I'm in Boston today and fall is just starting to hint that it's on the way. Best feeling ever.
To celebrate the beginnings of fall I wanted to share a delicious quiche recipe that my dear friend, Chef Jennie, makes.
Quiche is such a great and versatile dish. You can serve it for any meal of the day and you can use any ingredients (vegetables, cheese, meat) that you happen to have in the fridge!
If you’re willing to put a little extra time into the preparation, this pie dough recipe from Alice Waters is to-die-for. It’s perfectly flaky and delicate (reminiscent of shortbread), without being overwhelmingly rich. The key is not letting the butter melt as you pinch it into the flour – the chunks are what give it its decadent texture.
Perfect Fall Quiche
with red pepper, zucchini leek, bacon and goat cheese
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 180 g cold unsalted butter
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup ice water
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 small to medium zucchinis, cut into ¼” rounds
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 2/3 cup goat cheese
- 200 g bacon, cut into ¼” slices
- 2 leeks, only (mostly) white parts, sliced into rounds
- 1 tbsp butter
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
1. Make dough
a. Combine flour and salt in large bowl
b. Cut butter into ¼-inch cubes and incorporate with fingertips only so as not to melt the butter.
c. Once butter is incorporated into dough but not overmixed (still with noticeable individual chunks), stir in ice water little by little with a fork and bring together into a loose ball. (You may not need all of the water.)
d. Divide in half, wrap in plastic, flatten into thick disks and refrigerate for at least half an hour. (Dough can be made several days ahead of time and frozen, just thaw out in refrigerator before using.)
2. Prepare vegetables
a. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat and sauté red pepper until it caramelizes and starts to brown. Season with salt and pepper and then remove from pan.
b. In the same pan, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
c. Cook zucchini in bacon fat and sprinkle with fresh thyme stalks. Let cook until slightly browned on both sides (about 5 – 7 minutes, shaking or flipping zucchini rounds halfway through). Season with salt and pepper and then remove from heat.
d. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp butter in a small skillet and sweat leeks until soften and golden (about 5 – 7 minutes).
3. Blind bake dough
a. Preheat oven to 400 °F (200° C).
b. Remove one disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out to 1/8 ” thickness, and fit into quiche or pie mold. Place in freezer for 30 minutes to set shape.
c. Remove from freezer and line with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake until crust begins to turn golden, about 15 minutes.
d. Remove pie weights and continue to bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes until base of the dough turns golden. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350 °F (175° C).
4. Prepare quiche
a. Combine eggs and cream in bowl. Add nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper. (The salt should be the last thing that you add, just before pouring the mixture into the pie crust.)
b. Evenly spread half of the zucchini, half of the red pepper, bacon, leeks and goat cheese over bottom of tart dough. Fill with egg mixture and then decorate top with remaining zucchini and red pepper.
c. Bake until just set, about 20 minutes.
5. Enjoy! Serve with a fresh green salad or creamy tomato soup.
About Jennie: Jennie Levitt is a private chef whose training includes instruction in a series of restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts and organic farms in rural Italy along with some of the finest restaurants in Paris and Bogotá. She has launched and managed her own Mediterranean catering company in Aspen, Colorado, a rotating lunch restaurant in Paris, and most recently a series of pop-up dinners and cooking classes in Bogotá, Colombia. Her cuisine is based on traditional Mediterranean recipes that she learned at the source and now seeks to recreate with the best local ingredients in a warm, convivial environment.