Inspired by a fall farmers market, this quiche is nutritious and packed with flavor. The hearty flavor of the cheddar cheese pairs perfectly with the crispness of the apples for a well-balanced meal. This apple, fennel and cheddar cheese quiche will be your family's new favorite dish for brunch or a comforting dinner on a chilly evening. The best part? This accessible recipe will make you feel like a baking expert.
Recipe courtesy of West of the Loop
For the crust
- 7 Ounces cold, unsalted European-style butter
- 2 1/4 Cups all-purpose King Arthur flour
- 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 Teaspoons salt
- 1/2 Cup ice water
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or red wine vinegar
For the filling
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 green apples, peeled and diced
- 1 bulb of fennel, trimmed, cored and sliced (reserve some fronds for garnish)
- 1 bunch of scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 Cup milk
- 1/2 Cup cream
- 1 Cup grated extra-sharp cheddar
For the crust
To make the crust, cut the butter into small cubes and place in the freezer.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
Add the chilled butter to the dry ingredients and process just until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Combine the lemon juice or vinegar and ice water and add six tablespoons of the mixture to the ingredients in the food processor. Pulse several times until combined. Pinch a bit of the dough and if it holds together, you do not need to add more liquid. If it is still dry, add more of the liquid, one-half tablespoon at a time.
Remove the dough to a bowl or a well-floured board.
Knead the dough until it forms a ball. Divide the dough into two and wrap each half well in plastic wrap. (You only need one of the halves for this recipe, so save the other.)
Place the dough in the refrigerator to relax for at least a half-hour but preferably overnight.
Remove one of the balls of dough from the refrigerator. If your dough was chilled for longer than thirty minutes, allow to soften for ten to fifteen minutes before rolling it out.
Prior to rolling out the dough, strike it with your rolling pin to flatten. This will soften it further.
Preheat the oven to 400 and grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
Liberally dust a pastry board or mat and your rolling pin with flour.
Roll the dough out, rotating it and turning it frequently and adding more flour as necessary to keep it from sticking, until it is the size of your pie plate and between ¼ and ⅛ of an inch thick.
Carefully center the pie dough in the plate and press it into the bottom and sides. Trim or fold over any excess dough around the edges.
Chill the dough in the pie plate 30 minutes if possible, and dock it several times with the tines of a fork to prevent bubbling.
Blind bake the crust by covering it with parchment paper and filling with pie weights or raw rice. Bake for twenty minutes, then remove the parchment paper and pie weight and bake an additional five minutes.
For the filling
While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.
Add the fennel and apple and sauté until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the scallions and sauté an additional few minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and cream.
When the crust is baked, remove from oven and reduce heat to 325.
Place apple and fennel mixture in the crust and cover with half the cheese.
Pour the egg and milk mixture over the filling. Top with the remaining cheese.
Bake for one hour.
Garnish with chopped fennel fronds.
Allow to cool before cutting.