Mother Earth Living

Easy Spring Quiche

This spring favorite is an easy way to feed a crowd.
By Pieter Dijkstra
March/April 2011
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Savor the fresh flavors of spring in this vegetable quiche.
Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison

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Spring Quiche
Serves 12 

This spring favorite is an easy way to feed a crowd. You can substitute your favorite spring herbs and vegetables (or whatever looks freshest in your garden or farmer’s market) for the mushrooms, spinach and thyme.

For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, divided, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, chilled
1/4 cup ice water
Canola oil, for brushing

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle (or use a hand mixer), mix 1 cup of flour with salt. At low speed, add butter pieces, a few at a time. When all the butter has been added, increase speed to medium, and mix until butter is completely incorporated and texture looks like fine bread crumbs. Reduce speed to low and add remaining flour until just blended. Mix in water until thoroughly incorporated. Flatten the pastry dough into an 8-inch disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, one hour to overnight.

2. Set the ring of a 9-inch spring form pan on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving the hinge open. Brush the inside of the ring with oil.

3. Dust the pastry dough on both sides with flour. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 16-inch round, about a 1/4-inch thick. Transfer dough to prepared ring, pressing it into the corners. Trim overhanging pastry to 1 inch and press it firmly around the inside and outside of the ring. Use trimmings to fill any cracks. Refrigerate shell for 20 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line pastry shell with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans to keep crust from rising too much. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the dough’s edges are lightly browned. Remove parchment paper and beans, and bake shell for about 15 minutes longer, or until richly browned on the bottom. Transfer baking sheet to a rack and let pastry cool.

You could also use a high-quality, premade pastry shell and follow the pre-cooking instructions that come with it. (This recipe is intended for a large, deep crust; you may need two premade crusts.) Fill the store-bought or homemade pastry shell with our quiche mixture, up to about 1/2 inch from the top of the crust.

You could also choose to eschew the pastry entirely, and bake a crustless quiche in a glass baking dish. Simply pour a little of the egg mixture into the pan as the first layer, then reduce bake time to 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is slightly firm and golden. It will form a thin crust.

Quiche filling:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/8 cup shallots, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 ounce fresh spinach
3/4 cup Swiss or Asiago cheese, shredded, divided
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
8 eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg, grated

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Heat oil in a sauté pan to medium-high. Add mushrooms, thyme and shallots.

3. Cook for 5 minutes, add butter and cook 5 more minutes. Add spinach, cook for 2 minutes, and set aside. Drain and discard excess liquid.

4. Layer half the mushroom mixture, then half the cheese in the crust.

5. Combine remaining ingredients (except remaining cheese and mushrooms) and blend for 1 minute, making egg mixture.

6. Pour half the egg mixture over mushrooms and cheese.

7. Layer remaining cheese, then mushroom mixture. Pour the remaining egg mixture over the top.

8. Bake for 30 minutes, then start testing center for firmness. Remove from oven when surface is slightly firm. This may take up to 90 minutes.

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