This quiche was wholly experimental but it turned out so delicious that I decided to share the recipe. I prepared the leek in accordance with a Spanish recipe for leek slow-cooked in white wine and butter. It becomes very soft and slicing it after cooking is a bit of a delicate operation but not unmanageable. The most difficult part was in fact to not eat all of the lovely soft-cooked leek at once but to keep some for the quiche…
For the crust:
- 200 grams of strong flour (German type 550)
- 100 grams of butter
- 1 tip of a knife of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- a few tablespoons of water
- butter for preparing the quiche pan
For the filling:
- 2 large or 3 medium-sized leeks
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 garlic clove (whole)
- 5 branches of fresh thyme
- 150 ml of white wine
- 80 grams of butter
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt
- 200 grams of lardons
- 450 grams of crème fraîche
- 3 eggs
- freshly ground nutmeg
- freshly ground pepper, salt
- 50 grams of ground cheddar cheese
Preparing the crust:
- Pass the flour through a fine mesh onto the clean kitchen counter or a baking mat. Cut the cold butter into small pieces into the flour. Rub the butter and the flour between your hands until you have a crumble.
- Add the salt. Form a depression in the center of your flour mix and add the egg yolk. Quickly start kneading the ingredients adding tablespoons of water one by one until the dough is smooth, but not sticky. Should the dough become too sticky, add a bit more flour.
- Form a ball, wrap it into cellophane and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
- Butter a quiche pan. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides. If you do not use pie weights (see next step), prick the bottom with a fork all over.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. Place pie weights on the top (if you do not have pie weights, you may also use dry foods such as dried chickpeas, dried peas or rice).
- Put the quiche pan into the oven and bake only the crust for 15 minutes (blind baking). Take the crust out of the oven and set aside.
Preparing the filling:
- Cut the tip and the green tops off the leek. Remove any tough outer leaves and rinse properly. Cut into halves or thirds.
- Heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic clove and the leek. Fry briefly from all sides (it should not pick up too much color).
- Deglaze with the white wine. Add the thyme, the butter, the sea salt and the sugar. Top with warm water until the leek is almost completely covered with water. Bring to the boil.
- Once boiling, cover and reduce to simmering temperature. Let simmer for approximately 1 hour until the leek is completely soft inside (test with a skewer).
- Remove the leek from the liquid and let cool down. The liquid can be used as stock, so do not throw it out.
- Place the lardons in a cold non-stick frying pan. Gently start warming up. Increase the temperature gradually, maximally up to medium heat to allow the lardons to release the fat. Fry without allowing the lardons to pick up color. Remove from the heat immediately when that happens. After a few minutes of frying, take the lardons out of the pan and discard the extra fat.
- Carefully cut the leek into ca. 2 cm thick slices. Use a very sharp knife to prevent the leek from falling apart or becoming pressed.
- Whisk the eggs with the crème fraîche until just smooth and season with plenty of nutmeg, salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Evenly distribute the slices of leek (insides facing up) over the bottom of the crust. Then spread the lardons over the bottom of the crust and the leek. Make sure all the gaps between the pieces of leek are filled.
- Pour the crème fraîche and egg mix on top. Spread evenly.
- Finally, sprinkle the ground cheese on top.
- Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for approximately 45 to 55 minutes until golden-brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool down for a few minutes. Then cut into slices and serve warm.