Why Crate and Barrel sells pie weights

It’s Bastille Day! The 1789 day French civilians and others stormed the Bastille and it freaked everyone out, even though there were only seven prisoners and more rioters were killed than anyone else. Vive la revolution!

I celebrated this historic day by making a very non-French quiche and eating it with a bunch of French speakers outside of Fort McHenry. I didn’t have enough time to make the pastry dough from scratch (though apparently I am one of very few women who even attempt one), and I turned up my nose at the idea of adding beans to my pie crust while toasting it, because I’d never done it before.

On the right, first not-so-great attempt.

Pride always comes before a fall.

The pie crust turned into a mountain. I convinced myself I could still just pour the filling in, and created an oven disaster that validates Crate and Barrel’s $7 pie weight, though from now on I’ll just be sticking with reused dried peas or clean pebbles, à la français. Attempt two came out cute and clean, though to be perfectly honest both tasted delicious.

I was aiming for a decidedly non-French quiche; a ricotta, arugula and lemon recipe. A quiche typique of ham, cheese, eggs and layered pastry dough always leaves me feeling like a human log, and this was a fantasic and EASY variation.

Even if you do it properly and make the pie crust, it can’t possibly take you more than 20-30 minutes of active work to make, and then all that’s left is to receive compliments from the resident French quiche experts at the picnic.

Ricotta, Lemon and Arugula Quiche
slighty adjusted from Martha Stewart; genius.
All purpose flour for dusting
Tart or pie crust dough (your choice!)
12 oz ricotta cheese
1 1/2 c. milk
2 large eggs
zest of one lemon
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
3/4 tsp ground pepper
1  to 1 1/2 c. chopped arugula

1) Prepare and roll out dough if making from scratch, and preheat oven to 400.
2) Lay out dough in 8 to 9 inch pie or tart pan. Prick bottom with fork, fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove beans and bake for several more minutes, or until golden brown. The beans can be reused, but not cooked with. Martha suggests letting the quiche cool: I am lazy. May results in browner crust.
3) Whisk ricotta, milk, eggs, zest, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in arugula. Pour mixture into shell and bake 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool before serving: it will look a bit wet and not dense like a regular quiche, but that’s just fine!
4) Nom.

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