What I'm about to say might shock you.
I like the taste of refrigerated pie crust, the kind that comes in a box that you buy in the supermarket in the aisle with tubes of crescent rolls and pizza dough and ready-to-bake cookies.
I really like it.
And I like it when I serve something made with store-bought pie crust, and everyone from chef friends to picky grandkids compliments the crust. I don't take credit for making the crust, of course, but I like that people like it, even after I tell them I didn't make it from scratch.
There's always a package of pie crust in the refrigerator. I don't bake pies often, but I use the crusts all the time, for apple pie and empanadas and calzones.
What is pie crust?
A wheat pastry dough, sold in packages of two rounds sized to fit a 9-inch pie plate. If you are avoiding food additives such as BHA and BHT, read labels carefully, as some popular brands of pie crust contain these ingredients.
How/where to store?
In the refrigerator until the use-by date on the package. After that, in the freezer for up to two months.
More facts about pie crust, and ingredient photos, on The Perfect Pantry:
Pie crust (Recipe: old-fashioned apple pie)
Asparagus, mushroom and sausage quiche
What started as a clean-out-the-fridge project morphed into a quiche I was happy to serve to my friend Lilly, a culinary academic, cooking instructor and fellow food blogger, for lunch on a sunny day. I've been on a hot Italian turkey sausage kick lately, but feel free to substitute another type of sausage, or to omit it for a vegetarian quiche. Serves 6-8.
1 refrigerated pie crust, or homemade pie crust for a single-crust pie
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
10 thin asparagus spears, ends trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2-3 large button mushrooms, diced
3 links hot Italian turkey sausage, removed from the casing
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaf or 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves or flat-leaf parsley
4 eggs + 1 egg
2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Unroll one pie crust (for a 9-inch pie) and center it in a pie plate. (I used a standard Pyrex® pie plate.) Crimp the edges by hand, or press a design all around with a fork. Set aside.
In a nonstick frying pan, heat the olive oil over low-medium heat. Add the onion, asparagus, mushrooms and sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until the sausage is lightly browned and the onions are translucent. Add the fennel seeds and thyme, stir to combine, and set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes. (This step is important; if the filling is too hot, it will melt the pastry before the quiche gets to the oven. The filling also can be made in advance and refrigerated.)
In a large measuring cup or bowl, whisk 4 eggs until they are smooth. Add the yogurt, and whisk again. Stir in the cheese, salt and pepper.
Scatter the vegetable and sausage filling evenly in the pie crust. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Push it around with a rubber spatula so it covers all of the vegetables.
In a small bowl, beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Using a brush, paint the crust with the beaten egg.
Bake for 40 minutes. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.
Other recipes that use refrigerated pie crust:
Upside down apple pie, from Noble Pig
Leftover turkey pot pie, from White Trash BBQ
Mini jam-filled turnovers, from Inn Cuisine
Classic pumpkin pie, from YumSugar
Snickers Bar mini tarts, from Recipe Girl
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