I love an excuse to throw a party/get together. Menu planning, deciding what to make, how to set the table makes me really happy, I know, I am strange. But the one thing I had never done before was a host a brunch.
Brunch foods sort of intimidate me since I am not a huge breakfast person, usually grabbing a yogurt on the way to work or not even really eating it on the weekends when some people may opt for omelets, pancakes, etc. But the perfect opportunity to test out some brunch recipes came about in the form of John Stewart and Steven Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear. Since I live close to The Mall in DC, I figured it would be a great way to bring together my friends who were going, and test out some recipes on them.
One brunch food I do love is Quiche. There is something about the savory crust combined with the yummy center that makes my mouth water, plus it gave me the opportunity to attempt my first pie crust! I also figured I should have something sweeter for everyone, which I will save for my next post…
Now for the Quiche. I made two kinds: Spinach Goat Cheese and Bacon Gruyère, both with caramelized onions in the filling too.
I started out by making the crust from scratch, a bit of a gamble, but I figured if it was an epic fail, I could use store-bought as a back-up. Luckily it turned out pretty great, and I think I found a great all-purpose crust recipe for Quiche, pies, etc. Now there is no shame in using the store-bought crust, as this recipe is a bit of a process!
For the crust, you beat some butter in a large bowl with a mixer until light and fluffy. Then in another bowl, combine some milk, salt and an egg yolk with a whisk. Add the liquid mixture to the butter 1 Tbsp at a time, mixing well as you go. Then you add some flour and beat until well combined. Form the mixture in to a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap, chilling for 1 hour.
After the dough is chilled, preheat your oven. Unwrap the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into an approximately 10-inch circle. Place it in a pie tin, pressing down the edges and let freeze for about 15 minutes.
Remove from the freezer and bake for 25 minutes or until browned. Now you have your pie crust all ready for the filling! (I made the crust the night before, to save time in the AM, and simply covered them with plastic wrap and left them on the counter overnight.)
Once you get the crust out of the way, you can get to the best part, the yummy savory filling! First I prepped the ingredients: caramelized the onions, sautéed the spinach until wilted, microwaved the turkey bacon (since I was not in the mood to mess with pan-frying it), and grated/crumbled the cheeses. (I also did this the night before to save time, and everything tasted fine the next day!)
For the base of the Quiche, combine the milk with salt, eggs and nutmeg with a whisk in a large bowl. Then stir in your fillings. For one I did onions, spinach and goat cheese, for the other it was bacon, Gruyère and the rest of the onions. Carefully pour the batter into your prepared crusts, making sure not to overfill!
All that’s left to do is bake! Put the Quiche in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until firm. It may take a bit longer…so just be careful to watch as you get close.
These were both a big hit, though I think the Spinach one went the fastest!
The crust turned out great, and like I said before I think it will become my go-to pie crust for both sweet and savory treats. But if I am ever in a crunch, I will totally just use the filling part of the recipe and save myself some time by using store-bought crusts!
6 Tbsp light butter, softened
2 Tbsp 1% Milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups flour
Beat butter in a large bowl with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes
Combine milk, salt, and egg yolk in a bowl with a whisk
Add liquid mixture to butter 1 Tbsp at a time, beating well after each addition
Add flour and beat until well combined
Form mixture into a 4-inch disk on plastic wrap and cover
Chill dough for 1 hour
Preheat oven to 350 °
Unwrap dough on a lightly floured surface
Using a rolling-pin, roll out dough into a 10-inch circle and place in a 9-inch pie tin
Freeze 15 minutes
Remove from freezer and place in oven, baking for 25 minutes or until browned
Cool completely before filling
1 cup 1% milk
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, large
dash of nutmeg
Bacon & Gruyère version:
1/2 cup onions
4 oz Gruyère, shredded
4 strips Turkey Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Spinach & Goat Cheese Version:
1/2 cup onions
3 cups spinach
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat
Add onions to the pan with a pinch of sugar and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender, stirring occassionaly
Remove onions from heat and set aside
If making the spinach variety, spray your skillet with cooking spray and saute the spinach until wilted, set aside
If making the bacon variety, microwave 4 slices of turkey bacon according to package directions and crumble, set aside
Preheat oven to 350°
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup milk, salt, eggs and dash of nutmeg, beating until well combined with a whisk
Stir in the ingredients for your filling
Pour filling into pre-baked crust slowly, making sure not to over-fill
Bake for 35 minutes or until firm
Yields 10 servings per Quiche