One of the things I registered for when my husband and I were getting married was a tart pan, not because I was a tart aficionado, but because I wanted a kitchen equipped with all of the gourmet baking tools I thought I needed. While a few of those items have remained untouched (handheld powdered sugar sifter?), this pan has proven to be one of a handful of specialty tools I turn to when I want to make something special. It pushed me into uncharted baking territory and proved that I can turn out more than just cookies when I’m in the baking mood. For a recent brunch I wanted to test those skills again and make a quiche from scratch, crust and all, which of course meant that my gourmet tool would be included. I’m unfair to quiches in general because when I think of the little tarts I imagine the frozen Trader Joe’s version that can be found at nearly any cocktail party. Don’t get me wrong, those bites are wholeheartedly enjoyed when served and I will never turn down the mini mushroom and spinach flavors, but for a nice breakfast I wanted to make the meal a little more memorable.
The recipe begins with homemade crust which can sound daunting, but only takes about 5 minutes to make. I’ve made this recipe my go-to for all sweet pies, but to use it for something savory I merely reduced the sugar to a small pinch. When it comes time to prepare the crust I did a quick blind bake which pre-cooks the crust and gets it ready for the filling without becoming soggy and undercooked. The resulting quiche was a far cry from the freezer variety and sat nicely at room temperature throughout the entire brunch, although hands kept reaching for the slices until the serving platter was left with flaky crust remnants.
After washing and drying my prized pan and its accompanying ridged ring, I tucked it away into the cabinet along with all of the other cooking appliances I just had to have. Although it sits nestled between a candy thermometer and three different sized wire strainers…because that’s necessary…I made sure to put it front and center, in easy reach for the next baking adventure.
Spinach, asparagus, and goat cheese quiche – Serves 4-6
3 cups spinach
6 asparagus stalks – ends cut, spears chopped into fours
1/4 cup goat cheese
1 tblsp olive oil
1/4 c. milk
salt and pepper
1 prepared (blind baked) pie crust in a 9″ tart pan (recipe for crust here)
*Tip – after rolling out dough into a circle, lightly curl the dough around the rolling pin, place tart pan underneath, then lightly unroll the dough to cover pan. Gently tuck into all edges of the pan, then when ready to remove excess lightly run the rolling pin over the edge of the tart pan to cut off the excess.
– Preheat oven to 375-degrees
– Saute the spinach and asparagus in the oil until spinach has wilted and asparagus is tender
– Spread vegetables into the bottom of the prepared shell
– Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper. Pour mixture over vegetables making sure to cover up to the edges.
– Crumble goat cheese on top of eggs.
– Bake for 20 minutes or until eggs have set in the middle.
– Let cool before removing the ring of the pan and bottom. Can be served at room temperature.