Prepare the dough (Skip if using a store-bought crust)
Place flour and salt in a food processor; pulse a few times to combine.
Add the butter and pulse several more times until the the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
With the machine running, slowly add the water. Let the machine run until the dough comes together and grabs most or all of the flour from the bottom, but no longer. The less you mix the dough, the flakier the crust will be.
Turn the dough out onto plastic wrap, pressing flat into a disc (the thinner the better). If there are any dry or buttery patches, fold the dough a few times to incorporate. Wrap tightly and place in refrigerator to chill for at least two hours or overnight.
Before rolling, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to soften the butter slightly. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to approximately 1/4-inch thick, moving the dough after each roll. Place into a 9-inch fluted tart pan or pie dish and shape to the pan or crimp as desired. Chill for 30 minutes to firm up the butter.
Place an oven rack on the center shelf and preheat to 400 degrees F. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Use a fork to prick holes throughout the bottom of the dough to prevent air bubbles from forming. Place foil over the dough and cover with uncooked beans. Bake for 20 minutes, removing the beans and foil for the last 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F, and allow the crust to cool while preparing the other ingredients.
Prepare the filling
Place the bacon in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate. Microwave for 4 minutes, then check for doneness. You want the bacon crispy for this recipe without any fatty, chewy pieces. If necessary, microwave in additional 30-60 second increments until cooked.
Once the bacon is cool enough to handle, pat away excess fat with a paper towel, then chop into small pieces and sprinkle evenly in the tart shell. Top with around 3/4 of the cheese and half of the chives.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper. Pour into the tart shell, making sure there’s around 1/2 inch of space between the filling and the top of the crust (See notes). Sprinkle the remaining cheese and chives evenly on top.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the custard is no longer liquid (it’s ok if it’s a bit jiggly in the center). Remove from the oven and cool for at least 25 minutes before serving so the custard can fully set.
Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container, and keep refrigerated. Enjoy within 3-4 days.
Prep and cook time do not include tart dough, which adds 3 hours total.
Pie and tart shells can vary a bit in size, so there’s a chance you'll have excess filling. Don’t be tempted to fill your shell to the brim. It’s better to waste some custard than destroy an entire quiche.