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April in Paris: Tiny Quiche

2012 April 17

If you find yourself in Paris this April (or any time really) you can eat quiche for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you want to. And there’s no reason not to do the same at home, too.

For breakfast, these can be made the night before and reheated in the oven while you’re getting ready for the day. For lunch, one will reheat nicely in an office toaster oven or you can just go for broke and eat it at room temperature with a little salad on the side. Around here for dinner, these babies get the full treatment with a little herb and baby green salad tossed with a quick homemade vinaigrette and potatoes roasted in duck fat (if you make some duck confit, you’ll have duck fat just hanging out in the ‘fridge, too).

The final cooking time is a little bit subjective, dependent on a handful of things, including your stove and your tart pans. A brief Internet check tells me that there are a ton of options for individual tart pans — mine are 4 3/4-inchers by Gobel, bought on the advice of the lovely Leah at Hill’s Kitchen in DC’s Eastern Market neighborhood — but a seemingly little size or material variation could be the difference between overdone and perfect. I advise keeping an eye on these the first time you make them. Mr. Kitchenette is quite vigilant about checking on them, as he rather particular about his egg dishes and hates an overdone quiche. It should be barely a little jiggly in the middle but a toothpick should come out clean — it’s supposed to be silky and custardy — when you take it out. It could also mean some leftover egg mixture if you pans are slightly smaller or you like a thicker crust.

A couple of tries and a watchful eye and you’ll soon be a pro, though. And it doesn’t always have to be leeks, by the way. You future quiches could hold bacon for a quiche lorraine, or go all alsacienne with bacon and onions. Since it’s spring on the East Cost, how about “quiche Appalachianne” with ramps (you can quote me on that one….)? A little goes a long way so you don’t have to spend a ton to fill up these individual quiches — I’d put one leek at about eight ounces, uncooked, so keep that in mind when adding goodies. Come on back and post your favorite combinations in the comments so I can give them a whirl, too!

Spring Leek Quiche (Quiche aux Poireaux)

Serves 2

Ingredients

For the crust:

3 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening

2 Tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

1 large leek, white and light green parts, cleaned and sliced thin

1 Tablespoon butter

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/3 cup heavy cream

4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated (in The Kitchenette, we like 2 ounces Gruyere and 2 ounces Jarlsburg)

Method

For the crust: Put the flour, sugar, salt, butter and shortening in the bowl of your food processor, blade in, and put in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.

Put the food processor together and pulse until the mixture looks like very coarse sand, about 20 pluses. Add 1 tablespoon of the ice water and process until the dough starts to come together. If it still seems dry and crumbly, add the rest of the ice water and pulse until it is incorporated. Pull out of the food processor and gently roll into a ball.

(If your tart pans are not non-stick, or you just have a fear of this sticking, go ahead and grease them up now)

Divide the dough into half and pull marble-sized chunks off each half and press into a 4 3/4-inch individual tart pans, across the bottom and into the fluted sides; you may have some dough bits leftover. Put the pans on a plate and chill another 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 with a rack in the middle. Put the chilled tart shells on a baking sheet, place a square of parchment paper on each and fill with pie weights or dried beans (dried beans you don’t ever plan on eating). Bake 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

For the filling: In a small frying pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Saute leeks, until softened and just starting to brown around the edges, about 8 minutes. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, cream and Dijon. Add grated cheese (saving a small sprinkle to top the quiches if you want) and stir until thoroughly combined.

Place the tart pans on a baking sheet. Spread half the leeks in the bottom of each cooled shell. Spoon the egg mixture over the leeks, half in each shell. Sprinkle extra cheese on top, if desired. Bake at 350 for 30-40minutes or until set and browning around the edges. Cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. April 17, 2012

    Sounds wonderful. I love quiche. It is great for leftovers!

  2. April 20, 2012

    Please forgive my language, but I motherfucking love some quiche!

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