Spring Quiche! With Ramps, Asparagus and Mushrooms

The great thing about this Quiche, other than its great taste, is its shape.  Making it in a 9″ springform pan gives it an appeal you don’t get when you use a regular old pie pan.

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Jeffery Zakarian that I found on Martha Stewart’s site.  It’s interesting to me to see how the recipe changes from the video where he says the crust is made with all lard to her recipe which has 1 Tablespoon of lard to my version which is all butter.  What I did find when I  made this Quiche was that the dough shrinks I  trimmed it so it was level with the top of the pan and I should have followed instructions better and let it hang over the edge to compensate for shrinkage.  The original direction is to use a serrated knife to trim the crust before you remove the tin.  When I make it again I will see if there isn’t a middle path…if you end up having shrinkage do as I did and just add less of the cream/egg mixture it really isn’t important.

I made several other changes most notably: I used a local cheese from Saxelby called Tarentaise which is an Alpine style cheese similar to Gruyère made by the good folks at Thistle Hill Farm in Vermont.  And I sautéed my ramps which I then roughly chopped I did not leave them whole nor did I grill them.

Finally I think that half and half could be used instead of whole milk.

The best thing anyone who ate this Quiche said to me was that they didn’t normally like Quiche, but they loved this.  I hope you feel the same!

Ramp, Asparagus and Mushroom Quiche

In an ideal world I think this dish is best made a day in advance, certainly you could make the pastry shell in advance then the filling and baking of the of custard the day you serve it.  However you do it: leave lots of time.

To make the pastry:

In a large bowl add 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached, Kind Arthur is the best commercial option) and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

With your hands work in 3/4 cups unsalted butter, don’t over work, you want the butter to be incorporated but with the occasional small chunks of butter, all at once add 1/3 cup  of ice water stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon to bring the dough together, you may need to add more water, if when the dough comes together it is sticky or too wet sprinkle some flour onto it to help form a smooth ball.  Work gingerly trying to over process it – less is definitely more when working with pastry dough

Take the ball of dough and press it between two sheets of parchment or wax paper, with the heel of your hand form the dough into a disc, fold the parchment over so dough is covered and place in the fridge for an hour or so.

For the filling:

While the dough is in the fridge, add 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil into a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  When it is hot add to it 8 ounces of cleaned and trimmed Ramps, cook for about 2 minutes the bottom leaves will have visibly started to wilt, turn over and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Cook for another 2 or so minutes when the green have completely wilted remove from the pan and place on a plate, dab any extra oil from the ramps with a clean kitchen rag (paper towels if you must) and when they are cool enough to handle roughly chop into three sections.

In the same skillet add another 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and add 8 ounces of finely sliced Crimini Mushrooms (or any kind of mushroom you want) cook for about 3 minutes until the mushroom have started to wilt, add salt and freshly grated pepper, 1 finely chopped shallot, 2 crushed and finely chopped cloves of garlic and 3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter.  Cook until the shallots are wilted and the butter has frothed up.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of fresh finely chopped Oregano and the Ramps.  Place in a bowl and reserve until needed.Meanwhile back to the pastry:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and place on a work surface that is lightly dusted with flour. Roll the dough out to a 16″ round.  Roll the dough up in your pastry roller and carefully place in a 9″ springform pan. The dough is fairly elastic but be sure to get it pressed well into the pan so that there are no air pockets.  Leaving a generous edge of dough at the top of the tin to compensate for shrinkage trim off any extra dough.

With a fork prick the dough all over.  Place a large piece of tin foil over the dough and weigh down with pie weights, dried beans or rice. Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes.

While that is baking…

Bring a small pot of salted water to the boil and prepared an ice bath with a sieve sitting in it.  Trim any tough bits from 6 ounces of the skinniest Asparagus you can find.  Chop into 2″ piece as and when the water is at a rolling boil add the Asparagus and cook for 30 seconds.  Remove quickly and plunge into the ice bath. When they are chilled strain, dry and add them to the mushroom, ramp mixture.

Back to the dough…

 After 50 minutes remove the tin foil and weights and place back in the oven to brown another 12-15 minutes,  keep an eye on this you don’t want to over do it.

While that is browning…

In the bowl of a blender add 6 large eggs, 2 large egg yolks, 2 cups heavy cream, 1 1/2 cups of whole milk or half and half, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a generous grating of fresh black pepper, a grate or two of fresh nutmeg and a large pinch of salt.  Blend until the eggs are well incorporated.

Crumble up into a small bowl 4 ounces of fresh Goat cheese and grate 8 ounces of Tarentaise or other Alpine Style cheese like Gruyère.

Remove the tart shell from the oven.  Sprinkle over the bottom of the shell half of each cheese and half of the asparagus ramp mushroom mixture.  Add half of the blended egg/cream mixture, then add the rest of the asparagus ramp mushroom mixture, the rest of the egg/cream mixture and top with the rest of the cheese.

Reduce the heat of oven to 325 F

Place the Quiche on a baking sheet with an edge around it and put it back into the oven.

Bake the Quiche for 2 hours checking in to make sure the top hasn’t gotten too brown.  Continue to cook until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, this could take as long as 2 hours and 40 minutes, but start to pay attention at the 2 hour point.

When done remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.  If there is excess dough around the top of the pan trim it first.

I guarantee this will make you re-think Quiche,

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note: urbanfoodguy@gmail.com
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