- Flaky Butter Crust, recipe follows
- 6 ounces thick cut bacon, cut into narrow strips (or “lardons”)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss
- Simple Salad, recipe follows
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to an 11-inch circle. Fit into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and trim the edges. (Alternatively, a 9-inch pie pan can be used.) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the crust is set, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
Arrange the bacon evenly over the bottom of the baked crust.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, yolks, and half and half. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour into the prepared crust and bake until the custard is golden, puffed, and set yet still slightly wiggly in the center, 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with Simple Salad.
Flaky Butter Crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
- 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water, or more as needed
To make the dough in a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and butter in the processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube and pulse quickly 5 or 6 times, or until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of the container. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To make the dough by hand, combine the flour, salt, and butter in a medium bowl, and mix with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough comes together and is no longer dry, being careful not to overmix. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface according to the recipe, fit it into the pan, and allow to rest again in the refrigerator before baking.
Yield: one 9-inch tart or pie crust
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Mesclun salad mix or favorite greens, for accompaniment
Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the salad mix and serve immediately.
If not using dressing right away, cover and refrigerate, whisking or shaking again before use.