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Two Onion Quiche

May 16, 2011
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Up to this point, my quiche repertoire has been very small, consisting of only my step-mother’s recipe for mini-quiches. While absolutely delicious (I’ll make sure to post this sometime), they’re also quite a treat. There’s gouda and cream and I usually make them from pre-made tart shells, so they’re definitely not an every day thing – we actually have them every year on Christmas Eve.

This quiche however is nearly guilt-free, as quiches go at least! This whole recipe was a big guess on my part but it actually turned out quite well. I’ve come to think that quiches are very forgiving so all sorts of experimentation are encouraged.

Crust

Bizarrely, I’ve been complimented on my crust by two different people in the past week! I was both shocked by the fact that people have paid particular attention to crust at all, as well as by the discovery that I had a good thing going here. This recipe is based on one from Sunday Suppers. I’ve found many pie or tart doughs to be too buttery and then the whole meal just feels over-indulgent. Using a third whole wheat flour and a recipe with slightly less butter produces an excellent crust that compliments pretty much everything I’ve done with it so far.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt or less (I tasted the dough this last time and was alarmed at how salty it was, but when cooked it always seems to be toned down to the point of perfectly complimenting the dish)
pepper to taste
1/2 cup butter, cut into small cubes

Blend all dry ingredients together in a food processor. Add butter cubes then process until the dough appears crumbly. With the machine running, add 2-3 tbsp water. At some point, the rough dough will miraculously form a ball – it really is the most wonderful thing. If this isn’t happening, add a few more drops of water until it does. It’s really not worth taking out the dough until it happens, since it will be too dry. As soon as the ball forms, take out the pie dough and simply press any stray pieces into it. Don’t keep running the machine or knead the dough any further! If the butter starts to melt, your crust will lose its flakiness.

At this point, roll out the dough and press it gently into your tart pan.

For relatively dry things (sliced fruits or vegetables), you can just bake it all together, but for a quiche, I decided to bake the crust a bit first so that the bottom wouldn’t get soggy. I did this at about 350 for 7 minutes, well before it was browning.

Filling

Caramelized white onions: Slice thinly then cook on medium in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 30 minutes. When mostly browned (but not too crisp) and starting to dry, deglaze the pan by adding a splash of wine. Once the wine cooks off, the onions are ready! Add salt and pepper about 5 minutes before the wine.
Sauteed leeks: These take much less time, only about 5 minutes. Avoid excessive browning by cooking on just below medium heat.
3 eggs, though I could have used 4 – use your judgement
Milk (no need to use cream or half-and-half here, unless you want something extra decadent)
Cheese of any kind – I used both ricotta (mainly for texture) and grated aged cheddar (flavour!)

Beat the eggs then add about enough milk as you think you will need to fill your crust, allowing for the filling and a tiny bit of puffing when baking. Filling amounts are also up to you so try

not to agonize too much about getting all the ingredients in the right proportions. If I had to guess, I’d say I used about half a cup of milk, 1/3 cup of each onion, 3 heaping spoonfuls of ricotta and just enough cheddar for flavour.

Last year my mom gave me these great ramekins with lids – perfect for using up the extra bit of dough and filling then taking for lunch the next day! As perhaps another testament to this crust recipe, it even held onto its flakiness in the microwave.

Other great fillings:
Broccoli florets (great with cheddar)
Spinach (use fresh if you can, cutting each leaf crosswise into strips)
Potato (thinly sliced then fanned out across the dough in concentric circles, overlapping slightly)
Roasted garlic (great with parmesan!)
Sun dried tomatoes
Zucchini (arranged similarly to the potatoes though you can more thickly slice)
Herbs (toss in a handful of gently torn assorted herbs, or highlight just one, such as basil)
…or any combination of the above!

Make with: Mixed Greens Salad with MustardĀ Vinaigrette

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