16 May, 2012

Caprese Quiche

I recently spent the weekend with The Boyfriend's family, and his mom served up 2 beautiful quiches, and it got me to thinking- considering how much I love quiche, why do I never make it??

And then I remembered that The Boyfriend must eat as soon as he arises, or the world will feel his wrath.  I do not exaggerate. He knows it, I know it, and anyone else that knows him.. knows it.  Consequently, there is never time to prepare a quiche. Really, who has an hour and a half to prepare breakfast?

Well I took matters into my own hands last week.  I made pie crust, and froze half so I can whip up another quiche at any given moment.  The remaining crust I used for Caprese Quiche, and had it for lunch, and breakfast for the next two days (The Boyfriend had some for breakfast too- by the miracle of the microwave).

The caprese flavors- tomato, basil, and mozzarella- work beautifully in a quiche.  Because the flavors are more delicate, I made a lighter, fluffier quiche to not overpower the simple ingredients.  The taste though, is anything BUT simple.

Make sure you use the freshest ingredients for this quiche.  Do not commit the Ultimate Sin of buying a bag of pre-shredded mozzarella! Just don't do it!  Those bags say low moisture for a reason- they will make for a dryer, less elastic quiche (think about having a pizza- some pizza when you pick up a slice the mozzarella cheese stretches for miles before you can get it to tear- that's REAL, more elastic cheese... some pizza you can pick it right up, no long strings of cheese- that cheese is a little dryer, and what you will get with pre-shredded cheese).

So for best results, buy fresh mozzarella near the deli, NOT mozzarella from the refrigerated section. You'll thank me later.

Caprese Quiche

For the Quiche:
3 eggs (room temp)
2 egg whites (separated while cold, egg whites at room temp)
1 tomato, sliced into 6 slices, placed on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 basil leaves (for garnish)
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, grated
1/2 cup mozzarella, cut into thin, round slices. Reserve 3 of the most perfect round slices.
1 cup milk
salt and white pepper to taste (I added about 1/4 tsp salt and a 1/4 tsp white pepper)
1/4 cup flour
extra virgin olive oil

A 9 inch pie crust (Purchase one, or for best results, make the crust below)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle tomato slices with a little flour on each side. 
  3. In a saute pan, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil in pan over med-high heat.
  4. Add the floured tomato slices, and cook until just turning golden, about 2 minutes each side.
  5. Transfer to dry paper towels to drain (same way you drain bacon on paper towels. 
  6. Use a whisk (or fork) to beat the 3 whole eggs together.  Add the milk, chopped basil leaves, salt and white pepper.  Add the egg whites and SHREDDED mozzarella cheese.  Whisk to combine.
  7. Add 3 tomatoes to the pie crust so they are not overlapping. Add the SLICED  mozzarella on top of the tomato (making sure you reserve 3 of your prettiest slices)
  8. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the tomato and mozzarella.  
  9. Place the remaining 3 tomatoes gently on top of the egg mixture. Top each tomato with a basil leaf, and top the basil leaf with the 3 reserved slices of mozzarella.
  10. Bake in preheated oven 45-55 minutes, or until cheese is melted and quiche is golden on top.

For the Crust:
Recipe from The Joy of Pastry by David Munn

Makes two 9-inch pie crusts

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
10 tbsp cold butter
1 large egg
2 tbsp ice water
  1. If you have a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt to the processor.  Cut the butter into small cubes, and add them to the processor gradually, pulsing to combine.  Continue pulsing until butter is distributed and you have a very crumbly dough.
  2. If you do not have a food processor, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes, and cut it into the dough.  When cutting into the dough, I use a sharp knife, and literally keep cutting the dough on the sides of the bowl.  The butter gets broken up into smaller pieces, making a crumbly dough. 
  3. Remove dough from food processor if using, and add to a large bowl. Now the dough is in a large bowl for everybody.  
  4. Using your hands, grab handfuls of dough and squeeze together slightly (don't squeeze super hard!).  You must do this fast, because you don't want the warmth from your hands to melt the butter. Continue squeezing until butter chunks are about the size of raisins.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the water and egg, and add to the flour mixture.  Knead it through the flour mixture until the liquid is dispersed, but do NOT over-knead it. It will still be a very crumbly dough.  You'll be tempted to add more water.. don't.  A crumbly dough means a flaky pie crust.
  6. Form the dough into a ball.  You;ll have to squeeze it a bit to get the crumbs to form a ball.
  7. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
When rolling out the dough:
  1. Remove dough from fridge. On a lightly floured surface, begin to gently roll out the dough.  Make sure you also flour your rolling pin, and dust some flour on top of the dough as well.
  2. If dough begins to crack, use your hands to lightly press it back together.  
  3. Keep checking to make sure the dough is not sticking to the surface.  If it is, peel it up with a spatula, and add more flour to the countertop. 
  4. Roll the dough out to about a 9 inch round circle.  
  5. Carefully lift it with a large spatula and place it in the 9 inch glass pie pan.
  6. Press down the sides so the crust is even with the baking dish. Place the whole dish in the fridge to let the dough relax for about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Remove crust from fridge and bake for 12 minutes.  Prebaking the crust without the quiche filling will keep the crust from getting soggy.
  8. Let cool for about a half hour before filling it with the quiche ingredients.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I have eggs. I should make this. I'll post the GF crust recipe I use.