Ever since I can remember, quiche has been a classic in cafes across Britain and so, although French in origin, it makes me feel very nostalgic and homesick every time I enjoy a slice. Sometimes Mum would take me to the cafe at BHS (British Home Stores) when we were out shopping in Wood Green on a Saturday. It was the highlight of our trip and I recall all the great English cafe classics like enticing Eclairs, snow capped cream cakes, Chocolate Gateau with bright red cherries, sandwiches with tiny green watercress leaves peeping out the sides and of course my favourite, Quiche Lorraine. I am sure that BHS was not (and is not) a gastronomic giant and that their quiche was probably nothing to write home about, but it was there and part of my whole exciting Saturday shopping experience. I didn’t really think about quiche much when we moved to Cyprus in my teens but then our love was rekindled during college after I had returned to the UK. A friend and I spent a day touring round London (something I hadn’t done in years) and we found ourselves wondering around Hyde Park. It was lunch time and we stopped into the Serpentine Cafe on the river for their lunch buffet. As we walked along the table, there was my old pal sitting on a beautiful classic china serving dish and all the magic returned instantly.
I have been craving quiche for the last few weeks and decided it was time for a reunion. Although the hubs really likes quiche, he has some serious problems with certain classic ingredients like tomatoes, or broccoli. So I turned to Pinterest (as I do in so many of these situations!) and looked around for a quiche recipe that would win his heart. And boy did I find a winner! It was only right that I share it for Pinteresting Mondays and I hope you will not be intimidated by the recipe because it was actually extremely easy and worth every minute of prep! As usual my notes are in bold
Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Quiche (brought by to you by Closet Cooking)
1/4 cup pancetta or bacon, diced
1 large shallot, diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 pears, cored and sliced into bite sized pieces
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup gorgonzola or other blue cheese, crumbled
1 pre-baked walnut butter pie crust (see below)
1. Cook the pancetta and shallot in a pan.
2. Add the butter and let it melt.
3. Add the sugar and cook until bubbly, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the pear and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes
6. Bake in a preheated 375F oven until golden brown on top and set in the center, about 25-45 minutes.
Walnut Butter Pie Crust (Pâte Brisée)
I definitely recommend using this crust, the walnut flavour is mild enough not to bother someone who hates walnuts (like my hubby) but compliments the pears and Gorgonzola perfectly. Plus it’s super easy and, apart from letting it rest, takes no time at all.
(makes 1 crust)
1/4 cup ground walnuts (toasted before ground)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
4-5 tablespoons water (cold)
1. Pulse the flour, ground walnuts, salt and sugar in a food processor to mix.
2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 6-8 times.
3. Add a tablespoon of water at a time pulsing in between until it starts to clump together.
4. Place the dough on a clean surface and shape it into a disc.
5. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
6. Roll the dough into a 12 inch circle about 1/8 of an inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
7. Place the dough into a 9 inch diameter spring form pan with the edges going up the side of the pan. I used a deep Pyrex pie dish and it worked fine. I forgot to spray it but the quiche slices came out perfectly because of the buttery crust.
8. Place a piece of parchment paper in the pie and fill it with rice or beans to hold it down.
9. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes.
10. Remove the parchment paper and weight and poke the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times.
11. Bake until a light golden brown, about 10 minutes.