Leek and Parmesan Quiche
This recipe was inspired by my semester abroad in France, when everyday for lunch, I would walk to the pastry shop near my university and treat myself to an individual quiche fromage…a delicious little habit that quickly cost me all my skinny jeans.
What makes this quiche special is a generous layer of buttery leeks -– which impart a mellow, almost sweet, onion flavor -– Parmesan cheese and, yes, heavy cream. I know, I know, you won’t be coming to me for dieting advice, but a little indulgence goes a long way here.
Typically I’d make my own crust, but since I’m on vacation, I used a store bought crust and it came out great. The secret to success, whether you make the crust yourself or use pre-made, is to pre-bake it so it won’t be soggy.
All that’s left is simply cooking the leeks, spreading them on top of the crust, topping it all with an easy-to-mix custard and baking it in the oven.
It’s perfect for entertaining because you can make the whole thing a day ahead and simply reheat it when you’re ready to serve.
Who needs those skinny jeans anyway?
Leek and Parmesan Quiche
1 frozen 9” Pie Shell (I like Wholly Wholesome brand from Whole Foods)
1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (you’ll need 1–2 leeks; be sure to clean well, especially between leaves where there can be a lot of grit)
1½ cups heavy cream
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried
1¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (good stuff is a must)
¼ teaspoon salt, plus extra for leek mixture
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus extra for leek mixture
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove pie shell from freezer and thaw until just soft enough to easily prick with a fork (10-20 minutes). Prick bottom and sides all over with a fork. Bake on center rack until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 325 degrees.
2. Melt butter in small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add leeks and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat until very soft, about 15 minutes. Do not brown. Set aside to cool.
3. In a medium size bowl, combine heavy cream, eggs, thyme, nutmeg, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.
4. Spread cooked leeks over pre-baked pie shell, taking care not to puncture crust (it may be fragile around rim, or where there are air bubbles). Pour egg mixture over top. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until custard is set but still moist. Serve hot or warm.