Technology is so crazy. I am sitting in the airport right now, on my way to Montreal for a special birthday visit this weekend, and I can sit here and, instead of “pretending I am checking out magazines to buy” at the various stores, and share my recipe for my gluten-free quiche that I look forward to preparing with some fresh Quebecois cheese this weekend.
<–this is a picture of my first quiche. I created this foil-wrapped delight in another French-speaking country (Paris, France) for my very first Thanksgiving away from home. There were a few magical things about this quiche:
(1) it was before I realized that I had the gluten-allergy, so I was able to buy pre-made dough for the crust at the neighborhood grocery store (Monoprix). Granted, this meant that I felt like I had a small child in my belly after eating the crust, but it was delicious, nonetheless.
(2) it was made with FRESH Gruyere Swiss cheese, organic broccoli, and tomatoes all from the local market.
(3) it commenced a glorious cook-off with me and my roommates which resulted in what Thanksgiving should be all about: sharing, relationships, and giving thanks.
The inspiration and confidence to tackle the quiche came from a trip to the book store near my school, La Sorbonne, one fine fall afternoon. I had noticed from the various quiche that I had tried around town that they were vastly different from those of America; they seemed lighter, more flavorful, and less “egg-y”. In fact, my roommate, Fabienne, DETESTS eggs, and LOVES French quiche. This prompted my mission, and I bought several cookbooks, all of which I still use to this day. (^see above!)
What I discovered is the secret to French quiche is that they only use one or two eggs MAXIMUM per large quiche. In the states, most recipes call for a minimum of 5 eggs. Unnecessary! And definitely detracts from the flavor of the second most-important component: the cheese. The quality of the cheese is so uber-important to the taste of the quiche. It even outweighs the crust. Thankfully, I was able to master the inside of the quiche before discovering my gluten sensitivity upon return; I have to admit, creating a gluten-free crust from scratch is definitely more difficult than simply purchasing the ready-made pastry crust from the Parisian market, but the reward is, therefore, that much greater. And still just as tasty! (In fact, my gluten-tolerant friends actually prefer it!)
Anyways, I don’t actually enjoy feeling like I have a small child in my stomach after I eat a piece of quiche, and want to share my new tricks. On to the recipe so you Bubble Children can enjoy the benefits of my French trial and error, and I can board my plane!
QUICHE YA ON THE GLUTEN-FREE SIDE
I the crust compose of rice flour, a little bit or sorghum flour (is very sweet and adds a nice flavor and consistency to the crust), real butter, and non-hydrogenated shortening. Since I do have a lactose-sensitivity, I have found that goat’s milk sits easier with me, especially with domestic cheeses, and I have developed QUITE the exciting blend of both goat’s cheese and goat’s BRIE cheese in this quiche.
2 cups rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
4 tsp. xantham gum
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter*
6-8 tbs. cold water (as needed)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
Yields one large quiche crust
- Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl. Add shortening and butter, and mix with two knives until mixture is crumby and no clumps are larger than the size of a pea.
- Slowly add water by the tablespoon-ful and mix with knives until thoroughly incorporated. Knead with hands into small bowl. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Flour hard surface and rolling pin, and remove crust from refrigerator. Roll into thin crust, about 12” in diameter. Coat bottom of deep dish pie pan (8″ or 9″ in diameter) with shortening and then 3 tbs. flour, and place crust in pan. Trim excess off ends, and mold outside to desired aesthetic by pinching the edges with your first three fingers.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until edges are golden.
*For DAIRY BUBBLE, use non-dairy, non-hydrogenated butter substitute.
For the filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter*
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon herbes de’provence
2 1/2 cups spinach
4 oz goat’s milk brie cheese**, sliced into 1/2”x1” pieces
5 oz goat cheese, divided in 5
pepper to taste
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yields one fabulous quiche
1. Caramelize onions: preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat large baking sheet with two table spoons olive oil and spread onion slices over the surface area, without any overlap. Bake for about 5-8 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to blacken. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Create quiche filling: in medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat. Add cherry tomatoes, and herbes de provence. Saute for 2 minutes. Add spinach, one cup at a time. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until spinach is completely wilted. Reduce heat to low, and add eggs and caramelized onions. Mix well.
- Add both cheeses. Mix well, and cook until just melted, about 2 minutes.
- Pour into crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until top of cheese begins to brown and filling is bubbling.
- Remove from oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.