Quintessential Quiche

Need ideas for “ausfast?” Nothing is simpler or more delicious than quiche, especially when you use a homemade crust. True, ready-to-use pie crusts are convenient, but try our tender flaky crust and you will be hooked.

Our crust recipe makes 2, use one now and keep the second in the freezer.

Basic Quiche Crust

Makes two crusts — keep one ready in the freezer!

  • 2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar; pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed. If necessary, add a bit more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Do not over-mix.

Transfer half of dough (still crumbly) onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form dough into a disk 3/4 inch thick; wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days). Repeat with remaining dough.

Place one disk of dough on a silicone mat or lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Rolling from center outward, form into a 12-inch round. Using the mat or paper, lift and wrap dough around a floured rolling pin; carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate or fluted tart pan.

Gently fit dough into bottom and sides of plate. Avoid stretching or tearing dough. Using a paring knife, trim overhanging dough edges to about 1 inch. Fold that inch of dough under to form a rim. Crimp with fingertips and knuckle.

Three-Cheese Veggie Quiche

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 portobello mushrooms, diced
  • ½ Vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make 1 pie crust in a 9-inch glass pie plate as directed above. Using fork, poke holes in the base all over and bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile in medium skillet, heat oil. Add mushrooms and onions; cook over medium-high heat until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cool slightly.

In medium bowl, combine milk, spinach, egg whites, eggs, salt and pepper; stir until all ingredients are well combined.

Stir in mozzarella and cheddar cheese and cooled mushrooms mixture. Pour egg mixture into pie shell. Sprinkle feta cheese over top. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is puffed and light golden brown. Cool 10 minutes and serve.

Eggplant-Leek Quiche

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed (3/4-inch)
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare quiche crust as directed above. Bake 15 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook eggplant until softened, 8-9 minutes.

Add leeks and garlic, and cook until translucent and fragrant, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix heavy cream and milk with beaten eggs, and add nutmeg and a pinch of salt.

Spread vegetables out evenly in the crust and slowly pour in egg mixture. Cover the top with mixed cheeses.

Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

Let cool 10 minutes and serve warm.

Readers may submit questions to the Culinary Connoisseur, c/o Hamodia, 207 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230 or via e-mail to peppermill@hamodia.com. This weekly column has been brought to you by The Peppermill, the world’s first kosher kitchenware store, located at 5015 16th Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. (718) 871-4022. You can also read a selection of previous columns in their comprehensive cookbook, The Culinary Connoisseur, available now at your local Judaica and kitchenware stores. Jam-packed with delicious recipes, insightful food information and helpful cooking tips, this book is certain to become your constant companion in the kitchen.