Monday, January 10, 2011

CSA week six - Return to the quiche-quest

Longtime readers (Hi Mom!) might remember that back in 2008, I experimented in an attempt to create a more perfect quiche crust. Your standards crusts tend to be soggy on the bottom, dried out on top and contain a heck of a lot of butter to no notable benefit. Also, it's kind of a pain to make. I had the idea that a savory crumb crust might make a workable substitute and worked through a few variations. I was fairly happy with a cracker-crumb crust, but since I was making a quiche today to use up a bunch of scallions, I thought I'd try a new tweak on the formula.

This time around I processed a couple handfuls of homemade breadcrumbs with around an equal amount of Kalvi Crispy Thin crackers until they were fairly finely ground. To that I added a big pile of finely grated Parmesan (which I'm rather surprised I haven't tried before), a bit of salt and a couple Tablespoons of melted butter--just enough to give the mixture a little structure so it would stay up on the sides of the pan. Once I got the crumbs laid out nicely I blind baked the crust for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

It didn't quite fuse into a solid piece, but there's a bit of structure there. Enough that I didn't have to be too gentle when putting in the fillings--three scallions and a tomato cooked-down, a half cup of diced green pepper browned, a little Serano ham frizzled and three more scallions cut larger and just wilted--plus a third cup of crumbled capricho de cabra, a soft flavorful but not too tangy goat cheese. Over that went four eggs beaten with 1/2 cup milk and 3/4 cup cream. The fillings stuck to the bottom so I had to gently mix things up a bit to distribute the vegetables.

I baked for 35 minutes at 375 degrees until a knife inserted in the middle came out clean, rested it for a bit and cut out a piece.

The quiche itself is nothing remarkable, but take a look at the bottom. Now that's a proper crust; I've got no idea how the crumbs transformed into that. It's a separate layer enough density and integrity to it that it broke along its own weakpoints instead of where I tried to cut it. It's flavorful from both the crackers and the cheese and even crisp up on the sides and, as you can see, a gorgeous golden brown. Very nice indeed.

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