6 to 8 servings
Serve this appetizing quiche for breakfast or brunch on Christmas or New Year's Day morning.
Prepare crust. In a medium bowl, sift flour and salt together. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle water evenly over surface, 1 tablespoonful at a time, mixing lightly with a fork. Shape mixture into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Roll out dough on a lightly floured board into a circle 1/8-inch thick and 2 inches larger than the diameter of the pie plate or spring-form pan.
Carefully fit crust into a 9-inch diameter pie plate or spring-form pan. If using a pie plate, form a standing ridge around the edge of the crust. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the crust and top with a thin layer of dried beans or uncooked rice. Partially bake in a preheated hot oven (400 degrees F.) for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven and remove beans or rice and foil from crust; set crust aside while preparing filling.
In a medium heavy skillet, brown sausage thoroughly over moderate heat, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently; drain well and crumble, patting off any fat with absorbent paper. Press sausage and cheese lightly into the bottom of the partially baked crust, spreading mixture evenly. Sprinkle apple pieces evenly over sausage/cheese layer.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs lightly. Gradually add remaining ingredients, blending well; pour over sausage mixture in pie crust. Bake in a preheated moderate oven (375 degrees F.) for 35 to 40 minutes or until a silver table knife inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean. Allow quiche to stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.
Note: May omit cream or half-and-half, if desired; use 1¾ cups milk or reduced-fat milk or skim milk. However, the flavor will not be as rich.
Variation: Omit sausage and use 8 ounces cubed (very small cubes) fully-cooked smoked ham or 6 to 8 slices crumbled crisp-cooked bacon or ½ cup commercial crumbled crisp-cooked bacon.