Well Dined

4Apr/120

Spring Quiche

Spring vegetables are delicate and fresh and I think that one of the best ways to utilize them is in a quiche.  Fluffy eggs, creamy cheese, and flaky buttery crust - what's not to love?  I used spinach and leeks this time, but zucchini and asparagus work great too!

The cast of characters - eggs, milk, cream, and nutmeg for the the custard; bacon, shallots, spinach, leeks, green onions, basil, and mozzarella for the filling.  It may seem like a lot, but everything goes together so quickly and the flavors go really well together.

Blind bake some standard pie dough in a pie pan and sprinkle some cheese in the bottom to form a barrier against sogginess.  Cook you bacon until crisp, saute the veggies until tender, and prepare your custard.

Layer your filling: I like to do half of the bacon, half of the veggies, repeat; then I top it with the basil and scallions.

Then pour the custard over the filling and top with more cheese.  I used mozzarella because it is creamy and has a mild flavor -  gruyere is also really nice, but you can use whatever you like.

Bake until puffy and golden (use a foil ring to prevent the edges from browning) and you are good to go! Serve with a fresh salad for the perfect spring brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Quiche

Pate Brisee dough, recipe below
4-6 slices of bacon, diced
1 large shallot or 1/2 a medium onion
Spring vegetables (spinach, leeks, zucchini, asparagus), washed, chopped or grated
1 cup shredded mozzarella, Gruyere, or other cheese
2 tbsp chopped basil
2 tbsp thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 eggs
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12 inch round. Fit into a 9 inch pie pan, gently pressing into the bottom and sides. Trim excess dough and pierce the bottom all over with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 min.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 30 min, remove foil and weights, bake 5 to 10 min more. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. Transfer to a wire rack and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the bacon in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook until crisp and remove to drain on paper towels. Drain most of the fat from the pan. Add the shallots/onions and cook until softened - about 3 minutes. Add in the other vegetables and saute/wilt. Set aside the vegetable mixture.

Make the custard. Whisk together the milk, cream, and eggs. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

Place the pie pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the filling, top with the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese, and carefully pour the custard over the top. Bake until just set in the center, 35 min. Transfer to a wire rack and cool at least 10 min before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pate Brisee
adapted from Martha Stewart

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/4 cup chilled butter flavored Crisco, cut in pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water

Whisk or sift together the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and shortening, and cut together until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle the ice water evenly over the flour and work together with your hands until the dough just holds together. Do not overwork.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Place on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form a disc. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 min before using. **note - I actually skip this step and roll it out while it is still warm - I find that it cracks too much otherwise. Then I chill the rolled out dough really well before baking.**

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