I am a firm believer in Sunday brunch. My family loves it and will begin requesting special dishes days in advance, although their individual requests don’t change much from week to week (I can guarantee if I ask Beloved what he wants for Sunday brunch, he’ll answer with “Eggs Benedict”). This week I made one of MY favorite brunches, although no one else turned their nose up at it: Roasted Red Pepper and Pablano Quiche and Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls, with a side of bacon and pan-fried sweet potatoes. Okay, so the Young One turned his nose up at it, but he turns his nose up at 90% of all things edible.
When I got up this morning, I wasn’t quite in the mood to make what I’d planned, mainly because I hadn’t had any coffee. Beloved suggested that we merely make omelets, since we had boocoos of chopped vegetables left over from the pizza we’d made last night for dinner, saying that the quiche would be too much trouble. He changed his mind once he took a bite, though!
The quiche is derived from several recipes found in The Joy of Cooking and The Pie and Pastry Bible, and the rolls are a slightly tweaked recipe from the out-of-publication Settlement Cookbook. The ease of the cinnamon rolls should make up for the time the quiche takes.
Roasted Red Pepper and Pablano Quiche
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cold
4 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 -5 tablespoons ice water
Whisk the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Break the shortening into large chunks and the butter into small pieces, then add to the flour mixture. Cut the fat into the dry ingredients by chopping vigorously with a pastry blender or by cutting in with 2 knives. Periodically stir dry flour up from the bottom of the bowl and scrape clinging fat off the pastry blender or knives. Some of the fat should remain in pea-sized pieces; the rest should be reduced to the consistency of coarse crumbs. The mixture should seem dry and powdery, not pasty or greasy.
Drizzle 3 tablespoons of ice water over the flour and fat mixture; using a rubber spatula, cut with the blade side until the mixture looks evenly moistened and begins to form small balls. Press down on the dough with the flat side of the spatula – if the balls of dough stick together you have added enough water; if they do not, drizzle another tablespoon of ice water over the dough. Cut in the water, again using the blade of the spatula, then press with your hands until the dough coheres. (Cut in the last tablespoon of ice water if necessary.) The dough should look rough, not smooth. Press the dough into a round, flat disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. chill for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough and fit it into a 9-inch deep dish pie plate, trimming the dough 1 inch beyond the edge of the pie plate then tucking it under the edges and crimping. Refrigerate the crust for at least 10 minutes.
Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Smooth a sheet of aluminum foil, shiny side down, over the bottom and sides of the the crust, flaring the excess foil, like an awning, over the crust edge to keep it from overbrowning. Fill the liner with raw beans or rice, or metal pie weights, banking the weights against the sides if you do not have enough to fill the crust to the brim. Bake the crust for 20 minutes with the weights in place to set the pastry. Carefully lift out the foil with the weights inside. Prick the crust thoroughly with a fork, return it to the oven and bake until it is lightly golden brown all over, between 5 and 10 minutes.
Whisk together 1 large egg and a pinch of salt and brush the inside of the crust with it. Return the crust to the oven until the egg glaze sets, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the crust, set aside and reduce the oven temperature to 375 F.
1 medium pablano pepper
1 medium red bell pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Roast the peppers by placing them in a shallow, foil lined dish directly under the oven broiler until they char. Turn them and continue roasting until they are charred all over; wrap them in paper towels, then seal them in plastic storage bags and let them sweat at least 10 minutes. (This is a good time to start pre-baking your crust).
Remove the peppers from the plastic and paper towels, then peel and remove the seeds and veins; dice and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, salt pepper and cumin.
Spread the peppers in the bottom of the prepared crust, then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the peppers. Gently pour the egg mixture over all – it should come up nearly to the top of the crust. Carefully place the quiche in the oven, making sure the filling doesn’t drip down between the crust and pie plate.
Bake until the filling is browned and set, 35 – 45 minutes. Let it rest at least 15 minutes before cutting.
The Whole Quiche
Slice of Quiche
Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
2/3 cup milk
1 – 2 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or 2 knives very well. Make a well in the center and pour all the milk in at once. Stir with a fork only until all the flour is moistened – the dough will be rough. Toss on a lightly floured board or counter, and knead for 20 seconds. Roll the dough 1/4 inch thick in a rough rectangle, slightly longer than wide, and brush with melted butter. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl, and sprinkle it evenly over the buttered surface. Roll like a jelly roll, away from you, and slice 3/4 inch thick. Place, cut side down, on a lightly buttered cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
While the rolls are baking, in a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup of confectioners sugar with 2 tablespoons milk and 1/8 teaspoon vanilla. Drizzle over the tops of the hot cinnamon rolls.