Spinach & Gruyere Quiche
Of all the spinach quiches I’ve tried over the years, this classic French version is my favorite. The recipe comes from my childhood friend Trish, who’s an incredible hostess. When Trish entertains, she goes all out – beautiful table settings, seasonal cocktails, fabulous food, and (best of all) hilarious party games. This quiche is her “go-to” brunch dish; the recipe has been in her family for years, though she admits for all she knows, “it could be Betty Crocker’s.” I had it at her house a while back and absolutely loved it.
I think what makes it so good is combination of heavy cream and Gruyere, which of course makes it insanely rich. There’s also a good bit of spinach, which balances out all that richness and — dare I say — makes it just a little bit good for you…
It’s basically a no-fuss recipe. You get to cheat and use a store bought crust (just be sure to put the whole thing in a pretty pie pan before you serve it so it’s not quite so obvious) and the spinach comes frozen right out of a box.
To make it, start by pre-baking your crust. You want it fully cooked and lightly golden before you add the filling, otherwise it will end up soggy.
Next, prepare the filling: gently cook your shallots in butter, grate the Gruyere and squeeze as much water as humanly possible out of the spinach. For the custard, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream and seasonings.
Finally, layer the fillings over the crust, pour the custard over top, and bake. Be sure your oven isn’t too hot; quiches are always cooked gently at 325 degrees to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
The result is a delicately flavored, silky-smooth custard that simply melts in your mouth.
For company, you’d serve this for brunch or lunch but it also makes a delicious and easy weeknight dinner. Enjoy…and a big thanks to Trish for sharing her family recipe.
- 1 9-inch deep dish frozen pie crust
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
- 4 large eggs
- 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup grated Gruyere
- 1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung free of water
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove pie crust from freezer and thaw until just soft enough to easily prick with a fork, about 10 minutes. Prick bottom and sides all over with a fork. Bake on center rack until fully cooked and lightly golden, between 10-15 minutes depending on the brand. (Keep an eye on it...if it puffs up while cooking, gently prick it with a fork so it will deflate.) Set aside and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
- Heat butter in a small saute pan over medium-low heat. Cook shallots until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Do not brown. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, nutmeg, salt and cayenne pepper.
- Place cooked pie shell on a baking sheet (this makes it easy to move in and out of oven). Spread shallots over bottom of cooked crust, then sprinkle grated Gruyere over top. Scatter spinach evenly over cheese (breaking up clumps as best you can), then pour egg mixture over top.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes until custard is set and top is lightly golden. Serve hot or warm.
I usually defrost the frozen spinach quickly by placing it in a fine mesh strainer and running hot water over it. I then gather the spinach into a ball and squeeze it dry. It takes a few minutes of squeezing and re-squeezing to get all the water out. Be patient...you need the spinach completely dry, otherwise your quiche will be watery.