1 1/2 cups instant flour (recommended: Wondra)
1/2 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/3 cup ice water
1/2 teaspoon salt
All-purpose flour, for dusting
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons butter
7 to 8 stalks asparagus, bottoms trimmed
1/2 cup grated Gruyere
Put flour in a large bowl. Using 2 knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter and vegetable shortening into the mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Add the ice water and salt to the mix until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a ball. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface; about 1/4-inch thick. Fit into a 9-inch quiche pan. Poke a few holes with a fork at the bottom of the dough. With the same fork press around the edges to finish. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Prick the bottom of the pie shell liberally with a fork. Place another small pan inside to help set the sides while baking, or place a sheet of foil in the shell and fill with beans, rice or pie weights. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until the pie shell begins to feel firm.
Mix together eggs, heavy cream, parsley, salt, and white pepper in a medium size bowl. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Pour 1/3 of the egg mixture into the partially baked quiche crust. Bake until the filling begins to set; about 10 minutes
Melt butter in a medium size skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook until tender; about 4 to 6 minutes.
In the quiche pan arrange the asparagus like the spokes of a wheel. Pour the rest of the egg mixture over the asparagus. Sprinkle with Gruyere cheese Bake for about 30 minutes, until puffed and brown. Serve hot or at room temperature.
*Cook’s Note: If edges of pie shell are looking dark, place foil over crust to reduce any further cooking.
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