Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Quiche Florentine

 Lovey and I adore spinach quiche.  The only downside to my spinach quiche was always the amount of liquid the spinach produced which gave us a watery quiche with a soggy crust.

I took two approaches that might solve the problem.  One was to steam the spinach first (I used to just throw it raw into the pie shell before adding the egg mixture) then chop it up

 Next, drain, drain, drain.  This means that I have to plan a little further ahead for the draining time. I wrap it in a piece of old tee shirt (clean of course) and squeeze.  Then I let it sit in a strainer until time to use.

The other thought was to blind bake the bottom crust with a light layer of the shredded Gruyère on it.  I use a deep dish pie plate for the quiche.

Once the crust had cooled the cheese firmed up, providing somewhat of a barrier between the custard and the crust.  This is also a step that you'll need to perform prior to making your custard.

Next, I sautéed some onion until golden brown.  These were set aside until time to assemble the quiche.

 This fond from the onions is pure flavor.  I used this same saucepan to prepare the custard.

 In that saucepan, beat your eggs seasoned with a good pinch of salt, and a light grating of nutmeg.

Slowly add the hot milk (I heat the milk up in the microwave) beating constantly with a whisk.  Continue beating over low heat until the custard begins to thicken.

 The saucepan is removed from the heat and the chopped spinach is folded in along with the onions and 1/2 of the remaining cheese.

 Pour the custard into the pie shell.  Sprinkle with the remaining grated Gruyère.

 Bake in a moderately hot oven for about 30 minutes, or until the custard is set and the top is golden.

I was very pleased and even more so, Lovey was pleased.  This resulted in very little liquid after baking.  Serve with a tossed salad and you have a nice meal for brunch or dinner.

Quiche Florentine
Serves 8

1 - 16 ounce package baby spinach
Pie crust for single crust pie (I usually use boxed Pillsbury)
3/4 pound Gruyère cheese, divided
1 Tbsp. butter
1 small yellow onion
6 large eggs
pinch salt
pinch ground nutmeg or several grates of fresh
2-1/2 cups milk

Rinse the spinach and place in a saucepan with a little water and sweat over low heat until it is all limp.  Drain and chop.  Place chopped spinach in a colander over a bowl.  From time to time toss and press liquids out (any time you pass by).

Roll out crust and fit in a 9" deep dish pie plate.  Grate the cheese & spread enough cheese over the bottom of the pie crust to form a thin layer.  Set extra cheese aside.  Place pie plate in freezer to firm up the crust.

Preheat oven to 450°F.  

Pull crust out of freezer and bake for 10 - 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack.  Lower heat of oven to 375°F.

Peel onion and slice in half through the root.  Place one half, cut side down.  Instead of slicing on the root end begin slicing from the side of the half.  Slice them as thin as you can.  Repeat with the other half of onion.  Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan.  Once butter has stopped foaming add onions and slowly sauté until golden brown.  Remove onions from pan and set aside.

In that same saucepan, off heat, beat the eggs with the pinch of salt and grated nutmeg.
Heat the milk up in the micro-wave.  Gradually add hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking until combined.  Continue to whisk over low heat until the custard thickens.  Remove from heat and add the spinach and the onions.  Fold in 1/2 of the remaining cheese.

Pour mixture into pie crust and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.

Bake in a 375°F. oven for 30 minutes or until the custard is set and top is golden.  A sharp knife inserted into the middle should come out clean.  You can serve immediately.

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