I’ve been chipping away at my list of kitchen stuff that I want/need. Every so often, I’ll go on an online shopping spree, and a few days later, a box full of goodies arrives at my door.* One such occasion brought me not one but three thermometers: candy, probe and old fashioned analog instant-read. I’ll admit that they’ve been spending a lot of time in a cabinet, but I have used two of the three.
My mom has really been my benefactress, though; the bulk of the goods have come from her. My mom is a yard and garage shopping pro. She found a barely-used KitchenAid stand mixer for $75, and it came with some attachments. She bought me a panini press for $10, and she found two of the Cuisinart pots that I like at TJ Maxx for less than a hundred dollars total. (They’re regularly at least eighty each.) Whisks, cake pans, muffin tins, spatulas, good cookbooks, she’s found them all at yard sales. It’s to the point where I mention I want something, and the next time that I visit her, I have it. I keep thinking of things I want, but I’m running out of room.
I live in an apartment with very limited storage, and the kitchen is packed. I really do use everything, but because of the limited space, I have to be judicious about what I bring home and what stays in my hometown. Maybe someday I’ll get to have my waffle maker and ice cream maker and those two lovely pots. Oh, I dream about the days I can make ice cream.
But anyway, my mom gave me a springform pan that had been tickling my fancy for a while, and I finally made something in it. I’d really been wanting to use it, but I need a better excuse than “It’s Saturday, why not?” to make a cheesecake, so I made a quiche instead.
Now, I am not a fan of store-bought pie crust. In fact, the only time that I haven’t made my own pie crust was when I lived in a dorm. Since I have a real kitchen, albeit a small one, I make crust, and you should too. It’s easy and so so much better than store-bought. Plus, the way you make it is versatile: It can be made with a food processor or with a stand or hand mixer, and it only takes a minute or two more to do it by hand with a pastry cutter.
This isn’t my typical pastry dough, which is my grandma’s and uses Crisco and not butter. But I think I might like this one more. I’d never actually made pie crust with butter before, trusting my grandma’s cooking more than anyone else’s, but the all butter crust really is delicious and just as flaky as Grandma’s. I may start to tweak her recipe.
Although the flaky, tasty pastry should be enough to sell you on the quiche, the filling is great, too. To quote Ben, “That creamy stuff inside is so good. This is really good.” From someone whose compliment is frequently “Not bad” (words no cook ever wants to hear), it’s practically a gold star. To be a bit more descriptive, it is creamy but not too rich, with warm flavors that pair well with delicious roasted brussels sprouts. Yes, the quiche does take a bit of time, between roasting the sprouts, making the crust and putting the whole thing together, but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and you’ll end up with a little extra pastry, too, to make a lil warm pastry snack smeared with jam. If that’s not enough to tempt you, nothing ever will.
*I fear this is a bad habit, and I’ll start buying items with one purpose or that I really won’t ever use. So far, I’ve controlled myself to things I know I’ll use pretty often. Thermometers are pretty much a necessity for anyone who cook; I still haven’t succumbed to a tart pan, but I know that I will soon.
Note: As printed in F&W, this is to be made in a 9-inch cake pan. However, I prefer the springform so it’s easier to remove slices of quiche. If you make it in a cake pan, there’s really no way to pop it out–it must be served from the pan.
Bake the leftover dough on a separate jelly roll pan when you bake the crust, and then eat that with some jam.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut in chunks, still cold
6 tablespoons ice water
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium-sized bowl, quickly toss together both flours and salt.
2. If using a stand mixer (with paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, on low (1) cut chunks of butter into the flour mixture until it resembles wet sand. If making the pastry by hand, cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until it resembles wet sand.
3. Drizzle the ice water over the mixture, and mix on low (or with a fork) until it comes together.
4. Turn the dough onto parchment paper, gather up the crumbs and pat the dough into a disk. Wrap in the parchment, and refrigerate about an hour.
5. Once the dough is chilled, on a lightly floured work surface, roll it out into a 14-inch circle, keeping the parchment on the top of the dough, between the dough and the rolling pin. Once rolled out, gently peel the parchment off of the dough. Carefully roll up the dough over the rolling pin and ease it into a 9-inch springform pan. Leave 1 to 2 inches of dough hanging over the edge of the pan; if more than that is hanging over, cut it with a paring knife so only 1-2 inches is left. Refrigerate about 30 minutes more, until the dough is firm.
6. While the dough is still in the fridge chilling, preheat the oven to 350F.
7. Line the pastry with the parchment you used to roll out the dough, and fill the pan with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment paper and pie weights and continue to bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
8. Turn the oven to 425F.
¾ pound brussels sprouts, quartered
extra virgin olive oil
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅓ cup (4) scallions, thinly sliced
4 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
9. Toss the quartered brussels sprouts with a glug of olive oil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until browned, tossing halfway through so they brown evenly. Let them cool, and coarsely chop.
10. Reduce the oven to 325F.
11. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, cream, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add brussels sprouts and scallions, and stir a few times to combine.
12. Wrap the springform pan with tightly with foil so it doesn’t leak. (They all leak, no matter what they say.) Sprinkle the Swiss evenly in the crust, and then top with the filling. Carefully set the pan in a jelly roll pan, and bake until set and browned in spots on the top, about 1 ½ hours.
13. Remove the quiche to a rack and let it cool for 30 minutes. If there is dough hanging over the edges of the pan, remove it with a paring knife. Run a knife around the edge of the quiche to make sure it is unattached from the edges of the pan, and then gently release the edges. Remove the outer ring, and serve the quiche, leaving it on the bottom part of the springform pan.