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YIELDS:

12 servings

PREP TIME:

1 hours 30 mins

COOK TIME:

2 hours 25 mins

TOTAL TIME:

3 hours 55 mins

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ingredients

Quiche Filling

1 Lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 Lb. Asparagus cut into one-inch lengths (keep two of the nicest stalks whole to top the quiche)

4 Green onions, chopped

1 Tsp. dried thyme

8 Oz. Jarlsberg or Swiss Cheese, shredded

3 Cups half and half

1 Cup Heavy Cream

6 eggs, beaten

Freshly grated nutmeg to taste

1 Tsp. Kosher Salt

1/2 Tsp. freshly grated black pepper

Cooking Spray

Pastry Shell

2 cups flour

1 Tsp. Kosher salt

8 Oz. Cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces

¼ Cup ice water

DIRECTIONS

Quiche Filling

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cook mushrooms, onion and thyme in a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray over moderately high heat until cooked through. About 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and put to the side to cool.  (Select 4 of the nicest mushroom slices to use to top the quiche.)

2. In a pot of simmering water, blanch the asparagus for about one minute then put them in ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the asparagus and put to the side to remove any excess water and cool.  Dry with paper towels before adding to quiche mix.

3. Prepare your pastry shell. (See instructions below).

4. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese over bottom of the Pastry Shell. Combine the half and half, cream and eggs; season with freshly grated nutmeg, about 1-teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in the remaining cheese and all the vegetables (except the two whole asparagus stalks and the pretty mushrooms slices you’ll use to garnish) into eggs. Pour egg mixture into pastry shell. (Top the quiche filling with the two whole asparagus stalks and four prettiest slices of the mushrooms in a decorative pattern.  See photos for inspiration!)

5. Bake the quiche for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until brown on top and the eggs are just set in the center. You can jiggle it in oven and if there is a slight movement to the middle section;  the quiche is done.  This will finish cooking while cooling.  Let it cool slightly in the pan so it is easy to slice. Run a small spatula or knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the quiche from the pan sides. Carefully open the spring pan, checking the outer edges to be sure nothing is sticking.  Cut your masterpiece into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.  NOTE:  Check the quiche at 1 1/2 hours and then every 10 minutes until center is almost set.

Pastry Shell

1. In a standing mixer or a food processor mix flour and salt. While machine running, add butter until mixed in. Add water, half at a time just until thoroughly incorporated. Flatten the pastry into an 8-inch disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or overnight.

2. Place a 9-inch spring form pan on a baking pan with sides and line it with parchment paper or tinfoil.   This will keep your baking sheet clean.  Spray the inside of the pan with cooking spray.  Spray it really well to prevent sticking at to help with removing the spring form ring when finished cooking.

3. On floured board, roll out pastry into a 16-inch round; transfer to the spring form pan and press it firmly up to the top of pan,  completely covering the inside of the pan and creating the crust.  Refrigerate the pastry for 15 minutes to firm up.

4. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line the pastry shell plastic wrap or parchment paper and fill the shell with dried beans or rice. (You can also use actually pie weights.  I got mine at amazon for less than $8 and then you have them forever.  You can buy them here:  pie weights) Bake the crust for about 40 minutes, or until lightly browned. Grab the plastic wrap or parchment paper and remove the beans, rice or pie weights. Bake crust for another 15 minutes until nicely browned. Cool Pastry shell. The pastry shell can be covered and kept on the kitchen counter at room temperature overnight.

NOTE: This recipe takes time but the results are so worth it.

As with most of my recipes, you know you can substitute ingredients and get great results.  Try different cheeses and other vegetables (blanched and chopped broccoli is another favorite on mine).  Make note that I originally tried making this with fat free half and half and it did not work.  There was way to much liquid and not enough fat to make the quiche firm.  It tasted good but it was like soup in the middle (and I did let it bake 1/2 hour longer).  So, for this recipe, stick with the full fat products.  Whole milk, half and half and heavy cream all work.  This recipe just has the combination I like best.  You can make this ahead of time, cool it and then cover and refrigerate overnight.  To serve warm, first cut the quiche into serving size wedges and place on pieces on a parchment or tinfoil (sprayed with cooking spray)  lined baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven about 12-15 minutes until warm.  This is such a fabulous breakfast, brunch or lunch dish.  Served with a nice side salad, this is a pretty satisfying meal.  Enjoy.

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