If you love pies then you'll love its savoury sister the quiche! This quiche has a flakey and buttery home-made crust and is packed with a spinach and prosciutto filling encased in a silky egg custard and topped with gruyere cheese. An essential at brunch hour, this is a must try!
What is Quiche?
Contrary to popular belief, the origin of quiche is in Germany, its name meaning cake. It began as a breakfast pie with an egg custard filling topped with smoked bacon, but today quiche can be filled with vegetables and (always) lots of cheese.
Quiche is a great simple-to-put-together recipe and it's totally customizable. The pie crust is a delicious pâte brisée, also known as shortcrust pastry. Slightly sweet with the addition of sugar, what really makes this crust AMAZING are the flakes of butter and egg yolk to give richness. A perfect tart crust is always blind baked first (more on this below) before being filled and baked again.
To make the filling, the ingredients are first lightly sautéed to release excess water. Tip: cooking the ingredients ahead of time also reduces bake time. Once all the ingredients are ready, the tart crust is lined with the ingredients and covered with an egg custard mixture. Lastly, the filled tart is baked for under thirty minutes and ready to enjoy in the same morning!
What Ingredients Do I Need?
for the crust
Flour: All-purpose is the flour of choice or pastry flour if you have any on hand.
Butter: Oh butter...really the only way to get a flakey crust. Make sure your butter is cold to prevent pools of fat.
Granulated sugar: A tiny amount of sweetness.
Egg Yolk: This is purely for an added richness to the crust. Like the butter, make sure this is cold to prevent sogginess.
Water: To incorporate all the ingredients together and form the dough.
for the filling
Onions: When sautéed and sweated, onions give a delicious sweet flavour.
Spinach: Since spinach shrinks when cooked, don't worry if it looks like a lot. Makes sure you squeeze out all the excess water after sautéing to prevent a wet filling.
Prosciutto: This quiche is a treat, so splurge by getting high quality Prosciutto di Parma (made ONLY in Italy, their process is highly monitored, inspected and regulated).
*You'll notice there's no additional salt in this recipe, this is because Prosciutto contains higher levels of salt, so adding more isn't necessary.
Milk: I use 1% or almond milk, but you can use any type you like! The taste won't affect the taste of the custard.
Heavy Cream: This is the star ingredient for a silky rich custard.
Eggs: The quiche liquid filling is essentially a custard made by whisking eggs and milk/heavy cream together. For a fool-proof custard bring your eggs to room temperature by soaking them in warm water for 10 minutes.
Gruyere Cheese: Remember what I said about quiche being a treat? Well don't skimp out when it comes to the cheese. I chose Gruyere cheese for its nutty taste and to up the creaminess of the quiche.
The Perfect Ratio for Quiche Custard
While the filling for a quiche is the main star, the secret reason quiche is delicious is that every bite of filling is held together perfectly by an egg custard. To avoid a rubbery egg custard the mixture should be 1 part egg to two parts dairy.
Let me repeat, 1 part egg: two parts dairy.
BOOM! A perfect filling that is silky, melt-away, and smooth in your mouth for every bite.
Tips for a Perfect custard
Add the hot milk incrementally. When you add too much hot liquid to cold raw eggs you want to introduce this slowly to avoid "shocking" the eggs.
Constantly whisk when adding the heated milk/cream into the raw eggs yolks to prevent the eggs from curdling.
What is Blind Baking?
No, blind baking doesn't mean you bake the crust blind folded; nor, is it a YOLO process of throwing the crust in the oven and hoping for the best. Blind baking, is that extra step to ensure a flakey, flat crust.
Blind baking can be used for several reasons, but its main benefit is preventing a soggy bottom when baking with fruits or liquid fillings. To blind bake, the pie crust is lined with aluminium foil, and then filled with a weight. I prefer aluminium foil because it moulds better into the crevices of the tart part. As for weights, pie weights or sugar works best for an even distribution or if you're in a pinch, dried beans or even rice. This added weight prevents the bottom of the pie from puffing up while baking. For extra insurance, you can prick the base of the pie crust multiple times to create vents for the steam.
Tips for Blind Baking:
Leave a ¼ inch allowance when trimming the sides of the crust to compensate for the slight shrinkage when baking. You can always file down the excess post-bake with a serrated knife or zester.
Freeze the crust for 15 minutes before baking to ensure flakiness. If the crust is baked at room temperature, the fat from the butter will pool and melt quickly giving a soggy crust.
Fill the weights to the top of the pan so the sides of the crust are less prone to shrinking.
Should I use a Pie Pan or Tart Pan for Quiche?
This recipe calls for a tart pan. Tart pans commonly come with bottoms that are removable by pressing up on the bottom to separate the base disc from the sides. While you can make this in a pie pan, a pie pan is deeper so you will have to adjust the filling and baking time accordingly.
Spinach Prosciutto Quiche
for the crust
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- 7 tbsp (100g) unsalted butter cold and cut into 1 inch cubes
- ⅓ cup (100ml) water cold
- 1 small (approx. 27g) egg yolk cold and beaten
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp (15g) granulated sugar
for the filling
- 80 g onion chopped into slivers
- 90 g spinach rinsed
- 60 g prosciutto
- 3 sprigs thyme leaves separated
for the egg custard filling
- 1 large (approx. 60g) whole egg room temperature
- 1 small (approx. 20g) egg yolk room temperature
- ½ tsp (2g) black pepper
- ½ cup (120ml) milk
- ½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
- ⅛ cup (15g) gruyere cheese finely grated (add more or less if desired)
for the tart crust
- In a large mixing bowl, put the flour and cubed butter. Coat each piece of butter with flour by rubbing the butter between fingertips and crumbling the butter into the flour until the mixture has a fine sandy texture and butter pieces are pea sized.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water. Add the salt, sugar and dissolve by stirring with finger tips. Lastly add the beaten egg yolk.
- Gradually incorporate the flour mixture into the liquid by bringing flour from the sides of the well, gradually moving outwards, mixing with your fingers.
- When liquid has disappeared, used both hands to knead the dough until it has an even consistency. Do not over mix it, stop once all ingredients are combined. Tip the entire dough onto a lightly flour surface and gather the pastry into a round disk 1" thick. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge for up to 1 day.
for the filling
- Sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon of butter or oil on medium high heat until translucent, approximately 5-7 minutes . Remove from the pan and add the prosciutto. Lightly fry each side of the prosciutto until the edges are golden brown. Remove the seared prosciutto and add the spinach. Cook the spinach until wilted, then drain and squeeze all the excess water out of the spinach. Roughly chop the prosciutto and spinach into ½ inch to 1 inch pieces. Lastly, toss the onions, prosciutto, spinach, and thyme leaves in a bowl and set aside.
to blind bake the crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and prep the tart pan, by lining the bottom removable disk with parchment paper cut into the same size. Chill the pan in the freezer before ready to use.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled tart dough to ¼ inch thick and place into the tart pan by lifting and easing the dough into the pan and its corners. Lightly press the dough into the sides of the pan especially if you pan has fluted/ridged sides. Use a sharp smooth knife and trim off the excess dough leaving a ¼ inch allowance.
- Prick the bottom of the crust multiple times with a sharp fork then line the tart crust with aluminum foil and gently press into the sides and bottom of the crust. With your chosen weight fill to the very top.
- Bake the crust for 10-15 minutes or until a light brown. Remove the weights and aluminum foil; allow the crust to cool and prepare the custard filling.
for the egg custard filling
- Whisk to combine the egg, egg yolk, and pepper in a bowl. In a saucepan heated on low, bring the milk and heavy cream to a simmer.
- Add ⅓ of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture while whisking constantly for 1 minute. Then add the remaining hot milk mixture whisking constantly for another 5 minutes until the custard has lightened in colour, is frothy and has slightly thickened. Let cool to room temperature.
assemble and bake
- *If desired, you can file down the excess edges of the tart crust with a zester or a serrated knife.
- Spread the onion/prosciutto/spinach mixture in the bottom of the baked tart crust and pour the room temperature egg custard over the filling. Sprinkle the gruyere cheese on top.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the filling is bubbly, and the cheese is molten. An inserted knife should come out clean and the custard should wobble slightly when jiggled.
- Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan, cutting, and serving.
- You'll notice there's no additional salt in this recipe, this is because Prosciutto contains higher levels of salt, so adding more isn't necessary.
- Rather than a home-made crust, store bought can be used. For baking, follow the instructions on the packaging.
- The filling and tart dough can be made the day before. Wrap and cover both before refrigerating.
- This tart is best enjoyed day of, but if desired can last overnight if refrigerated.
Show me your bakes!
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @WhiskfullySo on Instagram