CHAMPIGNON Mushroom and Leek Quiche

Champignon Mushroom and Leek Quiche

Break out the patio chairs, stir up a pitcher of mimosas, and ready yourself for a sunny Sunday brunch. This luscious quiche captures the essence of the garden. Aromatic leeks and earthy Champignon mushroom are nestled in an airy custard and edged with a crispy herb-crust. Sit back and savor the flavors of spring.

Mushroom and Leek Quiche

CHAMPIGNON Mushroom and Leek Quiche

2 ½ cups chopped leeks (about 2 leeks), or 1 ½ cups chopped ramps if in season
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
6 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. Champignon Mushroom, cold, rind removed, and cut into ¼-inch chunks
salt and pepper

For the Herb Crust
2 cups flour
¾ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
11 tablespoons high-fat butter*, cold and cut into ¼ inch chunks
4-5 tablespoons ice water
1 egg white

1. Prepare the crust. Whisk together the flour, salt, and thyme in a large mixing bowl.
2. Using a hand pastry blender or fingertips, cut the butter into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs. (I prefer to use my fingertips to start and finish with the pastry blender to evenly cut the crumbs.)
3. Add the ice water and toss with a fork a few times. Then using your fingers again (just channel your inner child), work the mixture just until it sticks together.
4. Move the dough onto a work surface and push the dough away with the palm of your hand and then fold. Repeat two more times. (Folding and rolling the dough like this will impart a flakier crust.)
5. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten slightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, prepare your leeks (or ramps if you can get your hands on them during your short growing season). Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet and add the chopped leeks. Cover and simmer until the leeks are quite tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
7. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
8. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to form a 13″ circle. Transfer the dough to a 10″ spring-form pan. Fold the top quarter of the edges down. (You can also trim the top evenly with a knife, but I like to fold the edges for a rustic look.)
9. Prick the bottom and sides of the pan with a fork and transfer the pan to the refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes to harden the dough again. (This will help keep the crusts form when you bake it.)
10. Line the pan with aluminum foil, shiny side down and add baking weights or beans to keep the foil in place. Bake the crust for 9 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and brush the top edge of the crust with egg whites. Return to the oven and bake for 1 minute more.
11. While the crust bakes, prepare your custard. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, and salt and pepper.
12. Add the leeks and cheese to the egg-milk mixture, making sure the leeks are cool before adding them to the custard so they don’t curdle the eggs.
13. Pour into the prepared crust and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden.
14. Remove and let cool to room temperature. Serve alongside a bed of peppery arugula or sliced and lightly salted tomatoes.

*High-fat butter: Most American butters have 80% fat, whereas European butters tend to have 82% or higher. Now I know 2% sounds like it wouldn’t make much of a difference, but trust me, it does. For this crust, seek out premium American or European style butters, and do not substitute with shortening. You can thank me later.

Quiche detail