Check it out — my quiche recipe is done! I’ve been cooking all weekend to prepare for the Julie and Julia contest and for my appearance tomorrow on Fox news. I stopped by my local cooking store, too. Cook’s of Crocus Hill is getting on the Julie and Julia bandwagon with a display of everything you might need to cook like a grand dame. I took this as an opportunity to pick up a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
I have to say, it’s a weird (although charming) world in there. You don’t come to this book to eat. You come to it to learn. Food in MAFC isn’t distilled down to a sexy recipe and full-color photo on glossy paper. It is, to quote T. S. Eliot, pinned and wriggling on the wall. It’s dissected and explained. Given all the time Child spends discussing her mentors in the intro, I’m not surprised. She makes you feel like you’re right there with her when she first moves to France and begins learning from the masters.
Here is my rendition of a classic French quiche. I used Child’s pastry recipe and adapted it to how it worked for me. The rest of the recipe, inspired by goat cheese, is mine.
Heirloom tomato and goat cheese quiche
Carrie Obry’s entry for MOA’s Julia and Julia contest
In this recipe, the wonderful flavors of a classic quiche complement tangy goat cheese and meaty heirloom tomatoes.
Pastry pans come in all sizes – from 3-inch party-sized shells to 11-inch entrée shells. If you are making quiche for the first time, consider using a modest 8-inch pan. It’s a little easier to handle the dough for a smaller pan.
Don’t be turned off by the list of instructions. Making quiche isn’t difficult, but it takes many words to describe few steps. Before you start, I recommend watching instructional videos at YouTube.
Pastry Crust (Pâte brisée)
Adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Makes enough dough for an 8- to 10-inch crust. See MAFC for additional ratio instructions.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into smallish cubes
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt and pulse. Add butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
- With the machine running, add the ice water in a slow stream. You will know when it’s done because the dough pulls together to form ball in a corner of the bowl. The dough will take shape and be slightly sticky.
- For the fraisage (or “final blending”) stage, flour your clean counter. Put the dough on the counter and dust with additional flour. With the heel of your hand, press down on all areas of the dough until the dusting flour is incorporated and the dough forms a silky ball that doesn’t stick to your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- When ready, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and brush the inside of the tart pan.
- Quickly roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 2 inches larger than the pie pan. To lift the dough, fold it in half and then in half again, transfer to pie pan, and unfold inside the pan.
- Being careful not to stretch the dough, pick up the edges and drop the dough deeper into the corners of the pan’s perimeter. Gently press the dough into the pan in all areas. Trim excess dough by rolling the pin over the top of the mold.
- Line the pastry with a generous amount of foil and fill with pie weights, uncooked rice, or beans and bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Remove the foil, poke the base of the crust 2 or 3 times with a fork (or else it will balloon up), and bake the shell again for 2 to 3 minutes.
Carrie’s Goat Cheese and Heirloom Tomato Quiche
- 2 medium (or 1 large) round red heirloom tomatoes
- 3 eggs
- 2 plump cloves of garlic, crushed
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons basil chiffonade
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8-inch pastry shell
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Cut tomatoes into slices about 3 millimeters thick and remove the seeds.
- Line the bottom of the pastry shell with tomatoes in a pinwheel shape. Save the top of the tomato for the middle of the circle. If the top isn’t good to use, cut a tomato slice into the proper shape to fill the hole.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the milk and cream. Add the goat cheese in small pieces and whisk until incorporated. After a few minutes, the cheese will get smooth.
- Add the eggs, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper to the mixture and whisk until incorporated. Et viola! You have custard.
- Pour the custard over the tomatoes, being careful to leave about a half centimeter of room. (Do not use all of the custard if you have extra.)
- Slide pastry into the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown on the top. (Feel free to place it on a cookie sheet for easy transferring.)
- Keeping the quiche in the pastry tin, let it sit for 10 minutes on a cooling rack.
- Slice the quiche and serve with salad greens and a glass of cold Lillet.