When i visited Seattle last year, i took the opportunity to meet up with my dear friend, TT. Although TT can be the son that i never had(how i wish), his knowledge in the culinary arena surpass mine by many folds. Visit his blog Playing With My Food and you will understand what i mean. When i met up with him for dim sum, he gave me this book -The Sweeter side of Amy's Bread" and wished me well by writing this - To Lily - May you always be on the "Sweeter" side of life". I was quite choked up with his wishes and when i feel down, i always kept this in mind. So, out with this book and made this Quiche. This recipe is a keeper, thank you TT, if not for you, making this lovely recipe will not be possible.
2/3 cup/5.15 Oz/146 gm unsalted butter, cut into 3/4 inch dice
5/8 cup + 1 tbsp/4 ozs/112 gm cream cheese
4 tbsp/1.83 ozs/52 gm ice water
2 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp/5.60 ozs/158 gm unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup/3.0 ozs/86 gm whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt/1.2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
Freeze the diced butter and cream cheese for at least 30 minutes. In a small cups or bowl, combined the iced water and the vinegar.
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the 2 flours, salt and baking powder and process them for 5 seconds until they are just combined.
Add the frozen chunks of cream cheese and process again for 5 seconds or until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
Add the butter chunks and process again for 10 to 15 seconds until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of peas.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and sprinkle it with the ice water mixture. (If you don't have a food processor, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl with a wire whisk and rub very cold, not frozen, cream cheese into the flour with your fingers until it looks like coarse meal.. Repeat the process with very cold, not frozen, butter chunks until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of peas. If the butter starts to feel soft, freeze the mixture for 10 minutes before continuing. Sprinkle the ice water mixture over the flour). Using your hands, stir the mixture, pressing it together firmly until it forms. a cohesive ball of dough. There should not be any pockets of dry crumbs remaining. If necessary sprinkle in another 1 or 2 tsps of ice water. Place the ball of dough on a large piece of plastic wrap, seal the wrap around the dough, and flatten the ball to make a round 3/4 inch thick disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out. This dough may be kept refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 6 months.
Ingredients for the Quiche
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp olive oil
One 8 oz package fresh mushroom, halved, cunt into 1/8 inch slices
1 cup ham diced very small
One 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup onion - finely chopped
2 1/2 tsp garlic finely chopped
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese coarsely shredded
1 1/2 cup/8.5 oz/240 gms half and half
5 large eggs
1/2 tsp kosher salt
A pinch of ground cayenne pepper
Position one rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 400f.
Line the 12 x 17 inch sheet pan with baking parchment.
Remove the bottoms from the mini tart pans or a 9 or 10 inch tart pan and place bottomless pans on the prepared sheet pan.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut 6 circles of dough, each 6 1/8 inches in diameter. Line each tart pan with a dough circle and blind bake the crusts(use coffee filters and topping with weights(i used beans) for 20 minutes, or until they barely begin to brown. Remove the weights and the paper and continue baking for 4 - 5 more minutes, until lightly browned and the bottoms are just starting to look a little dry. Don't be concerned if the crust bottoms puff up slightly after the weights are removed, they should deflate again when they come out of the oven.
In a medium skillet or saute pan, heat 1/2 tsp of the olive oil and cook the mushrooms over medium heat with salt and pepper to taste, stirring occasionally until their water has been released and they start to brown 6 - 7 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a large bowl and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in the pan and add the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until they become translucent, 2 - 3 minutes.
Add the spinach and ham to the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and cook briefly until the spinach and ham are cooked through, Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the mushrooms and mix it all together with a wooden spoon until everything is evenly distributed. Let cool slightly before mixing in the cheese.
To make the custard filling
In a large measuring cup or a 3 to 4 cup container with a pour spout, whisk together the half and half , eggs, salt and cayenne pepper until well combined.
Five to 10 minutes after the crusts come out of the oven, with the tart pans still on the baking sheet, spread 1/3 cup of the spinach, mushroom, ham and cheese mixture evenly in the bottom of each tart shell. If using a 9 - 10 inch tart pan - use all the mixture.
Stir the custard and pour it over the spinach, filling each pan to within 1/8 inch of the top edge of the pastry. Don't overfill the shells, or the custard will run out during baking. It's not a total disaster if this happens. The quiche will still be edible but there will be less filling in the shell.
Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the eggs of the filling begin to puff up and the center still jiggles slightly when you shake the pan. (The 9 - 10 inch tart pan might need a longer time to get custard to set).
Place the sheet pan on a wire rack to cool. When cooled enough to handle, remove the quiche from the pans. Pans with filling that has run over may have to cool longer before the quiche can be extracted from the pans.
Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Leftovers may be refrigerated or frozen and reheated in a 400f oven for 20 minutes, or until heated all the way through.