An Ode to Spring
Versatile and flavorful, quiche makes for a lovely brunch item that can be prepared well in advance or as an easy weeknight dinner. The possibilities for ingredients are endless. In this iteration, we used asparagus, sweet onion, and crab meat—the sweetness and succulence of the crab is absolutely sublime paired with our 2018 Freedom Hill Chardonnay.
If you’re in a hurry, use a pre-made pastry shell rather than making the dough from scratch.
FOR THE DOUGH
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (we love King Arthur)
1/2 stick butter, cold, cut into 1/4” cubes
1/2 stick shortening, cold, cut into 1/4” cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 tablespoons ice water
1 egg white
FOR THE FILLING OF THE QUICHE
1 tablespoon butter
1 small Walla Walla sweet onion, finely diced
1 pound asparagus, ends removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 large eggs, plus an extra egg white to wash the pastry dough
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 ounces grated Gruyère, Emmenthal, or other Swiss Cheese
8 ounces lump crab meat, drained and patted dry
Skip the first four steps if you’re using pre-made pastry dough.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the flour and salt. Add the butter and shortening. Cut the fat into the flour by using your thumbs and index fingers to smear the butter and shortening into sheets. Continue mixing by hand until the dough just comes together, there should be larger pieces of fat left in the dough.
Gently incorporate the water by sprinkling it over the top of the dough a tablespoon at a time. It’s important to stop mixing when the dough just comes together, it should feel very tender to the touch.
Form the dough into a ball, turn it out onto a floured surface and flatten it into disc, then wrap it in plastic wrap and chill.
Preheat the oven to 350° and place a rack in the center of the oven.
Bring a large pan of salted water to boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 2-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice cold water for 3-4 minutes, then place it on paper towels to dry.
Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sauté until the onions are translucent and golden brown. Remove from heat.
Cut the blanched asparagus into 1″ pieces. Reserve 5-6 spears to decorate the top.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, nutmeg, and pepper. Gently stir the cheese, asparagus, and crab meat into the egg mixture. *Removing the extra liquid from the crab is an important step, as the excess moisture will keep the center of the quiche from setting properly.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll it out until it is 1/8” thick. If the dough begins to stick, sprinkle it with flour. Fold the dough into quarters, then place it into a deep pie dish. Brush the outer edge with egg white, then pour the quiche mixture into the dish. Arrange the remaining asparagus spears across the top, then bake until the center of the quiche is just set, around 60 minutes.
Let the quiche cool for 10-15 minutes before plating. We like to serve this with a simple salad of mixed greens.