Is it quiche or a cool pie? Read to find out how this self-crusting vegetable cheese ‘omelet’ quiche – pie started as a quiche and morphed into something even more amazing!
Where did all the blue/purple potatoes go? All summer long, every single local supermarket or farmer’s market was either out of them, didn’t sell them, or “will be getting a delivery in soon”, yet those deliveries never came, unless there were people lined up for miles right on time for the delivery, with the same thought as me; ‘Where did all the blue/purple potatoes go?’
The reason I’m waxing on about purple/blue potatoes is, for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog Cooking with Chopin, Living with Elmo, by Ginny. Isn’t that a cute blog name? I skimmed through Ginny’s lovely blog, feeling very ‘savory’, and this quiche struck me. I have not made or had quiche in a long, long time. I wanted quiche..period.
I love rainbows, have always loved rainbows, have always wanted to make those very cool rainbow vanilla cakes I see all over the food blogosphere. But, I have a problem, and that problem is the amount of food color used. I just haven’t been able to wrap my baking brain around all that food color in one cake. So, rainbow food using natural ingredients is what I strive for.
Will I ever get to the point?
I love pouring photos.
When I saw this quiche recipe, it hit me; I could turn this spinach quiche into a delicious rainbow. Roy G. Biv quiche. Roasted red, orange and yellow peppers, along with the spinach and green onions in the recipe. BUT, since it was a breakfast quiche, how about a layer of purple potato hash browns or latkes beneath the spinach?
An immeasurable amount of excitement hit me at that moment; this was gonna be pretty cool, and delicious. Well..it was not meant to happen, because purple potatoes now ceased to exist within 20 miles of me, every which way. It would just have to be a Roy. G B quiche.
Quiche fail in a rectangular tart pan.
Here’s the funny part. I tried to shove this quiche of many layers, due to my zany ‘rainbow’ idea, into 14 x 4 x 1.5-inch rectangular tart pan. I love rectangle tarts, and hadn’t used that tart pan in a while. Ha..the joke’s on me. Both a 9-inch pie dish and a 14 x 4-inch rectangular tart pan take 4 cups of liquid, but I forgot to factor in my extra layers. You should have seen me trying to will all the custard to soak into the layers, pressing them down with a huge spoon as rivers of custard spilled out of the pan from the top, sides and bottom.
I even used a bench scraper to scoop some of the spilled custard up and pour it back on top, which resulted in more seepage. I finally gave up and just stuck it in the oven as is. Imagine if there had been a layer of purple potatoes? Quiche custard tsunami. Well, I didn’t get a rainbow, more like a mushed tri-color bar of quiche which I over-baked, but it was tasty nonetheless.
I had to make it again, and this time I was going to use a deep dish pie plate because I was determined to get my rainbow. There was now plenty of room for all the layers; plenty of room for all the custard, albeit, still no blue/purple potatoes. It baked up perfect and it looked beautiful, until I cut into it.
Apparently, the orange and yellow peppers disappeared into the cheese and custard, so instead of a rainbow, I got the Italian flag..or Christmas. It separated into red, cheesy orange, egg yellow and spinach green layers on its own! Did it matter? No, because not only was it cool, but because the egg middle was exactly like a cheesy, custardy omelet! Like the first quiche, it tasted great, and honestly, I like the rustic/cheesy omelet look of it. This is what I really love about this recipe; the amount of cheese is just enough to get a fondue like drip in the omelet middle, unlike most quiches where the cheese blends into the custard giving you flavor, but no cheesy ooze.
BUT, BUT, BUT, here is the best part! The combination of cheese and custard formed a top crust! SO, from quiche to a layered vegetable cheese omelet pie!
Oh..I almost forgot, I did something some might consider sacrilege, including myself. I….I left out the bacon (I think I hear a few gasps). The first time, I simply forgot, but loved the flavor as is. The second time I forgot on purpose. SO, this omelet pie/quiche is officially vegetarian (or is it ova vegetarian?). My ‘vegetarian’ category finally gets a shot of life! A low-fat post and now a vegetarian post, all in one week? Awesome, but I still love butter, and I still love meat. Just sayin’.
In conclusion, I ended up magically creating a layered pie instead of a quiche (but I’m still partially calling it a quiche), probably due to pouring the custard over each layer while layering. I love happy accidents! This time I got two; a gooey, cheesy omelet in and between the veggies, and a self-crusting top crust!
If you want to make this quiche in a 14 x 4 rectangle tart pan, reduce recipe by half, all the ingredients (not pie crust – just filling), including the custard, to avoid major flooding. Bake for 35-45 minutes.
Self-Crusting Cheese Vegetable Omelet Pie – Quiche
- 1 cup flour
- ⅓ cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds. crushed (A mortar and pestle works well for this)
- ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, diced
- ¼ cup cold shortening
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons ice water
1 egg white, beaten
- 6 eggs, well-beaten
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lb fresh spinach wilted in one clove chopped garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil, squeezed dry if need be
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- ½ cup chopped green onion (white and green parts)
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, skinned and seeded
- 1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, skinned and seeded
- 1 orange bell pepper, roasted, skinned and seeded
- 1½ cups shredded good Cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper for seasoning each layer
- Combine the flours, flax-seed and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening. Using your fingers, blend until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the water and mix with your fingertips or large fork just until the dough comes together. (You can also use a food processor for this, but just quick pulses, do not run it on full speed, you want your dough to remain raggedy with bits of butter and shortening showing) Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board, form it into a disk with your hands, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use..
- Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out to fit a 9-inch springform pan (if using a springform pan, grease it first) or very deep dish pie pan. Crimp the edges if using a pie pan, and freeze for 15-20 minutes.
- This dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove pie crust from freezer, then brush with egg white and prick all over with a fork. Place pie crust in oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove and cool.
- Place all three peppers under the broiler and broil until charred black on each side, turning as each side chars. Place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap so they steam, about 15 minutes, making the skins easy to peel off. Seed and skin each pepper, then chop roughly. Put each roasted, chopped pepper in a bowl lined with a paper towel, blot to dry.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive ol in a pan, then add the garlic and saute until soft but not brown, Dump all the spinach in the pan and wilt it in the garlic oil for a few minutes. Add some red pepper flakes, of desired. Remove from pan into a bowl lined with paper towels, and blot it dry.
- In a bowl or large glass measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Sprinkle the bottom of the crust with the 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Spread the garlic spinach over the parmesan cheese; top with green onions and a little of the custard. Next spread the chopped yellow bell pepper over the spinach and green onions. Top that with the cheddar cheese, and chopped orange bell pepper, and a little more custard. Press down if need be, and top with chopped red bell pepper. Pour the custard over the filling, and sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese and any extra cheddar or green onions that are left over. IMPORTANT: season each layer with a little kosher or sea salt and pepper before topping with the next layer.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the top is lightly puffed and browned, and a knife inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.
Please be sure to check out Cooking with Chopin, Living with Elmo! While you’re at it, can you click on the blue frog below to see what other SRC’ers chose to make from their assigned blogs? You will not be disappointed!