5.13.2010

Quiche love





Putting quiche on my mother's birthday lunch menu wasn't an easy out. 

This is no ordinary quiche. This is Chef Thomas Keller's quiche, which means hours of work and careful attention to detail. 

I made the dough the night before baking day, ran home the following afternoon to roll it out, place it in a mold, and then return it to the refrigerator to chill properly. After work I fired up the oven and blind-baked the crust while making the filling. When the filling was complete I poured it into the shell and waited another 1 1/2 hours for the quiche to cook. 

It's worth it.

This quiche is decadent. Ethereal. It is light and airy and rich and sensuous all at the same time. The magic lies in the custard. Keller aerates the custard in a blender before pouring it into the prebaked shell.

Brilliant! This man is a culinary genius.
 

Keller's cookbooks are fun to leaf through — they're gorgeous, over-sized, coffee table quality books with insanely beautiful photography — but bring them into the kitchen. Use them.

You need a 9 x 2 inch ring mold to make The World's Greatest Quiche. Those lucky enough to live in the Chapel Hill area should visit Kitchenworks — the selection of baking supplies is incredible. If you can't find a ring mold at your local cookware store, you can order one online from Sugarcraft.

Quiche Florentine

Adapted from Bouchon.

Basic Quiche Shell 

Makes one 9-inch tart shell 

This takes about an hour and 15 minutes, and at least an hour of chilling time.

Ingredients:
2 cups flour (about 12 ounces), sifted
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (8 ounces or 1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup ice water
2 tablespoons canola oil
Combine 1 cup of flour and the salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mix on a low speed, add the butter to the bowl one piece at a time.

When all of the butter is in, turn the mixer to medium, combining the flour and butter completely. Reduce the speed to low, add the remaining 1 cup of flour, and mix until just combined.

Slowly dribble the ice cold water into the bowl until the dough gathers around the paddle. It should feel smooth, not sticky.

Now take the dough from the mixer, checking to see if any pieces of butter remain. If so, return mix it briefly again. Pat the dough into a 7-inch disk and wrap in plastic. The dough must rest at least one hour in the refrigerator or else it will shrink as it bakes — and as someone who has experienced shrunken dough, believe me when I tell you that resting is an important step. You can leave it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Brush the inside of a 9 x 2-inch ring mold with canola oil and place it on a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper. Place the dough on a floured work surface and flatten it into a larger circle with  a rolling pin or your hands. Roll the dough until it is about 14 inches in diameter. If the dough gets to warm and soft, put it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes, then try again.

 
Wrap the dough around your rolling pin and carefully lower it into the prepared pan. Press it gently against the sides and bottom, and trim any dough that extends more than an inch over the sides. Reserve the scraps - these will be used to fix any holes or cracks in the dough. Fold the excess dough over against the outside of the ring to help prevent it from shrinking down the sides as it bakes. Check for cracks or holes in the dough, and patch as necessary. Put the shell into in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 20 minutes and reserve remaining dough scraps.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and place a rack in the center. Line the quiche shell with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights (I use dried beans or rice) filling the shell completely. Bake until the edges of the dough are slightly browned but the bottom is still light in color, 35 - 45 minutes.

Remove the parchment and weights. Fill any holes in the dough with the remaining scraps, then return the shell to the oven. The bottom will turn a beautiful golden brown in 15 - 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and allow it to cool completely on the jellyroll pan. Check again cracks or holes, and patch if necessary before filling with the (luscious) quiche batter.

Basic Quiche Batter  
Makes enough for one 9-inch shell that serves 8
Ingredients:
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
6 gratings fresh nutmeg
Put the milk and cream in a large saucepan over medium heat until scalded ( when a skin begins to form on the surface). Allow to cool for 10 - 15 minutes.

Put 3 eggs, half the milk and cream mixture, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and 3 gratings of nutmeg in a blender and blend until light and foamy, about 30 seconds. (I used an immersion blender, putting the egg mixture into saucepan with the scaled cream mixture - it worked well, and I didn't have to worry about the blender top popping off).
This is the first layer of the quiche. Repeat the process to complete the quiche.


Quiche Florentine
Serves 8

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 lb spinach, washed, large stems removed
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup grated Comte or Emmentaler cheese
basic quiche shell, cooled
basic quiche batter
Canola oil


Soften the shallots in butter over low heat in a large skillet or saucepan. Add half the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Stir for a minute to wilt, then add the remaining spinach. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until all of the spinach has wilted. Drain the spinach on paper towels and cool.

Put a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.


Squeeze the spinach to remove excess liquid and chop coarsely. Place 1/4 cup of the cheese and half the spinach evenly into the quiche shell (which is still on the baking sheet, in the ring mold). 


Blend the quiche batter again, then pour in enough of the batter to cover the ingredients and fill the quiche halfway. Top the batter with another 1/4 cup of the cheese and the remaining spinach. Blend the remaining batter and fill the quiche to the top. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Bake 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours, until the top of the quiche is browned and the custard is set when the pan is jiggled. Remove the quiche from the oven and cool on a rack to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 day, or up to 3 days. (This is why it's the ultimate make ahead party dish).


When thoroughly chilled, use a sharp knife to scrape away the excess crust from the top. Run a small paring knife between the crust and the ring, then carefully remove the ring. Return the quiche to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To serve, heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with lightly oiled parchment paper.  Cut through the edge of the crust in a sawing motion with a serrated knife. Switch to a long slicing knife and use it to cut through the custard and bottom crust. Cut the quiche into 8 pieces, place them on the baking sheet and reheat for 15 minutes or until hot.

3 comments:

  1. I hope your mom reads this post so she knows how much love went into the making of this quiche. Looks divine!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cathy - Joy isn't reading my blog (yet) so it's our secret.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dinah in the KitchenOctober 10, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Just thought you should know that 8 oz of butter (called for in the pastry) is two sticks, not one. Makes a *huge* difference!

    ReplyDelete