I was in one of my moods and was determined to tackle Bouchon's quiche lorraine recipe. Usually, I'm the type of person who never reads instructions for things and just figure out as I go. But I know Keller's recipes require some diligence and preparation. So I read his quiche essay in the Bouchon cookbook and did some Internet research.
For those of you who don't know, I'm suffering from dough-a-phobia. So making pastry crust from scratch was a big deal for me. I cut the butter into pieces, chilled it in the freezer and worked it into the flour by HAND. I don't have a pastry cutter or a mixer or a food processor. I thought I did a pretty good job -- the flour/butter mixture was crumbly by the end and did not have any large butter pieces in it. I then added the ice water and formed it into a round circle. Then I rested the dough like a good girl (even though a part of me was tempted to defy Keller's instructions).
Now, I think my big problem was that I didn't have a 9x2 ring mold Keller advocated using. I did have a 9x3 springform pan and decided to use it the ring portion, making sure I rolled out the dough to an appropriate thickness and not having the crust reach the top of the pan. I've read about reports of leaking, and thought I was being so smart by not rolling the crust out too thin. Ha! What in the world was I thinking? Especially when I read this by Michael Ruhlman (one of the authors of the Bouchon cookbook):
"...it doesn't work in a springform pan, always leaks, don't know why."
My smugness was also bolstered by reading Russ Parson's comment:
"add the filling ingredients to the crust while both are still hot. this is different than what it says in the recipe (cooled crust), but actually what it implies in the intro. the hot crust sets the custard more quickly, reducing leakage."
Well, I rolled out the pastry to the appropriate thickness, transferred it over to my springform ring mold the Thomas Keller way (draping over a rolling pin as opposed to the quarters method), and blind baked the dough. After it came out of the oven, I scrutinized it like crazy. No breaks in the crust. So far so good. Then I added the custard, bacon, onion confit and sauteed mushrooms (not traditionally in quiche lorraine, but my touch). I held my breath and prayed for the best. Okay. It wasn't leaking! Then I guess the universe was getting back at me for all the bad things I've done in the past because after 30 seconds of admiring my work, the custard started seeping out of the mold! I was so deflated! It was 1:00A (I guess I didn't plan the timing of this very well), and I was exhausted physically and emotionally.
Luckily I had a jellyroll pan underneath and it caught almost all of the custard. I just dumped the custard into a rectangular baking pan and baked it at a slightly lower temperature until the center was quivering slightly. I served it with pieces of the crust. It tasted fine, but it wasn't the magnificent Bouchon quiche I was going for.
So does anybody know why my quiche leaked? I guess the obvious answer is that there was a small leak in the crust that was imperceptible to the human eye. That could definitely be a possibility. But Ruhlman also makes a comment that springform pans just don't work. It kind of defies logic. Anybody have other theories?