (The tart shell and the potatoes will come out of the oven at about the same time.) Reduce the oven temperature to 375 °F. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, lemon zest, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Fold in the parsley. 

Scatter the roasted potato-bacon mixture and the grated cheddar into the tart shell. Scrape the egg mixture into the shell, smoothing the top, and then sprinkle the Parmesan on top. Bake on the lower oven rack until the tart is puffed and browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the tart cool slightly, then remove the ring from the tart pan and slide the quiche from the tart pan bottom onto a wire rack to cool further. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

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