The day I posted a little teaser for this Spring Herb Quiche it snowed. I suppose I was trying to manifest spring through recipe development. But it’s about as effective as you would imagine it to be. But while I can’t control the late April flurries, I can put plenty of green on my table. Oh and buy armfuls of tulips. You have no idea what those blooms mean to Canadians with seasonal affective disorder. Today’s quiche is the perfect way to ease into the season. It’s loaded with fresh herbs and bright refreshing flavors but it also has enough richness to chase the early spring chill away. So let’s dig in.
This quiche starts, predictably enough, with the pastry. Now, of course, you can use a packaged frozen pastry shell if you would prefer. But I do prefer the taste of homemade pastry and I have a feeling you will too. And pastry really is one of those things that gets easier the more you do it. I could probably make pastry in my sleep at this point. And that is not talent, that has everything to do with how many times I’ve made the stuff. So while a frozen pie shell will reduce this recipe’s steps to, like, four. I still think it’s a good idea to log a few of those pastry hours.
So let’s talk about the pastry. This is an all-butter pastry recipe that I adapted from my grandmother’s recipe. She always used 50/50 butter and shortening, which is certainly something you could do. But I prefer to use all butter for the flavor. But I do find the shortening to be more forgiving texture-wise. With the butter version, you have to be careful not to overmix the pastry, make sure everything is cold, and be wary of adding too much liquid. Any of these factors can result in a tough crust. The same can happen to a shortening crust, it’s just a little harder to do.
Now, instead of using a pastry cutter, I prefer to use the rubbing method. The rubbing method is the process of rolling pieces of cold butter through your thumb and index fingers to create a series of thin leaves of butter. I find this results in a flakier crust but the method is not without potential pitfalls. Make sure your hands are cold. If you’re hands run hot, just run them under cold water before proceeding. And make sure you are light and quick with your movements. You don’t want your hot little hands to hang out with any particular piece of butter for too long. You run the risk of melting the butter into the flour, which as I mentioned, would result in a tough crust.
Once your pastry is mixed, press it into a disc and wrap it in parchment paper. We’re going to chill it for at least an hour. This step is non-negotiable. We need the butter to resolidify. You can make your pastry up to 3 days in advance. If you want to make it farther in advance than that, you can freeze the pastry. Just make sure you wrap it very tightly. Once the pastry has chilled, roll it out and line a pie plate with it. Crimp the edges and chill it for another 30 minutes.
Now, it’s time to start the blind baking process. And for this, all you need is a bag of beans and some parchment paper. These will serve as low-rent pie weights. You can buy pie weights designed for this specific purpose. But I think beans work just as well and you can cook with them afterwards. I used chickpeas but any dried lentil or bean you have on hand will work. Make sure they are dispersed evenly across the base of the pastry. Bake your pastry for 15-20 minutes, then remove the weights and return the pastry to the oven. By the end of this process, you should have a bronzed pastry shell that has held its shape. Your pastry shell will likely shift a bit but you should have more than enough real estate to pour your filling into.
And speaking of your filling, welcome to the easiest part. A base quiche filling is a snap to create. It contains three ingredients: eggs, cream, and milk. From there you can add just about anything you like to the egg mixture. I went with scallions, peas, sautéed shallots, and of course herbs. Dill, parsley, and mint to be precise. In my case, I had to add salt to the egg mixture because none of my add-ins were particularly salty. But if you are planning on using bacon or cheese or any other inherently salty ingredient, you may want to ease back on the salt.
From there you just pour your filling into its shell and bake it for a good 45 minutes. The edges should be set but the center should still be a little jiggly. Set the Spring Herb Quiche aside to cool slightly. You can also put the breaks on here and let the quiche cool completely before chilling it overnight. It will last for about three days in the fridge. Just make sure you let it come up to room temperature before you serve it. Fridge cold quiche is just not the vibe.
When you’re ready to serve your quiche, perch a large ball of burrata in the center and drizzle it with thinly sliced oil-packed Calabrian chilies and a little of their oil. Garnish with mint leaves and serve. Now, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this quiche is messy to break into but that’s part of the fun, so make sure you bust into the burrata with an audience present. And that’s really all there is to know about this Spring Herb Quiche with Burrata.
Spring Herb Quiche with Burrata
- 1 9" Pie Plate
- 1 Rolling Pin
- 1 bag of dried beans
- 1 skillet
All Butter Pastry
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter cold, cut into cubes
- ¼ cup ice water
Spring Herb Quiche Filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 shallots halved and thinly sliced
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup milk I used 2%
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 scallions thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh dill finely chopped
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh mint finely chopped
- 1 ball burrata
- 2 oil-packed Calabrian chilis thinly sliced
- Fresh mint leaves for sprinkling
For the Pastry
- Pour the flour and salt into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter to the flour mixture and cut it into the flour mixture using either the rubbing method ** or a pastry cutter.1¼ cups all-purpose flour, ½ tsp kosher salt, ½ cup unsalted butter
- Once the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs drizzle the water into the mixture. Using a rubber spatula, work the water into the flour mixture until a very loose dough forms. Turn the dough onto the counter and lightly knead it until it comes together.¼ cup ice water
- Place the dough in the center of a piece of parchment paper and wrap it up. Press the dough into a disc and transfer to the fridge. Chill for at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days.
- When the pastry has chilled, place it on a floured surface and roll it out to ⅛" thickness. Try to create a circle that is about 1" wider than the pie plate. Transfer the pastry to a 9" pie plate and crimp the edges. Return the pastry to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- When the oven is up, line the pastry with parchment paper and pour in a bag of dried beans **** Make sure the beans are evenly dispersed across the base of the pastry. Bake the pastry for 17-20 minutes.
- Take the pastry out of the oven and remove the parchment paper and beans. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and return it to the oven and bake for 10 minutes more. Take the pastry out of the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
For the Filling
- Pour the olive oil in a skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the shallots and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until the shallots are just translucent. Take them off of the heat and set aside.1 tbsp olive oil, 3 shallots
- Place the eggs, milk, cream, mustard, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until frothy. Fold in the shallots, peas, scallions, dill, parsley, and mint. Pour the filling into the pastry shell and transfer to the oven.4 large eggs, ½ cup heavy cream, ½ cup milk, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, ¾ tsp kosher salt, 1 cup frozen peas, 3 scallions, ¼ cup fresh dill, ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, 2 tbsp fresh mint
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the edges are set but the center is still a little jiggly. Take the quiche out of the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
- When ready to serve, place the burrata in the center of the quiche and top with the Calabrian chilis. Finish a drizzle of the Calabrian chili oil and fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately.1 ball burrata, 2 oil-packed Calabrian chilis, Fresh mint leaves