Mushroom-fontina quiche

One of my goals for 2013 was to try making quiche. I love quiche; in all honesty, I love savory pies of any form. I have a deep weakness for pie crust or flaky puff pastry, and I actually prefer savory to sweet (I know, this sounds like sacrilege).

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While Jess was home over break, we did a lot of indulgent cooking, especially recipes that resulted in leftovers so that we wouldn’t have to cook every night. We made this quiche right before she left, so I got the lion’s share of the leftovers, and I ate a slice for lunch for the better part of a week. Needless to say, my co-workers were really sad about their sandwiches when I trotted out a warm, yummy quiche slice at lunchtime.

Before actually messing around with a recipe, we always make a “control” version– that is, we follow a recipe pretty close to the letter, so we have a baseline to see where and how we’d like to change things, if at all. We also like to read the user comments on online recipes: they often contain great suggestions. While the original recipe called for pre-made pie crust, we decided to make our own, and one reviewer on Epicurious had the excellent idea to use Mark Bittman’s savory pie crust recipe. We also think that if we make this again, we want to use a slightly more flavorful cheese, perhaps gruyère.

Mushroom and Fontina Quiche (ever-so-slightly adapted from Epicurious, savory pie crust from Mark Bittman):

Ingredients:

for pie crust:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about 5 ounces) all-purpose flour, more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into about 8 pieces
3 tablespoons ice water, more if necessary

for filling:
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2/3 cup chopped shallots (about 3 medium)
5 cups sliced assorted mushrooms (such as chanterelle, stemmed shiitake, oyster, crimini, and button; 12 to 14 ounces), large mushrooms halved
4 large eggs
2/3 cup half and half
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups (packed) coarsely grated Fontina cheese (about 7 ounces), divided
splash of white wine

Begin by making the pie crust, because it needs to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450°F.

Combine flour and salt in a food processor and pulse once or twice. Add butter and turn on machine; process until butter and flour are blended and mixture looks like cornmeal, about 10 seconds.

Put mixture in a bowl and add 3 tablespoons ice water; mix with your hands until you can form dough into a ball, adding another tablespoon or two of ice water if necessary; if you overdo it and mixture becomes sodden, add a little more flour. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (You can refrigerate for up to a couple of days or freeze for up to a couple of weeks.)

Sprinkle a clean countertop with flour, put dough on it, and sprinkle top with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll with light pressure, from the center out. If dough is hard, let it rest for a few minutes. If dough is sticky, add a little flour; if it continues to become sticky and it is taking you more than a few minutes to roll it out, refrigerate or freeze again. Roll, adding flour and rotating and turning dough as needed; use ragged edges of dough to repair any tears, adding a drop of water while you press patch into place.

Place the dough into a 9″ glass pie dish. There will be plenty of extra dough; use it to make  crimped edges. Poke several holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake until light golden brown, pressing on sides of crust with back of spoon if crust begins to slide down sides of dish, about 17 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper, and a splash of white wine, and sauté until mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate; spread out to cool slightly.

Whisk eggs, half and half, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg in large bowl to blend. Stir in 1 cup Fontina cheese and sautéed mushrooms. Pour filling into crust. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese over quiche.

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Bake quiche until puffed, golden brown, and just set in center, about 45 minutes. Cool 30 minutes. Cut into wedges.

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