The very first thing I made upon arriving in France was a quiche. A full-sized, caramelized onion and gruyere quiche that I took to my first brunch. The onions were a little over-sweet and it was overcooked due to a timer error, but it worked out in the end. Quiches are forgiving that way.
Since then, I have bizarrely ignored what is clearly the best brunch food known to man. Which is silly, really, given my tart obsession (meaning that I always have several rounds of pastry crust in the freezer) and the gentleman requiring eggs in the morning the way a Frenchman requires a strike at least once a year.
Here’s the thing about quiche, or at least, the thing I like best about quiche: because you have this butter crust holding it together, the eggs can be soft. Extremely soft. Softer than perfect soft-scrambled eggs. If you’re a soft-eggs person, quiche is the ultimate in satisfaction and gooey yolky nirvana.
Of course, this doesn’t make the kind of quiche you can slice, but individual portions are more fun anyway.
Spinach, Cheese, and Roasted Tomato Quiche
Makes three 5-inch quiches.
1/2 recipe your favorite all-butter pie crust recipe or 1 purchased refrigerated pie crust
3/4 cups half-and-half
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cooked baby spinach or frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup shredded Emmental or Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup roasted cherry tomatoes
Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
If using homemade pie crust, break the dough into three pieces and roll into circles large enough to fit in 5-inch tart pans. If using purchased pie crust, cut out as many circles as you can from the sheet you have, then combine the scraps and re-roll until you have three circles. Press the pie dough into three 5-inch tart pans and poke all over with a fork. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Remove the tart shells from the refrigerator and cover each with a square of parchment paper or aluminium foil. Fill with pie weights or beans and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tart shells look dry but are not yet quite browned. Remove the pie weights and parchment or foil.
In a bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, a pinch of salt and a couple grinds of pepper and whisk.
Spoon the spinach into the tart shells and smooth down. Pour an equal amount of the egg mixture into each shell, then sprinkle evenly with the cheese and dot with the tomatoes.
Bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on how done you like your eggs. I like to pull it when just the edges are firm, but the rest of the quiche is still very jiggly.
Add the salt with a light hand here. The cheese is quite salty and if you’re using homemade spinach and tomatoes, they have both been seasoned individually as well.
To make these ahead, bake the quiches for only 10 minutes or so, then wrap and refrigerate or freeze. Bring back to room temperature before baking at 325°F (170°C) for 20 minutes or until hot.
Music to cook by: You Must Be Out of Your Mind [The Magnetic Fields // Realism]