Mediterranean Quiche

Yields 1, 9-inch pastry
Kick-off your day savoring the flavors of the summer!

Thank you to the kitchn for baking techniques and suggestions:
http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-a-fool-proof-quiche-168459

Ingredients

1 Pâte Brisée

FILLING

0.5 lb Sausage, ground
Alternatively
0.25 Sausage
4 oz Mushrooms, cremini, thinly sliced (not part of original recipe, due to Dad)
Or
8 oz Mushrooms
1 T Butter

REMAINING FILLING

4-6 oz Feta
12 oz Spinach, stems cut-off (a single bulk cut through the bunch works, yields  ~9oz leaves)
1/2 Onion, yellow, medium, diced
1 Garlic clove, crushed, finely julienned (not part of original recipe)
8 Tomatoes, cherry / grape variety, quartered
Fresh Basil, torn

THE CUSTARD

3 Eggs, large, room temp
1.5 c Cream
0.25 t Salt
0.25 t Peppercorns, ground
Cayenne / Spicy Peppers, dried, ground (Roasted peppers would be a fun replacement!)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350℉

Line a 9-inch springform (or cake tin) with parchment and spray the sides with non-stick spray. Roll out the pie crust and fit it into the tin. Trim away any overhang and reserve for patching up any cracks that appear during baking. Freeze the crust for 30 minutes or chill the fridge overnight.

Line the pie crust with parchment and fill with pie weights or beans. Make sure the weights are snug against the sides of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes and remove the weights and parchment. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until just starting to brown. Cool.

 

WHILE THE CRUST BAKES
Over medium-high heat, brown the sausage exclusively on one side until crispy. (The top side may be slightly pink; it will finish cooking within the quiche.)  This enhances flavor without sacrificing the quality of the meat.

Keeping grease in the pan, scrape meat into a small bowl.

With a paper towel in-hand, lightly grab & jumble the  the sausage a few times to absorb some (not all) of the excess grease.

Cover the bowl with a plate and set aside.

Return pan to heat, if needed add additional oil / butter.  Cook onions for 3 min, add garlic (+dash of salt?), cook another minute.Add spinach leaves.  Stir/ rotate the spinach off-and-on for just 2 more minutes — water evaporates and leaves wilt.

Scrape the contents into a medium bowl.  Toss with sausage, feta, tomatoes, and basil.

Separately, beat eggs until foamy.  Add cream, salt, peppercorns, and cayenne.  Beat until well combined.

Empty the cooked ingredients into pie crust.  Pour-in half of egg mixture.

Give the dish a few shakes and bang the bottom against a towel or wooden surface.  This distributes the ingredients and most importantly gets rid of air bubbles.

Fill-up the crust with remaining egg mix.  Jostle the dish a tad more.

Bake the quiche at 350℉ for 30 to 40 minutes, until the edges are set but the quiche still jiggles a little in the center. Cool for at least 20 minutes, but ideally overnight.

Quiche can be served cold, room temperature, or warmed. If serving warm, heat in a 300℉ oven until just warm to the touch.

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