Welcome to this (hopefully) monthly cooking column! My name is Ben, and I ran the home-delivery bakery “Hveiti og Smjör” (Icelandic for Flour and Butter). The editors have asked me to try to work up our collective kitchen skills, and two of my passions are teaching and baking, so I am really excited.

These first few articles are going to cover some basics before we move on, and this first one: Pie crust. This recipe is so simple, but it opens up a world of options. Pie crust allows desserts and mains like quiche. So pull up a chair and impress your next date (or your current partner) with some new cooking skills.

As a quick background, baking employs the Maillard reaction, which according to Wikipedia just means, “a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned foods their desirable flavor.” This can be understood more simply as the flavor change that comes from toasting something, normally bread, but also steaks. This is where that delicious flavor of toast comes from that is not present in untoasted bread. This is also the primary flavor change once cookies are baked, as well as dough like pie crust!

Pie Crust
Recipe Type: Baking
Cuisine: American
Author: [url href=”https://gayiceland.is/author/ben/” target=”_blank”]Ben Chompers[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Pie crust is super simple. It has literally only five ingredients and takes only minutes to make. In the US and other nations, pre-baked pie crusts are readily available at most grocery stores, so it is a battle to convince some people that home-made is superior, but here in Iceland, I have yet to see pre-made pie crusts, so this is your ticket to fame and fortune! (or at least a tasty dinner)
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • a bowl of ice cold water
  1. Take a plastic bowl, add the flour and salt and mix well (If making a dessert pie, you can add a tablespoon of sugar, and a teaspoon of cinnamon, but it’s not necessary).
  2. Next add in the butter after cutting it into cubes. Using a [url href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastry_blender” target=”_blank”]pastry blender[/url] (available at most kitchen supply stores) or a regular knife (which will take much longer) “cut” the butter into the flour. Your goal is to end up with pea sized lumps of butter.
  3. Next comes the ice water, which is what will now bind this into an actual dough we can roll out. Add a little at a time, mixing very gently with your hand until it all comes together. Err on the side of dry dough rather than wet glop.
  4. On a dry surface (I use a nice vinyl mat) powder with flour (a shaker with large holes, filled with flour, makes quick work of dusting a surface with flour so dough doesn’t stick)
  5. Roll out with a floured rolling pin. You should still be able to see large chunks of butter in the dough (these will turn into flaky pockets)
  6. Do not overwork the dough. Your goal is to get a large enough disc to fit in your pie plate. Choose a pie plate with fluted rim if you can, it will “hold” the dough when baking. A flat sided pie plate will allow the dough to sink in toward the bottom when baking.
  7. Fit the dough disc into your pie plate, and pull off any extra that sticks out, using it to repair any gaps or edges that don’t come up high enough. Now put in the fridge for as long as you can wait (preferably 1-4 hours, overnight is fine too). This will let the dough “rest” and the butter to re-chill after being worked, which will again allow for a flakier crust that holds its shape when baking.
  8. Preheat your oven to 220°C (430°F) while the dough is chilling, pull the dough out of the fridge, poke the bottom well with a fork (or it might bubble up while baking). To be super sure it does not slide down the sides, line the dough with aluminum foil, and then fill with dry rice or beans to act as weights that emulate the actual pie filling that will come later. I sometimes skip the foil/rice step and it comes out fine, but your mileage may vary. Then slide it in for 8 minutes, or until lightly brown (this could take up to 20 minute depending on how thick you rolled it out). Pull it out and let it cool while you make the filling.
  1. Depending on your pie dish size, you’ll have to adjust the number of eggs and cream to use, but a good rule of thumb is to use equal amounts egg and cream. Mine fit three eggs and a small 250 ml carton of cream. I then added about 1 cup of shredded cheese. All of the filling for quiche is flexible, as long as there is enough egg to bake into a solid.
  2. I put the egg/cream mixture in first, then sprinkled in the cheese, and added in the cooked bacon and onion on top, doing a little bit of mixing with a fork so that egg mixture got on top of the toppings.
  3. Bake between 15-45 minutes. 15 for wide thin quiches like this one, and 45 for a really deep quiche dishes to make sure the eggs bake solid.
  4. Allow to cool for a bit, 5-10 minutes, then serve. Top with sour cream and serve with veggies and a starch (bread or potatoes).
Why lemon juice? Well I will tell you! Gluten is present in white flour, and is where the elasticity in bread comes from. While we want lots of long stretchy gluten chains in soft bread and pizza crust, pie crust is much better flaky. We start by using a low gluten flour like all-purpose (though cake flour can work even better, it has less gluten to start with) and then add lemon juice, which is an acid, which breaks down the gluten chains even further. You can skip the lemon juice and the crust will still bake fine, but it will taste flakier and more crust like with it.[br][br]The key is to NOT mix the butter in too much. Start with cold butter, and that’s also why we use the ice water instead of just cold tap water.[br][br]Some filling ideas: pumpkin pie, berry pie, sauteed mushroom with caramelized onions and goat cheese tart, or quiche Lorraine. I will publish some of these other recipes later, but this one will be how to make quiche Lorraine, though the last step when I add the fillers can be replaced with nearly any filler you desire. [br][br]For this crust, I decided on an Americanized Quiche Lorraine. I used bacon chunks instead of ham, and caramelized onions, as well as some homemade Colby cheese that my husband made.



A pie to die for: crust and filling
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The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.


A pie to die for: crust and filling
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Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.


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    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      A pie to die for: crust and filling
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      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

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      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

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      - leading financial institution

      Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

      The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

      Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

      It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

      Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

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      - get inspired

      Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      A pie to die for: crust and filling
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      - for all your Apple needs

      From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

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      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        Ísey skyr
        - once tasted never forgotten

        Our Story
        Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

        For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

        Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
        This is our secret and you are in on it

        You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

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        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

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        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.


        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.


        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

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        Contact Us

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