4/3/12

Sunday Brunch: Spinach and Bacon Quiche

This is the longest we have gone without posting since we started our blog, and let us just say that we have the best excuse ever! After months of careful (ha!) planning, we have finally moved to our homestead in New Marlborough, Massachusetts! And in the midst of the big move, Jake spent a week working with students at the Hayground School in Bridgehampton, Long Island, where his lessons covered butchering, charcuterie, and "good meat." With so many exciting things going on - packing, lesson plans and panic attacks - we've had almost no time for cooking or writing. 


"Almost" being the operative word. While we were pretty overwhelmed with it all, we did reserve some time to host a small going away brunch with Bren and Silka's mom. In the name of time and sanity, we kept it simple with a classic quiche - perfect for those of you planning a spring/Easter brunch. We like our quiche how we like most things: filled with bacon and cheese and served with a simple green salad. And to top off the meal, Bren (always the perfect guest) came with mimosa fixings. 

While none of us have really accepted the fact that we're no longer a subway ride away from each other, it was the perfect little brunch to send us on our way.

Spinach and Bacon Quiche
Adapted from Savuer's adaptation of Julia Child's classic Quiche Lorraine recipe

For the Crust:
2 cups flour
1⁄4 tsp. salt
Pinch sugar
8 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
3 tbsp lard, cut into small pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
 
For the Filling:
4-oz. slab bacon, diced
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup grated cheese - Swiss or Gruyere work wonderfully 
1 1/4 cups blanched, drained and chopped spinach

1⁄2 tsp. salt
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper

1. For the crust: Sift together flour, salt, and sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and lard and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle in up to 6 tbsp. ice water, pulsing until it just begins to hold together. Dump mixture onto a lightly floured surface and, using your hands, press dough firmly into a rough ball. Give the dough several quick kneads with the heel of your hand to form a smooth dough, then shape into a ball, flatten slightly to make a round, and dust with flour. Wrap round in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 400°. Allow dough to soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out on a lightly floured surface into a 14'' round. Fit dough, without stretching it, into a pie plate or buttered 10'' bottomless metal flan ring (1 1⁄2'' deep) and set on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet with no rim. Using a fork, prick bottom lightly, then make a decorative edge around the rim. Line dough with buttered aluminum foil, then add pie weights or dried beans. Bake until crust is set and edge just begins to color, about 25 minutes. Remove foil and weights, brush bottom and sides with egg, and continue baking until crust is pale golden, another 2-5 minutes.

3. For the filling: Reduce heat to 375°. Fry bacon over over medium-high heat until it is crisp. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain, then arrange on bottom of crust. In the meantime, blanch and thoroughly drain your spinach.

4. Beat eggs, cream, cheese, spinach and salt together in a medium bowl and season to taste with nutmeg and pepper. Pour mixture into crust and bake until custard is puffed and golden and just set in the center, 30-35 minutes. Serve quiche warm or at room temperature.

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