I had zucchini…tomatoes…a little prosciutto…cheeses…and plenty of eggs. Hey! I could make a quiche!
And so I began.
First, I made the crust. I wanted this to be a good-sized quiche, so I thought instead of using a pie pan or tart pan, I'd go with a springform pan and then I could make the quiche as deep as I wanted – bwahahahaha. I went with my 10".
For the crust – a very simple, flaky, pie dough recipe – flour, salt, shortening and water.
Did I tell you my food processor is broken? Not the motor – the upper portion of the feed tube – the plastic locking mechanism broke. I could order that little part, OR, I could make do for a while and save up for a BIGGER AND BETTER version. So that's what I'm doing. That processor served me well, but I think I'd like to upgrade with the next one. It will be an exciting day…
Anyway, back to the quiche.
I put the crust together like usual – chilled the shortening and cut it into little pieces, mixed the flour and salt together, added the shortening and worked it in with a pastry blender, then drizzled in the ice water until the mixture held together and was (barely) workable. I wrapped that well in plastic and then stuck it in the fridge while I prepped the filling.
As I said, we had a lot of zucchini. We have a lot of pattypans as well, although that plant seems to be slowing down now and may have produced all it's going to this year. Zucchini are still coming in (as they are wont to do), and we have MANY little butternut squashlings growing and starting to turn golden. Woo hoo!
I took two of the zucchini, trimmed the ends, quartered them lengthwise, and then chopped them to about a quarter-inch thickness. So I had a bunch of little pie-wedge shaped pieces. Then I took 3 large cloves of garlic, smashed them with the flat side of a chef's knife and the heel of my hand and then gave them a rough chop.
These went into a pan with a little olive oil and salt. I let them cook for a long time on medium-low, until they were browning a bit and most of the moisture (i.e. the water in the zucchini) had cooked off. When I was happy with them, I poured them onto a paper towel-lined plate and let them cool.
Next up, a tomato. We've got them coming in steadily now as well, though it's not the greatest tomato year we've ever had. We're getting a lot of blossom end rot. Not a pretty picture. But sitll, there are some plants that are doing well. I think the plant doing the best is called something like "Beef Boy" or some other WWF-sounding name. I peeled and seeded one of these tomatoes and just tore it into pieces and placed it in a small baking pan.
I drizzled a good amount of olive oil over the pieces, sprinkled some salt and pepper on,
and popped them - uncovered – in a 375 degree oven for about an hour. When they were done, I picked out the tomato pieces and let them drain and cool on (just like the zucchini) a paper towel-lined plate.
(The oil can be reused – and should be. Toss it with some pasta and grated cheese. Yum. Tomato-flavored olive oil. Summertime liquid gold.)
While the crust was chillin' (sorry), and the zucchini and tomato were cooking, I got the rest of my filling ingredients ready.
I tore about 4 thin slices of prosciutto into strands and shreds – maybe an inch in size, if you need a measurement to keep you happy.
I also cracked 4 eggs into a bowl and measured out a cup and a half of sour cream and a blend of milk and half 'n' half to equal another 1 1/2 cups of liquid.
Actually, that's not entirely as organized as makes me seem. I had planned to use milk and eggs, period, for the custard. And then I opened the quart of whole milk our neighbor had given us (okay, it was a little while ago, I just forgot about using it) and – ugh. Down the drain it went. So that left me with a little bit of milk (good milk) and most of a carton of half n half, and – HEY! I have sour cream! So that's how THAT came about.
Where was I? Ah, yes. I had about 3 oz left of a log of goat cheese, and I grated about 3 oz of a lovely wedge of Romano.
After the dough had been in the fridge an hour or so, I took that out, rolled it out to about a 13" circle, trimmed the ragged edges, and pressed it into my parchment-lined 10" springform. The dough came up the sides about an inch and a half, which, by some miracle, was EXACTLY the right height for the amount of filling I used. It's nice when experiments work out like that.
I put the pan back in the fridge so the dough would stay cold until I was ready to fill and bake.
When the vegetables were cooked and cooling, I bumped the oven temp up to 425 and whisked together the eggs, sour cream, milk/half n half and a teaspoon or so of dried oregano in a large bowl.
I took the springform pan out, wrapped it in two sheets of foil (under and up the sides – like you would for a cheesecake, and for the same reason – JUST IN CASE.) and set it on a baking sheet.
Next, I sprinkled about half the zucchini/garlic mixture, half the tomato mixture, half the prosciutto, and a third of the two cheeses on the crust…
and then repeated the process with the rest of the vegetables and prosciutto, and half the remaining cheese. Then I (SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY) poured the custard mixture (the egg mixture) over everything and held my breath until I saw that it would not seep over the top of the crust. Whew!
And finally, I dotted the custard with the rest of the goat cheese, sprinkled the grated romano on top of it all, and popped my quiche in the oven.
After 20 minutes, I dropped the temperature to 375 and continued cooking for about 40-50 more minutes. (The top should be set and starting to turn golden, and the middle of the quiche should just barely jiggle when you shake the pan.)
I took my creation out of the oven and set it on a wire rack by a window to cool for about 20 minutes.
Then I removed the foil, gently popped open the springform locking mechanism and slipped off the collar. Then I carefully slid a large metal spatula (the kind you'd use to frost a cake) between the parchment and the metal pan bottom and eased the crust off the pan and onto a cutting board. If you're feeling lucky, you can also slide the parchment out from under the quiche, but you don't HAVE to if you don't want to.
Just don't forget to remove it when you're slicing.
You can serve it hot like this, or let it cool to room temperature. It also reheats pretty well and makes a nice breakfast the next day.
Texture-wise, this is not your ordinary custardy quiche. It's somewhere between custard and cheesecake, which would be the sour cream's contribution. Bill loved it. Julia liked it okay, I liked it, though next time maybe I'll add some onion to the zucchini. But hey – it's a quiche – play around with the recipe. That's part of the fun!
Oh – and Alex, as expected, didn't want any part of it. I think the only white food he likes is vanilla ice cream. And he'd rather have strawberry anyway, thank you.
Anyway, that's one of the multitude of things you can do with your summer garden bounty.
What do you like in your quiche?