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Spinach, leek, and mushroom quiche

(Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)
May 11, 2011

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Serves 6

CRUST

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 tablespoons cold water, or more if needed
Extra flour (for sprinkling)

1. In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt to sift them. Add the butter and pulse to form a coarse meal. Add the water. Pulse a few times, adding more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary, just until large clumps form. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Knead it gently a few times until it comes together into a ball. Flatten into a disk and wrap in foil; chill for 1 hour.

2. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a deep 9 1/2-inch pie pan.

3. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough to a 13-inch round. Lift it onto the rolling pin and ease it into the pan, letting the excess hang over the edge. Fold the overhang under and press to make a reinforced edge that is slightly higher than the rim of the pan. Prick the pastry all over with a fork. Chill for 20 minutes or until firm.

4. Line the pastry with foil, shiny side down, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the pastry is set but slightly soft. Carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue baking for 7 to 10 minutes or until the shell is lightly golden. (It may puff and shrink a little, but that’s OK.) Cool to room temperature.

FILLING

1 leek (white and pale green parts) halved lengthwise, and thickly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces baby portobello or white mushrooms, thickly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 ounces baby spinach, rinsed well
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere
4 eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees.

2. Rinse the leek in a bowl of cold water to remove any dirt; drain.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leek and cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Turn the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until they release their liquid and it evaporates. Stir in the thyme. Spread it in the crust.

4. In the same skillet, combine the spinach and water. Cook over high heat for 2 minutes or until the spinach wilts. Drain and rinse with cold water. With your hands, squeeze out the excess liquid. Chop the spinach coarsely. Sprinkle it over the mushroom mixture in the crust. Add 1 cup of the Gruyere.

5. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, half-and-half, milk, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Gruyere.

6. Bake the quiche for 40 to 45 minutes or until the custard is puffed and golden. Check the quiche after 35 minutes and if the crust or custard is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil. At the end of baking, the center may still be slightly wobbly, but it shouldn’t be loose or liquid. Cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Adapted from Phyllis Kaplowitz