A few weeks ago, my neighbor quite suddenly called me and asked if I could make a few quiches for a gathering she was having. I was stunned. I suddenly realized I hadn't made a quiche in years. Of course I said yes ( I do like a challenge) and immediately googled quiche, just to jiggle my brain. I knew the basics, but had forgotten the amounts. In the end, the quiches were partly Julia and my memories of the amounts I'd used in the past - and the temperature, which I always keep on the low side, since we're talking cream and eggs. The first quiche was traditional, but with Westphalian ham instead of bacon, and a fairly tasteless gruyere, which was all I could find in our rural area. The second was much more fun , with shredded spinach, a heaping cup of crumbled goat cheese, nutmeg, and freshly minced dill. Because I only had a day or two to prepare, I used a frozen pie crust, which was fine with me, as my pie crusts usually look...well...extremely rustic, even on the best of days:) It came out looking as pretty as can be - and my neighbor sent me a thank you note for a quiche that was delicate, but creamy; instead of rubbery and tough.
There are a few tedious parts to this recipe: washing the spinach, spinning it dry, destemming it, and blanching it briefly, then squeezing out the liquid and slicing it into thick ribbons. To crumble the goat cheese, use a fork and pull out the cheese gently, so you don't have huge chunks. Try to use everything as close to room temperature as you can, as that affects the baking.
Goat Cheese and Spinach quiche:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
1 frozen pie crust
2 T. soft unsalted butter
Spread the butter on the bottom of the crust, then pre-bake for 10 minutes in the upper third of your oven. Remove and cool.
1 1/2 cups half and half
4 extra large eggs
good pinch of nutmeg, or several scrapings with a grater
1 heaping cup of crumbled goat cheese
2 T. minced fresh dill
1 T. minced fresh parsley
pinch kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 T. scallion (green onion ) tops, green part only, sliced
1 8 oz package mature spinach ( not baby spinach) washed, spun dry, de-stemmed, and sliced, then blanched (see below) Or use 2 cups packed spinach prepared as above.
For the spinach:
Briefly blanch the prepared raw spinach in boiling water (5 minutes), strain, let cool, then squeeze out any remaining liquid. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the half and half, the eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper, dill, parsley, and the goat cheese until combined. Add the squeezed spinach and whisk in with a fork, then add the scallion tops.
Pour into the pre-baked pie crust, and bake in upper third of oven for 45 minutes. The quiche may puff up a bit, the center should be softly solid when you press it gently. It will continue to bake as it cools.
Cool at least 15 minutes before cutting into wedges.
It has been cold, rainy, and windy here, after a few gorgeous sunny and warm days - too cold to plant the tomato seedlings, but the lilacs have stayed beautifully full and colorful, and so has the lady's mantle. The radishes and sugar snap peas are poking through, but everything else is waiting for warmer weather. May your forecast be sunny and warm!