Ah, the quiche! An open-faced, appetizing tart that can be served warm as a main meal and paired with a fresh green salad and a crisp white wine. Served cold, quiches are ideal to share at summer picnics. Baked in small ramekins, savory quiches also make for a delightful hors d’oeuvres at your dinner parties (with leftovers nil).
Think of delicious quiches like a great pair of jeans; never out of style, they can be dressed up or down, perfect for any time of day, and have a long lifespan if handled properly. More, these days to me at least, a quiche is every bridesmaid’s “Old Faithful” brunch party dish but together, let’s take your quiche up a notch and get it right in your new cooking repertoire.
The recipe below is foolproof and can be prepared, baked, and served in under an hour. Below is a 2 step process; you first have to create your pastry shell and 2., bake the actual quiche itself. What you decide to put in your quiche will ultimately decide what the quiche is called. For example, a “quiche Lorraine” is a cream and bacon quiche whereas a “quiche aux épinards et fromage” is a spinach and cheese quiche.
Here in Prague, zucchini and tomatoes are in season!
Zucchini and Tomato Swiss Quiche & Pastry Shell
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- Pastry dough (see previous post or purchase ready-made pastry dough)
- 4 large eggs or 5 medium eggs
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes - diced
- 1 and 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese (preferred: a nutty Emmentaler or Gruyère / Kralowski (CZ) )
- 1 medium zucchini - cut long ways then quartered
- 1/2 diced onion
- 1/4 cup of milk or cream
- 2 Tb softened butter
- 1-2 tsp salt, depending on preference
- 1 tsp tomato paste (optional)
- Pinch of fresh-cracked pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of cayenne pepper or 3 drops of tabasco/hot sauce to taste
- First steps: Creating your pastry shell
- Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C and center your baking rack
- Butter your quiche dish (do not add flour) and begin to roll out your dough* on a floured surface in a circular motion.
- Continue to lift, turn, and roll your dough until it is an even 1/4 inch
- Once the dough is 1/4 inch and even, roll it onto your rolling pin and out over your quiche dish, making sure you are pressing the dough well into the pan to form the shell
- Cut off extra dough with a knife or your rolling in by rolling it over the dish. Save scraps for sugar cookies or decoration
- Create a unique, decorative design where the top-showing crust will form
- Spear the shell with a fork around the dish and cover entirely with baking/parchment paper
Baking your pastry shell
- Once you have covered the uncooked shell with baking/parchment paper, you will need to half-bake the pastry shell. To prevent rising or collapsing when pre-cooking, pour beans or pasta for weight onto the paper. Place into your preheated oven and bake for 7-10 minutes until crust is slightly turning golden brown. *Do not thoroughly cook your shell
- Remove from oven and place onto a trivet
Assembling your quiche
- Saute diced onion in butter or olive oil with a sprinkle of sugar to brown. Add zucchini and tomato to the saute pan, season to taste, and cook until moisture has evaporated and the 3 ingredients are fully cooked. Pour onto a plate and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs and milk, beat, and add the salt, pepper, cayenne/tabasco, nutmeg, and tomato paste (optional). Whisk until blended. Taste and correct seasoning if needed.
- Add shredded Swiss cheese to the egg batter
- Slowly pour in the cooked vegetables, making sure the moisture has cooked out thoroughly, mix. Taste and correct seasoning if needed. Once your mixture is combined in the bowl, pour into your pastry shell until it has not filled more than 3/4 of the shell. Your quiche will rise so make sure you give it room!
- Garnish with little pads of softened butter over the top and the bacon, if desired.
- Bake at 375 F / 190 C for 25-30 minutes, uncovered, in the oven center until the quiche has puffed up and browned. The round sides of the quiche will have also begun to pull away from the dish, signaling it is cooked. Turn off the oven and let stand for 5 minutes with oven door slightly ajar.
- Your quiche will stay risen for 10 minutes before falling. It will not re-rise if reheated.
- Serve on a warm dish with a warm baguette, fresh green salad, and a crisp, dry white wine.
- Some quiches do not always have to be placed in the refrigerator but, to be cautious, all quiches should be refrigerated after 2 hours at room temperature. Freeze your quiche if you just can't handle all the buttery, eggy, and aromatic goodness at once!
The Bell Kitchen https://thebellkitchen.com/
Homemade Pastry Dough
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- 2 cups pastry flour - measured properly and leveled off
- (Don't have pastry flour? If you mix 1 cup of AP flour with 1 cup cake flour, you can create pastry flour. You can use 2 cups of AP flour but your dough may turn out a bit tough) If baking within the Czech Republic, use "Hladka mouka" for this recipe
- 6 ounces of cold butter (170 grams in Europe, 1 1/2 sticks USA), cubed into 8ths
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup of iced water
- In a large bowl sift the 2 cups of flour and add the salt and sugar. Next, add the butter and begin to move rapidly with your fingertips to blend the flour with the butter until it appears to look like oatmeal flakes. This step takes approximately 3-5 minutes.
- Once you have your butter and flour mixed thoroughly, slowly add half the water and begin to mix then add the other half. The dough should be taking shape. If you find your dough to be sticky, add a sprinkle of flour to pull your dough into shape. If dry, sprinkle cold water drops carefully.
- Cupping the dough, round into a ball and literally throw it down on a floured cold surface/counter top. Here is your cathartic cooking moment. Pick the dough up, round it again, and slap it back down onto the surface. Repeat. Do not get carried away with this step, however stress-releasing it may be! It serves to mix your butter thoroughly with the dough and eliminate air pockets. You may also use the ball of your palm to push out any butter bits visible to the eye if you didn't mix your butter and flour properly.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and set in the refrigerator to rest for at least 20 minutes before use, if not longer.
- Dough can be made in advance, last for several days under refrigeration, and can be frozen for future use.
The Bell Kitchen https://thebellkitchen.com/