Homemade whole-wheat pie crust looms over me like the anatomy and physiology series in my nutrition curriculum at Cal Poly. Pie crust tastes better, though. Still, both are intimidating feats I know I'll need to conquer sooner rather than later. Today, I chose the pie crust, and in a month, I'll take the first step in conquering anatomy and physiology. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
Each time I've needed a pie crust for whatever reason in the past few years, I've relied on a pre-made whole-wheat one from Sprout's. That, however, was when I lived with my parents who live near a Sprout's. I do not. Whole Foods is my alternative up here in SLO, and therefore my store of choice this morning when I went out on the hunt for quiche necessities. If you've been to both, you know they share similarities in terms of products, so it seemed justifiable to me to assume that I'd be able to find this pre-made whole-wheat pie crust at Whole Foods.
Wrong. I scanned the freezer section for this pie crust and found nothing. My stubbornness didn't let me just grab the traditional pie crust - I love deep, nutty flavor of whole-wheat flour. My eyes went from the two pie crusts to the bag of whole-wheat flour and stick of butter already in my basket and back. How hard can a homemade pie crust really be?
Six seconds of contemplation passed before I told myself to suck. it. up. and make the crust at home. Plus, I feel like my grandma will be dang proud of me (mostly because I'm using butter instead of coconut oil).
I pulled the recipe up on my computer immediately upon walking into my kitchen - only four ingredients required! Dude, you totally got this. Sift the flour, cube the butter, drizzle the ice water over the top, and mix. Mix a lot. Oh, and you will get dough underneath your fingernails. Embrace it! Once the dough comes together, halve it, wrap both in plastic and refrigerate.
Here comes the arm workout I wasn't expecting. After flouring my kitchen counter (do it, otherwise your dough will stick), I whipped out my rolling pin - a shiny marble one I'm way too in love with - and got rollin'. The edges split apart a bit, so be ready for that, but don't let it freak you out. Pie crust are supposed to be flaky and kind of crumbly, right? Hence, the cubed butter. Keep pressing the edges together and rolling, and pressing the edges back together and rolling again until you've got a somewhat round circle about the circumference of your pie pan. Carefully - I repeat, carefully - lift the dough into the pan and press all around.
Because I felt extremely accomplished at this point, I figured some artsy decoration would only elevate the feeling, so why nottttt take a fork and make pretty edges around the rim of the crust?
The rest - the organic eggs, the roasted squash, the vibrant kale, and the creamy goat cheese - fell to the back of my mind, as I focused so much energy into the crust. It's not alllllllll about the crust, though. In fact, if we're talking beauty, it's way more about the rich, colorful center of the quiche than it is the beige crust, ya' know?
Then, I baked. I let cool. I admired my hard work on both the crust and the filling. I cut a slice and took a bite. And with that, I understood that maybe I wasn't "wrong" in assuming Whole Foods would have the exact pre-made whole-wheat crust I wanted. Maybe it was just God's way of convincing me it's time to kick things into gear and prep for a pattern of conquering things I haven't been sure I ever would be able to.
Makes 1 quiche, about 8 slices
For the butternut squash:
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the quiche:
Whole-wheat pie crust (I used this recipe), or a similar store-bought version
1/3 cup half and half
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
3/4 cup roasted butternut squash cubes
1 cup steamed kale
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cumin
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, drizzle the olive oil over the butternut squash cubes and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Stir to combine. Bake for 20 minutes, flip, and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork and crisp around the edges. Remove from oven and cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare the whole-wheat crust as instructed according to your chosen recipe. Press into the pie pan and use a fork to create the curst design around the perimeter. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, goat cheese, and spices. Stir in the butternut squash cubes and steamed kale.
- Carefully pour the egg mixture into the pie pan over the crust. Bake for 45-47 minutes, or until the center fells firm and doesn't jiggle. Remove from oven and cool before slicing.
- Serve immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week.