It is a broadly accepted fact that everything on the planet is better with crust. Tarts? Crust. Pizza? Crust. Empanadas? Crust. Quiche? Crust. Universally, crust is the great enhancer. Any of those savory or sweet addictions is merely a filling or topping without crust. And while the filling might be over-the-moon good, it reaches sublime when you add a tender, flaky pastry. It’s true for this mostly homemade spinach gruyere quiche!
Which is why my whole love/hate thing with pastry really vexes me. I love it so much, but my success has been marginal. It always tastes good, but it never seems to look as pretty as I want it to, though I have to say, I think I’m getting better. Because of this blog, I’ve really been making an effort to improve. And (knock wood) I think its paying off.
None of which matters the slightest for this particular dish – because I cheated and used a ready made pastry (thank you Pillsbury).
I made this quiche for my grandparents. I visit regularly with them and usually make a soup or other portable main course that we can munch on while catching up. Quiche is one of their favorites — and one of mine, too. This one in particular got rave reviews.
I think it’s the ratio of gruyere-to-spinach filling. Cheesy enough to create long oozy-stretchy strands when you cut into it (I love that). It’s also green. Really green. Intensely kelly green, thus perfect for Saint Patty’s Day!
Theoretically, this should feed six people, but I’ve found that four hungry diners can polish one off – lickety-split. Serve with a side salad, crust of bread and a chilled sauvignon blanc for a really special weekend lunch or brunch.
- 1 9-inch pastry shell
- 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups grated gruyere, comte or emmental cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Arrange the pie pastry in a pie pan, pressing firmly on the bottom and sides of the pan. Fold any overhanging edges of the pastry under itself and using your fingers or the tines of a fork, press the edges to form a decorative rim. Refrigerate until ready to fill and bake.
- Squeeze all the excess moisture from the thawed spinach. Set aside.
- If you have a high-powered professional blender (like a Vitamix) place the eggs, half and half, nutmeg and spinach in the blender and turn on low, gradually increasing the speed until emulsified and bright green. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Season with the salt and pepper and stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Transfer the spinach mixture to the pastry shell. Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses and bake for 40-45 minutes or until quiche is set. Let cool for 20 minutes before cutting.
- Finely chop the spinach. Whisk the eggs and half and half in a large bowl until well combined, then stir in the spinach, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined and proceed with the recipe.
- The processing power of a professional blender is what lends the bright green color to this quiche. Chopping the spinach by hand won't achieve the same look, but the flavor will be delicious.