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Archive for the ‘brunch’ Category

So the Lost Coast was AMAZING. We came home last night exhausted, but happy. I have a bunch of photos to get through, but hopefully I’ll be able to post them here soon. In the meantime, let’s get back to the food…

There’s an awesome *little* bakery nearby that is always packed near brunch time, and even well into the afternoon. The bakery makes the most amazing pastries, bread puddings, tarts, and quiches, so it is no wonder at all that it does so well. I myself am a huge fan of their morning buns and their light-as-air quiches.

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While looking for a quiche recipe for Mother’s Day brunch, I delightedly came across Elisabeth Prueitt’s recipe on the Martha Stewart website. And better yet, I found not only ONE, but TWO recipes. Since both recipes use the same base for the filling, and the recipe for a single quiche calls for making an enormous quiche in a deep dish 10-inch tart pan, I decided to make two different quiches with just one recipe. Instead of a large tart pan, I used two smaller pie pans to make one bacon and zucchini quiche and one Swiss chard quiche.

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flakiness!

Everything about this quiche (or these two quiches) was wonderful, from the flaky crust to the fluffy, light and savory filling. What I did not anticipate was how crazy delicious the Swiss chard quiche would be. By making two quiches, we scored some leftovers too, which made me a VERY happy girl.

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The flaky pie crust that holds the quiche together takes awhile to prepare, but it can be made ahead of time. Don’t forget to allot time for the blind baking. The blind baking helps the crust get nice and flaky before you add the liquid filling. While the blind-baked crusts cool, prepare your egg mixture and filling. This is the easy part. Combine the flour eggs, creme fraiche, milk, and seasonings. Have your bacon cut into smaller pieces, zucchini ribboned (I used a vegetable peeler), chard roughly chopped, and gruyere grated. Load one cooled crust with bacon and zucchini, and the other with Swiss chard. Top each off with the egg mixture, filling the crusts to the brim. For the Swiss chard quiche, try to submerge the chard leaves in the egg mixture as much as possible — it is okay to have a few sticking out here and there, but you don’t want to burn most of the chard before the quiche is done baking. After about an hour in the oven, you’ll have two beautifully puffed, golden quiches.

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One Bacon-Zucchini & One Swiss Chard Quiche

Recipe makes two 9-inch pie dish quiches
adapted from here and here

6 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 recipe flaky crust dough
10 large eggs
2 cups creme fraiche
2 cups whole milk (I used reduced fat milk)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
(3 slices center-cut bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces and
2/3 medium or 1 small zucchini, peeled lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick ribbons – for one quiche
AND 2 cups roughly chopped Swiss chard leaves, excluding tough stems – for the other quiche)
1/2 to 2/3 cup gruyere

1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough into a 16-inch round. With a dry pastry brush, sweep off any excess flour; fit dough into a 2-inch deep-dish tart pan with a removable bottom, gently pressing it into the sides. Using a sharp knife, trim the dough evenly with the edge of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap; chill tart shell until firm, about 20 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line the tart dough with a sheet of parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Transfer to oven and bake until light brown, about 25 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper and continue baking until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together 1 egg and flour on high speed until smooth. Add the remaining 9 eggs and continue mixing until well blended.
4. Place creme fraiche in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth; add milk and continue whisking until well combined. Add to mixer along with salt, pepper, and thyme; mix until well combined. Strain mixture into a large bowl through a fine mesh sieve (I skipped this part).
5. Place bacon and zucchini ribbons into one prepared pie shell. Place chopped Swiss chard into the other prepared pie shell. Divide the 1/2 cup grated Gruyere between the two pies, sprinkling the cheese on top of the fillings. Pour over egg mixture until tart shell is full (you may not need to use all of the egg mixture). Bake 20 minutes; reduce temperature to 325 degrees, and continue baking until filling is slightly firm, rather than liquid, and crust is a deep golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes more. Transfer quiche to a wire rack to cool until set, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. To reheat, cover quiche with aluminum foil and bake in an oven heated to 325 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Note: One of the best things about serving quiche is that you don’t have to worry about serving it piping hot when your guests arrive. You can even make it way ahead of time and reheat it in the oven (as mentioned above, or for a longer time if the quiche has been refrigerated).

Flaky Crust Dough
Makes enough for two 9- or 10-inch tart shells
from here

1 tsp salt
2/3 cup ice water
3 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 5 tbsp very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1. In a small bowl, mix together salt and water. Keep very cold until ready to use.
2. Place flour and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly until mixture forms large crumbs. Add the salt water mixture and continue pulsing until a dough has just formed but is not smooth.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, evenly divide dough. Form each piece of dough into a disk about 1 inch thick. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

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