Asparagus Leek Quiche is loaded with flavor and gooey with gruyere cheese. I hosted a brunch last weekend, and I think this was everyone’s favorite dish. I’ve never made quiche before. Truthfully, I am not much of an egg person. I don’t mind them in baked goods, but I don’t care for the flavor of eggs by themselves. I found this quiche to be delicious. Maybe still a little eggy for my tastes, but the gruyere cheese and asparagus really do shine through. My egg loving husband thinks this is the best quiche he has ever tasted. I’m pretty sure he is not just saying that to ensure I keep cooking for the family.
This quiche was much easier to make than my preconceived notions. I am really glad to have a quiche recipe to add to my brunch repertoire. I had an extra crust in my freezer, which was really convenient. You can use a pre-made pie crust too, if you are a hurry. There is a long baking time involved, but you can really prep all the components the day before, then put the parts together and bake it in the morning.
To make the crust, pulse the flour and the butter and shortening in a food processor about 8 times. Looking for peas and breadcrumbs. Pour the ice water into the feed tube and run just until the crust comes together. Less than one minute. Turn the crust out onto a board and divide in two. Wrap in plastic wrap, then flatten into a disk. Let the crust rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. You only need one half for the quiche, so freeze the other half (up to 3 months) if you don’t have another project in mind.
Roll out the pie crust and fit it to your pie dish. Then put the dish back into the fridge to cool for another 30 minutes. (or freezer for 10)
Saute the leeks and asparagus in the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Once the asparagus is tender crisp- about 6 minutes- remove the vegetables to a plate to cool. In a bowl whisk together the eggs and half and half. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and a few grates of fresh nutmeg. (1/8 teaspoon if using pre-ground) Cover the bottom of the pie shell with the grated gruyere, then spread the vegetables in an even layer.
Pour the egg mixture gently over top, then place the pie dish on a sheet pan into the 350º oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating once half way though. You are looking for the eggs to have just set, and not wiggle in the center. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Whatever you do, do not yell at a 3 year old for stealing crust when you are trying to take a picture. She will not take it well. Poor thing kept trying to poke her fork into the quiche to steal a bite, never mind her plate was sitting 5 feet away.
- 1¼ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold butter, cubed
- ¼ cup shortening (non hydrogenated)
- 4-5 tablespoons ice water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 leek, white and light green part, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal
- 4 eggs
- 1¼ cup half and half
- ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- 1½ cups shredded gruyere
- In a large bowl whisk together both flours and salt. If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour you can use all AP, but I prefer to add whole grains where ever I can, and I really like the nuttiness it adds to the crust.
- Using a pastry cutter mix in the shortening and the butter. I like to chop the butter into pieces and then put them back in the fridge. You want the butter really cold. The blend of butter and shorting is essential. The butter gives a gorgeous flavor and the shortening a flaky crust. You want to keep mixing until the dough resembles peas and cornmeal.
- Add iced water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork, until the dough comes together. You want the dough to start pulling together well, but not be at all wet.
- Work it into a ball, cut the ball in half, work each half into a disk and then wrap it it wax paper or plastic wrap. Let the disk rest in the fridge for at least 30 min. An hour is better.
- You will have one left over disk, so wrap tightly and freeze for another project.
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
- Roll out the pastry between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap, then fit to the pie dish.
- Place dish back in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. (10 min in the freezer if you are in a rush)
- Melt the butter and saute the leeks and asparagus, seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper, until they are al dente. 6-8 minutes.
- Place on a plate to cool.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs with the half and half.
- Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Grate some fresh nutmeg on top. (about ⅛ teaspoon)
- Cover the bottom of the pie shell with the grated cheese, then spread the vegetable mixture on top evenly.
- Gently pour in the egg mixture.
- Bake on a sheet pan for 50 minutes, or until the egg is just set in the center. Rotate the pan half way through.
- Let the quiche cool for 15 minutes before serving.