So you know how, when puberty hits girls, it often translates into random body parts beginning to grow uncontrollably and haphazardly? For some girls it’s the boobs. For others it’s the hips. For me, it was the nose. For some inexplicable reason, my US size 3 feet stopped growing by the time I was 12, and my body channeled its (considerable, yet sadly misled) growth efforts into producing a nose Cleopatra would have been proud of. Maybe I should get myself a lioness and start bathing in donkey milk. Myself, that is, not the lioness. That would be silly. Who ever heard of bathing a lioness in donkey milk? You bathe them in camel milk. Everybody knows that.
But I digress. The fact remains that, while my head did catch up a bit with my nose, the latter is still featured proud and brave within the ensemble of my face. Don’t get me wrong. I love my nose. We’ve been through tough times, my nose and I. The stale, unwashed odour of the man sitting next to me in the underground. Walking into a public lavatory where someone has obviously just taken a considerable dump, wanting to shout at the next person entering: “It wasn’t me!!”… all these things have brought us together.
But I digress. As I was saying, while the fact remains that my head did eventually catch up to my nose’s bid for freedom, my brain apparently did not. So while I was happily mixing my ingredients for this quiche, my nose was calling out warnings, waving her tiny pink arms and cursing in Elvish, Entish and the Tongues of Men. Still I ploughed forward, pouring the odd-smelling cream into my lovely, caramelized, bacon-ized custard, ending up with a curdled, lumpy mess. My nose gave me an I-told-you-so kind of sniff and retired for the night.
How the mighty have fallen.
Thus it came about that I made this quiche twice, the second time without the cream.
It turns out it tastes better without.
Lesson of the day: Never cook with curdled cream. Also, go see a doctor if your nose sprouts arms.
Now, I am aware that this isn’t the first quiche we’ve posted. The lovely Annie came up with this Spinach-Bacon-Goat Cheese beauty a few weeks back. But you can never have enough quiche. Or bacon. Or Gorgonzola, for that matter.
Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Quiche
Servings: 6 to 8
Prep time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours
You will need:
For the filling:
- 1 large onion, minced
- 100gr bacon
- 1 tablespoon (15gr) butter
- 1 tablespoon (15gr) brown sugar
- 2 large pears, peeled and cubed
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 150gr Gorgonzola, softened
- 1 teaspoon (5gr) thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
For the crust:
- 2 cups (500gr) flour
- 1/3 cups (100ml) olive oil
- 1/4 cups or less (50-75ml) water
Lets start off with the crust. I use this for everything. Sweet pies. Savory pies. Quiches. Anything that requires a crust.
The procedure is pretty straightforward. Sift your flour into a large bowl. Create a well in the middle and fill it with olive oil. Mix with a fork. Now add water, a little bit at a time, until you are left with a homogeneous dough.
At this point, you will be faced with a choice: You can flour a large surface, roll out the dough into the desired shape, carefully lift it off the work surface, have it break half way to your baking dish, start over, despair, and end up in prison for manslaughter by means of dough bullets.
I chose the lazy girl approach. For this, simply grab a small amount of dough, pat it in your hand until flat(ish), then press into your baking dish. Repeat until the entire surface of the dish is covered. The result sure ain’t as pretty as the manslaughter approach, I can tell you that. However, it works, it tastes the same, and you don’t get flour into crevices you didn’t even know existed in your kitchen.
The last step in both cases is to poke holes all over the crust with a fork, so as to prevent it from puffing up in the oven.
To see how this looks, check out the picture further down.
Now let’s turn to the part we all really want to talk about: the filling.
For this, cook the onion and bacon in the same pan until the onion is softened and the bacon begins to brown ever so slightly. Melt in the butter, then add the brown sugar and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time. Add the pears, turn down the heat and allow them to caramelize for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, beat the softened Gorgonzola into the eggs, along with the thyme.
Then add the pear mixture, and salt and pepper to taste.
Finally, pour the filling into your prepared quiche crust.
Bake on medium-low for 45 minutes.
Serve slightly cooled.
Which means leaving it on the kitchen counter, and returning to find this: