This is a lot like a quiche except it doesn’t have cheese—although, fun fact, neither does Julia Child’s quiche. It also has an unusually high proportion of goodies—in this case, bacon, caramelized onion, and thyme—to quiche-y egg-and-cream custard.
Serve it hot or room temperature for lunch, brunch, or dinner. It can be a main course, maybe with a green salad on the side, or a starter or side dish, perhaps with a holiday ham or turkey.
Last but not least, it’s a great excuse to practice making pastry. See this post for more about how to make pastry.
Serves 6 to 8
- FOR THE CRUST
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- FOR THE FILLING
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon (8 to 9 slices), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
- 1 large onion, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pastry for one 11-inch tart or 9-inch pie, homemade (recipe below) or store-bought
- 1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
To make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms a coarse meal. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse until moist clumps form when the dough is pinched (add more water as needed). Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, shape it into a 3/4-inch-thick disk, and cover it in plastic wrap. Set aside in the refrigerator at least an hour. (You can make the dough in advance, storing it in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to several months. If frozen, defrost it in the refrigerator before proceeding.)
To make the pie: In a large skillet over medium-low heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisped, 20 to 25 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a medium bowl. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
Add the onion, salt, and pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to very low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden brown and very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to the bowl with the bacon and set aside to cool. (You can prepare the bacon and onion mixture in advance, storing it covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for several months. Return it to room temperature before proceeding.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle. Fit the dough into a 9-inch pie pan and trim the excess to a 3/4-inch overhang, then use the overhang to create a decorative edge. Use a fork to pierce the bottom of the pastry all over. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. (You can refrigerate the pastry, covered, for up to a day.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place the chilled pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet and line the shell with foil and pie weights. Bake until the pastry is pale golden along the rim, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights and continue baking until the shell is just set, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, and thyme. Add the bacon and onion mixture.
Remove the shell from the oven and add the cream, bacon, and onion mixture. Bake until the pie is browned on top and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
Let stand at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.