Broccoli Quiche

26 Mar

Life as a pastry cook really hit me hard last week. One of our key pastry chefs was on vacation. I was working longer hours, many of them by myself. On Wednesday night, we had 45 people with reservations, on paper. Easy. I prepped for that amount give or take a few, and I felt solid and set up for the night. When more than double the amount of reservations showed up, things got a bit crazy.

I was running out of my set-up. Ice creams were melting. Bowls were not yet cold enough (we keep bowls in the freezer so that our frozen desserts stay cold by the time they arrive at the guest’s table). I had to whip more cream “on the fly” (as in ‘right now’!). I had to torch multiple creme brulee orders. I had to bake off more caramelized apples. I had to supreme more blood oranges. I had to pipe more “whipped chocolate flan” into bowls. I ran out of ramekins filled with honey and ricotta to go with the chocolate bread. There were birthdays that needed “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate on a plate. And of course, the machine that spits out ticket orders ran out of paper.

My hands were shaking, the sweat was dripping down my back. My legs were shot. My mouth was dry.

I did it. I plated all of the desserts. I shuffled and I shook until I got it all done. I re-stocked my mis-en-place. Everyone ate and was satisfied. I left work that night at 11:45pm. I had the biggest adrenaline rush. The next morning, my whole body ached and as I stretched out of bed, I prepared to do it all over again that night.

Even on my days off, I can’t seem to get myself out of the kitchen. I guess I’m a little obsessed. It is, however, a totally different kind of kitchen to be at home versus in a big restaurant kitchen.

This weekend I made a broccoli quiche inspired by Joy the Baker’s beautiful asparagus quiche. And you should totally watch this video with Joy frolicking in the garden and cooking in the test kitchen at the French Laundry in Napa, CA. I’m completely jealous and inspired, and the video just makes me miss California living even more.

I happened to have extra pie dough leftover in my freezer from (eek) Thanksgiving. Sure, I probably should not have kept it in the freezer that long, but it was there, I used it, and it tasted superb. I stuck it it the fridge to defrost overnight and Bam! I had everything I needed to make a comforting quiche for a cozy Saturday morning  afternoon meal. I’m totally into the studs of broccoli and the browned cheesy bits. And you simply cannot go wrong with buttery crust and black coffee.

Broccoli Quiche

filling adapted from JoytheBaker’s website and the JoytheBaker cookbook

pie dough for a single crust 9-inch pie, I used the pate brisee from Sherry Yard’s book

Dough: *You can use any dough you want, you could even use puff pastry for a quick fix

4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and placed in the freezer for about 15 minutes

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

about 1/4 cup ice water

1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar (or cider vinegar) *see note below

Filling:

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 head of broccoli, chopped

1 bunch of scallions, sliced into thin rounds

6 large eggs

1 cup milk (I used 1%)

1/2 cup heavy cream

pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup grated white cheddar or Gruyere cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

To make the dough:

Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the partially frozen butter cubes and, with your fingers, rub and press the butter and flour between your thumbs and first two fingers to create flattened broken walnut sized pieces. Combine the ice water and vinegar and add the liquid all at once; mix lightly with a fork until the dough just comes together.

Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling it out (the well-wrapped dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks). I had my dough already made and frozen. I transferred it from the freezer to the refrigerator 2 days before I wanted to make the quiche so that I could just pull the dough out on Saturday morning and get going.

*Note: the amount of water can be variable. It is better to have a slightly wet/tacky dough than one that is too dry; add a little water if your dough seems dry.

When you are ready to roll out the crust, on a well-floured work surface, gently roll out the pie crust into about an 11-inch circle.  Press together any spots that might tear.  Carefully lift down and place into the 9-inch pie plate.  Use a pairing knife to trim the edges of pie dough, leaving about 1/2 inch extra dough overhang.  Fold the excess dough under and crimp with fingers.

Place your rolled out crust in the fridge or freezer to chill while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the broccoli and scallions and saute for about 4 minutes, until bright green and slightly tender. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, and salt and pepper. Whisk until blended.

Add the cooked vegetables to the unbaked pie crust. Sprinkle with half of the cheeses (1/4 cup each of cheddar and Parm.). Pour the egg mixture over everything. Top with remaining cheese.

Place a baking sheet in the oven. Carefully place the pie plate of quiche on top of the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 45-55 minutes, until quiche puffs up and is set.

Remove from the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes to an hour before cutting it.

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3 Responses to “Broccoli Quiche”

  1. Natalie Tate (@natalietate) March 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    I think a lot of people underestimate the work a pastry chef does in the kitchen. It’s not just scooping ice cream or baking cookies! Sounds like a STRESSFUL night but also a really fulfilling one that left you feeling accomplished. There’s nothing better. 🙂

    • figsinmybelly March 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      Yes, this is true. Thanks for the kind words. Are you a pastry cook as well?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Root Vegetable Roast 2 Ways ~*Recipe ReDux*~ | Figsinmybelly - March 22, 2015

    […] make a Root Vegetable Roast pizza! I also thought about using the leftover root vegetables in a quiche. Even easier, place the vegetables on top of a piece of toast. Add a little cheese on top and place […]

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