Few things are better than a beautiful weekend brunch featuring delicious quiche. I’m brushing up on my quiche skills with a simple Quiche Lorraine and a Stacked High Mushroom and Emmental Quiche. At best, my skills in quiche-making are rustic. They taste great but they look quite elementary. Quiche is perfect for any brunch buffet. It slices easily and, because of the rich custard center, a small portion is very satisfying. I’m okay with the rustic look.
The first recipe is for a super-tall Mushroom Quiche that is made in a springform pan instead of a pie plate. The result is a rich custard filling in a show-stopping, tall crust.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound oyster mushrooms, stems trimmed and large caps halved or quartered
- 1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly-ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 small shallots, minced
- 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
- 3/4 cup shredded Comté or Emmental cheese (2 1/2 ounces)
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a very large skillet, heat the oil. Add the oyster and white mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate. Add the butter, shallots and thyme and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender, about 12 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and let cool. Squeeze the excess water and juices from the mushroom mixture with a colander or slotted spoon.
- Scatter 1/4 cup of the cheese and half of the mushrooms evenly over the bottom of the Buttery Pastry Shell. In a blender, mix half each of the milk, cream and eggs and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and a pinch of nutmeg at high speed until frothy, about 1 minute.
- Pour the custard into the pastry shell. Top with another 1/4 cup of cheese and the remaining mushrooms. Make a second batch of custard with the remaining milk, cream and eggs, plus the same amount of salt, pepper and nutmeg as before and pour into the shell. Scatter the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top.
- Bake the quiche for about 1 1/2 hours or until richly browned on top and the custard is barely set in the center. Let cool in the pan until very warm.
- Carefully lift the springform pan ring off the quiche. Cut the mushroom quiche into wedges, transfer to plates and serve warm.
Buttery Pastry Crust
Note: If the idea of making your own pie crust will stop you from trying this recipe you can always use ready-made pie crust from the grocery refrigerated or frozen section. I’ll never tell and your guests will never notice. When they say, “WOW this crust is so buttery and flaky” just smile and say, “thank you.”
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/4 cup ice water
- Canola oil, for brushing
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix 1 cup of the flour with the salt. At low speed, add the butter pieces, a handful at a time. When all of the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium and mix until the butter is completely incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and add the remaining 1 cup of flour just until blended.
- Mix in the water just until thoroughly incorporated.
- Flatten the pastry into an 8-inch disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Set the ring of a 9-inch springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving the hinge open. Brush the inside of the ring with oil.
- Dust the pastry on both sides with flour. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a 16-inch round, about 3/16 inch thick. Carefully roll the pastry around the rolling pin and transfer to the prepared ring, pressing it into the corners.
- Trim the overhanging pastry to 1 inch and press it firmly against the outside of the ring. Use the trimmings to fill any cracks. Refrigerate the shell for 20 minutes.
Make Ahead – The unmolded quiche can be cooled completely, then refrigerated overnight. To serve, carefully cut the quiche into wedges, arrange on a baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven until warm, 10 minutes.
For this next recipe, Quiche Lorraine, I pre-baked the crust to ensure that, while the egg mixture cooked quickly, I wouldn’t end up with a soggy bottom quiche. It worked great! With the previous tall quiche the bake time was much longer, so the crust had time to cook through with the custard egg filling.
For pre-baked crust, simply line your raw crust with parchment and gently fill the parchment with some sort of weight to hold up the sides while it bakes. Then add the spinach and cheese. Be sure to press all the moisture out of the spinach and mushrooms to avoid a soggy mess.
Ingredients (*Makes two quiches)
- 1 Tbs. Butter
- 3 shallots, minced
- 3 Bunches flat leaf spinach, thick stems removed and leaves roughly chopped OR one 10-oz .box washed spinach
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- 8 oz Gruyere cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
- 1 recipe for basic pie dough (see above), fitted into two 9-inch pie plates OR ready-made pie crusts
- 8 large eggs
- 3 cups half and half
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350°F, with racks set in upper and lower thirds. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add as much spinach to skillet as will fit; season with salt and pepper, and toss, adding more spinach as room becomes available, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer spinach mixture to a colander. Press firmly with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Divide spinach mixture and cheese between prepared crusts. Place each crust on a separate rimmed baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Dividing evenly, pour egg mixture into crusts.
- Arrange baking sheets on racks and bake until center of each quiche is just set, 55 to 60 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom halfway through. Let quiches stand 15 minutes before serving.