Sarabeth Levin's Spinach-Gruyère Quiche with Parmesan-Pepper Crust

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Sarabeth Levin's Spinach-Gruyère Quiche with Parmesan-Pepper Crust

The dough for this quiche is a little unusual, but truly delicious!

From the cookbook by Sarabeth Levine, legendary New York City baker and restaurateur.  This book is filled with delicious recipes for breakfast, brunch or any time of day.  

Sarabeth's Good Morning Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch, and Baking

Spinach-Gruyère Quiche

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Unbleached all-purpose flour, for rolling the dough
1 disk (1/2 recipe) Black Pepper and Parmesan Savory Dough
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced
6 ounces (170 grams) spinach, tough stems removed, washed well
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (290 grams) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
4 ounces (114 grams) Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated (scant 1 cup)
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375°F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 1/8-inch-thick circle. Following the instructions on page 223, line a 9-inch glass pie dish or a tart pan with a removable bottom with the dough. Prick the dough all over with a fork in a uniform pattern. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Line the dough with a 13-inch round of parchment paper and fill with pastry weights or dried beans. Place the dish on a half-sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and weights. Continue baking until the pastry is barely beginning to color, about 5 minutes longer. Remove the dish and pan from the oven and let the crust cool completely in the dish on a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 30 seconds. Stir in the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly, then chop.

In a 1-quart liquid measuring cup or a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, nutmeg, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sift in the flour and whisk until smooth.

Spread one-third of the Gruyère in the crust and top with half of the spinach mixture and 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Top with another third of the Gruyère, the remaining spinach, another tablespoon Parmesan, and the remaining Gruyère. Slowly pour in the cream mixture, distributing it evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan.

Return the pie dish, on the pan, to the oven. Bake until the filling is puffed and golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

Let the quiche cool for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan if using a tart pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Black Pepper and Parmesan Savory Dough

Makes enough for two 9-inch quiches

14 tablespoons (198 grams) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup (112 grams) whole milk
1 1/2 cups (213 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (118 grams) oyster cracker crumbs (to make oyster cracker crumbs, finely grind oyster crackers in a food processor)
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. With the machine running, slowly dribble in the milk, occasionally stopping the machine and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula. The mixture should be fluffy, smooth, and shiny, like a buttercream frosting.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cracker crumbs, sugar, Parmesan, and pepper. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix just until the dough forms a mass on the paddle and the sides of the bowl are clean.

Gather up the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough a few times until it is smooth and supple. Divide it in half and shape into two 6-inch disks. Gently tap the sides of the disks on the work surface all around the circumference (this tamps the dough so the edges won’t crack during rolling). Do not overhandle the dough.

Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. The dough can also be chilled overnight, but it will be very hard and should stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before rolling out. The wrapped dough can also be frozen in plastic freezer bags for up to 3 weeks. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before rolling out.

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