I always go to Julia Child for my pastry because not only is she always right, but if you screw up she gives you helpful instructions on how to fix it. Pie pastry is especially handy to make a main dish for a vegetarian meal. It is easily made in the food processor, but as with many doughs made in the food processor it still requires a final human touch. The final blending is called fraisage and achieves an even blending of fat and flour. The trick is to work quickly and keep the dough as cool as possible.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
6 oz chilled butter cut into 1/2 inch bits
4 Tb chilled shortening
1/2 cup iced water
Measure all dry ingredients into food processor. Pulse 4 times. Add water all at ounce. Pulse until dough begins to form a ball on the blade. Do not overmix.
Scrape onto lightly floured pastry board for the fraisage. With the heel of one hand rapidly press the pastry down the board away from you in small bits. Then gather the dough again with a scraper for a brief knead. Sprinkle with flour, wrap in parchment paper, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Butter inside of quiche pan.
Roll out dough as quickly as possible into a circle about 1/8 inch thick so that it is 2 inches larger than your quiche pan. Place pastry in pan gently working inside edges of mold. Trim excess. Prick bottom with fork at 1/2 inch intervals. Place buttered parchment paper inside the pastry and weigh it down with dry beans.
For a partially cooked shell bake at middle level of 400F preheated oven for 8-9 minutes. Remove beans and parchment and prick bottom again with fork. Bake another 2-3 minutes, until shell is starting to cover and shrink from sides.
Depending on the firmness of the shell or your confidence you can either unmold it, allow it to cool, and then fill and bake it, or you can keep it in the pan for the final filling and baking.
Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Quiche
1 partially cooked pie crust
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 Tb butter
1 Tb oil
1 1/2 Tb flour
8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh chopped marjoram
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven 375F.
Cook onion in a heavy skillet over low heat with 2 tablespoons of butter and oil until caramelized, about an hour, being careful to not burn. Sprinkle with flour and cook slowly for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan.
Add remaining tablespoon of butter and mushrooms to pan. Once mushrooms have released juices and begin to brown stir onion back in with marjoram. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Whisk together eggs, cream, salt and pepper. Gradually stir in onion and mushroom mixture. Check seasoning. Pour into tart shell.
Bake in upper third of oven for 25 to 30 minutes until quiche has puffed and browned.
Can be served hot or cold.