Asparagus & Mushroom Quiche

Quiche is such a versatile dish that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is a perfect entrée for entertaining as it can be made ahead of time, actually, it tastes much better if it is baked, allowed to chill for 24 hours and then reheated. This allows the ingredients to settle and all of the flavors to meld into each other.
Served with home fried or roasted potatoes or a simple salad, this is a great comfort dish.

I made this quiche in a 2 inch deep by 8 inch round fluted tin with a removable bottom.

For the crust:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup cold water

Blend flour, salt, and butter in a food processor by pulsing on and off until a coarse meal forms. Add the water a bit a little at a time and give the dough a few pulses until the dough just begins to come together.

Remove the dough from the food processor, forming into ball and then flattening into a round disk. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to a 14-inch round. Transfer dough to pan, pressing onto bottom and up sides of pan; trim any excess dough. Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork in a number of places to allow the steam to vent. Chill for 10 minutes in the freezer.

Preheat oven to 450°F.
Remove the crust from the freezer. Take a large piece of parchment paper and gently press it onto the crust, fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove paper and weights and continue to bake until it begins to get a golden color, about 7- 10 minutes. Allow to cool until warm.

For filling:

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
1 clove fresh garlic minced
1 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced and sautéed and drained very well.
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
15-18 asparagus spears, lower ends of stalks removed and cut into 1” pieces
6-8 asparagus stalks cut to length that is half the diameter of pan for decoration
1 3/4 cups cream, milk or half & half
6 large extra large eggs
1 cup coarsely grated Gruyere Cheese
1 cup coarsely grated Emmentaler cheese or Jarlsburg
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh dill
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and red pepper and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Toss with cooked mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place cooled crust still in pan on a baking sheet. Drain mushroom mixture if needed and then scatter over bottom of crust. Cover the mushroom mixture with half of the cheese, arrange uncooked asparagus on top of cheese and then scatter the remaining cheese over the asparagus. Whisk cream, eggs, dill, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper in medium bowl. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.

A word about the egg custard mixture:
I use Julia Child’s basic quiche custard master recipe, which is 3 extra large eggs and then enough cream to make 1 1/2 cups. The measurements that I have used above are what I use for the deep fluted tin that I make my quiches in. You can adjust the amounts according to you pan size using Julia’s master formula.

Pour egg mixture into the tart pan and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake quiche for 35 minutes until the top is just about set. Arrange 6-8 asparagus spears on top of quiche and continue to bake for another 25-30 minutes, until the custard is set (if edges begin to brown too quickly, cover with foil). Cool to room temperature, cover and chill for 24 hours.

To serve, heat in a 350 °F oven for 30 minutes or heat slices in a microwave for a minute or so depending on your microwave.



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