Ooh La La…..Quiche
When I was first married, my husband and I were blessed with the opportunity to live and work in Paris. At the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue de Bellechasse on the Left Bank was our neighborhood boulangerie. It was a common occurrence to visit the family-run bakery for your croissant in the morning, quiche for lunch and warm baguettes for dinner. I especially loved their spinach and mushroom quiches.
Recently, I had the pleasure to learn how to make my first quiche with Guinevere Milliner, from Little Gourmand. She is a delight to work alongside and was more than happy to impart some French tricks of the trade like the key to the perfect flaky crust! We enjoyed working together so much that we are planning another render-vous of cooking and fun in my kitchen and hope you will join us!
Ingredients for La Quiche Epinard et Champignon (A Spinach and Mushroom Quiche!)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3 Tbs. cold water
1 egg yolk
1 Tbs. salt
What makes this an authentic quiche is the dough. Store-bought pastry dough just won’t do! It’s got to be made from scratch. Guinevere came with her dream machine (the Thermomix) that made the dough in literally thirty seconds, but it’s almost as easy making by hand. First, you need to cut up your butter into pea-size chunks. Combine the butter with the flour and salt and work with your hands until you reach the consistency of sand. Next, add the egg yolk and cold water and work with your fingertips until you obtain a homogenous texture. Don’t handle the lump of dough too much or it will become sticky. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for a couple of minutes. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out with a floured rolling pin until it is flat and smooth. Carefully lay the dough over your quiche pan. The recipe can be used for one large quiche or six mini quiches. I found a great six mini-quiche pan from Williams Sonoma. One of Guinevere’s tricks to avoiding moist crust, is to pre-cook the dough. In France, they call it cuire à blanc. Every French cook keeps a secret stash of dried beans in their pantry for just this! Fill your pie crust with dried beans to give weight and then bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove the tart from oven, scoop out the beans and then allow to cool while you prepare the filling for your quiche.
Spinach and Mushroom Filling:
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
2 cups of fresh spinach
1 Tbs. of Sherry Vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 8 0z. container of Creme Fraiche (I have only found it at Trader Joe’s)
3 whole eggs
Saute the chopped shallots with olive oil, add the mushrooms and allow to cook until they lose their water. Remove the mushroom mixture and set aside. Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar, let it reduce and then put the mushrooms and spinach back into the skillet. Allow the spinach to sweat for 2-3 minutes. Place the mushrooms and spinach in the pre-cooked dough. Be careful not to include any of the liquid in the pan because it will make the quiche soggy.
In a separate bowl, mix the container of Creme Fraiche with three whole eggs, salt & pepper. You are welcome to include a half cup of grated cheese of your choice to the liquid mixture. Pour the liquid over the spinach and mushrooms.
Bake at 375 for approximately 45 minutes.
P.S. Details for our first cooking class will be forthcoming! I cannot say enough kind words about my cooking partner, Guinevere. Hopefully, you will introduce yourself on your next visit to Little Gourmand on Bandywood! The gorgeous pictures are by Ashley Hylbert from White Studio!