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Asparagus and Mushroom Quiche

June 6, 2012
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You know what?

I’ve never made quiche before.

It’s true.  And I have no idea why.  I’m considering making lots of pie crust dough and then just storing it in the freezer so I can make it more often because, my friend(s?), this quiche was amazing.  Then again, it had better have been amazing since I decided to make it completely from scratch on a Monday night after work and it wasn’t finished until 9:15.  I also dropped not one, but two, pie plates in the process, sending little pieces of glass and ceramic all over the kitchen.  Looking on the bright side, at least I didn’t drop the pie plate with the quiche in it!  There was a lot riding on this quiche by the time it finally came out of the oven (including my emotional sanity).

Luckily it was everything I hoped it would be: creamy, flavorful and cheesy, and the crust was perfect.  Perfect.  It was definitely worth the annoying pre-baking, which is always such a pain-in-the-butt and one of my least favorite things to do. The crust was just as good as the filling, which is not something that happens frequently.

I had to restrict myself to only eating half of the pie plate (yes, I ate half of something meant for eight people), it was that good.  The slices also traveled remarkably well, and I’ve been enjoying quiche for breakfast at work.  Definitely a step up from my usual plain yogurt and fruit!

Asparagus and Mushroom Quiche
Adapted from Baking Illustrated

One thing I love about this recipe is that it’s open for interpretation (Chris Kimball would probably kill me if he read that, but luckily I’m certain he has absolutely no idea who I am).  You could add in other veggies or protein that you have that you’re trying to use up, like peppers, zucchini, bacon, ham, sausage, spinach, or broccoli.  I also used up all the different nubs of cheese lying in the cheese drawer, which included some deli sliced swiss, a handful of blue cheese, and even some Laughing Cow rounds.

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
A pinch fresh grated nutmeg
4 oz (1/2 cup) Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms or reconstituted dry mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup diced onion
8 asparagus spears, cut on the bias into 1/2 inch pieces (~1 cup)
9-inch partially baked pie shell (warm), baked until light golden brown, about 10 minutes

Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Blanch asparagus in 1 quart salted boiling water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly.  Sautee mushrooms and onion over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until softened

Whisk all remaining ingredients except cheese, asparagus and mushrooms in medium bowl.  Spread cheese, asparagus and mushrooms evenly over bottom of warm pie shell (if the pie shell has been previously baked and cooled, place it in the preheating oven for about five minutes to warm it, taking care that it does not burn).

Set shell on oven rack. Pour in custard mixture to 1/2-inch below crust rim. Bake until lightly golden brown and a knife blade inserted about one inch from the edge comes out clean, and the center feels set but soft like gelatin, 45 to 50 minutes (the center of the quiche will be  soft when it comes out of the oven, but the filling will continue to set–and sink somewhat–as it cools). Transfer quiche to rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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