This recipe dishes up all the crave-able quiche goodness you could want in a much more healthful way, thanks to a few strategic tweaks to the usual formula. Its custardy egg filling, with a rich, round flavor and seasonal ingredients, is cradled by a tender, melt-in-your mouth pastry crust, just as you would hope for. But instead of the typical and heavy cream-and-cheese combination, the filling uses low-fat milk, and is made creamy and extra-luscious by a few ounces of soft goat cheese.
Additional healthful layers of flavor and spring vibrancy come from sauteed leeks, spinach and parsley. (You could substitute any type of onion, green leafy vegetable or tender herb.)
The big game changer here, though, is the crust, which is made with olive oil — not butter, lard, or shortening — and mostly whole grain flour. Here, the savoriness of the olive oil crust amplifies that of the egg custard in this supremely satisfying quiche, which, happily, is good in every possible meaning of the word.
Besides being better for you, it is also much easier to make than a regular pastry crust, because there is no rolling. To make it, simply whisk the oil with a bit of milk, then combine the liquid with the dry ingredients until you get something resembling moistened crumbs. Then, press the crumbs into a pie dish — just as you would a graham cracker crust — and blind-bake.
Once the crust has a chance to cool a bit, it’s ready to be filled and baked just like any other pastry, so feel free to use this crust recipe for fruit pies as well (perhaps adding a teaspoon of sugar).
Storage Notes: The finished crust may be made ahead and refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 3 days or frozen for 3 months. Defrost before using.
Spinach, Leek and Goat Cheese Quiche with Olive Oil Crust
Active: 40 mins | Total: 1 hour 40 mins, plus cooling time
For the crust
2/3 cup whole-grain pastry flour (or 1/3 cup each all-purpose flour and regular whole-wheat flour)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for brushing
2 tablespoons cold low-fat milk (1%)
For the filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large leek, white and light green parts only (about 1 cup)
3 cups loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 ounces soft goat cheese, at room temperature
1 cup low-fat milk (1%), divided
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Make the crust: Position the baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the pastry flour, all-purpose flour and salt. In a small bowl or spouted pitcher, pour in the 1/3 cup of olive oil, then whisk in the milk until well integrated. Make a well in the flour mixture, pour in the oil mixture, then combine with a fork until crumbly.
Brush a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate and one side of a 10-inch square piece of foil with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Pat the mixture into the bottom and about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the prepared pie plate.
Prick the pie crust in a few spots with a fork. Place the foil (oiled side down) over the crust, top it with pie weights, raw rice or dried beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes, until golden. Let cool completely on a wire rack. If making the filling right away, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Make the filling: In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, then remove from the heat and let cool completely.
In a large bowl, whisk together the goat cheese and 1/2 cup of the milk until completely uniform. Whisk in the remaining milk, along with the eggs, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the pepper.
Place the pie dish onto a large, rimmed baking sheet. Distribute the spinach-leek mixture over the bottom of the crust. Pour the filling into the crust and bake 45 to 55 minutes, until just set. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.