We’re going full disclosure today: this is not a quick-and-easy recipe. You won’t be done in 30 minutes or less. You’ll need to haul out your food processor, and prep the swiss chard, crack the eggs, and babysit it while it’s in the oven. It’s simple, meaning it’s mostly eggs and crust and highly palatable first thing in the morning, but not quick. And it’s certainly not light, considering the eggs and the cream and the butter. So why, exactly, am I sharing this particular recipe with you?
Because it is divine, people. It is a special occasion in itself, this quiche. Its highest calling is to serve as a glamorous-but-familiar centerpiece for a spring weekend brunch or Easter celebration, crowd-pleasing and elegant all at once. And it’s everything quiche aspires to be: the custard impossibly silky-textured and light on the palate, the pastry flaky and crisp and flavorful, Swiss chard’s flinty green character serving as counterpoint to the buttery richness of crust and custard. Because it is really good.
I like the drama of a tall, free-standing quiche, but if you’re without a springform pan, you can easily halve the recipe or make two in pie dishes of a traditional size, cutting down on the baking time. Swap out spinach for the chard, if you prefer, though any spring vegetable (asparagus, leeks) or filling would shine.
Swiss Chard Quiche
adapted from Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson
- 1 tsp salt
- 2/3 C ice-cold water
- 3 C + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 C + 5 Tbsp butter(10.5 oz), cut into roughly 1/2″ pieces and very cold
- 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 1/2 C (packed) swiss chard, chopped and any tough ribs discarded
- 3/4 C Gruyère cheese
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
- about 4 C dry beans or rice
- custard (recipe follows)
In a food processor, add the flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse several times until you have a coarse mixture with some pea-sized pieces of butter. Add the vinegar to your measure of water and with the processor running, add to the flour mixture for 15 seconds. Pulse until a rough dough forms; ideally you’ll still have discernible chunks of butter throughout. Remove from the processor and press together lightly to form a ball. Flatten into a disk about 6″ in diameter (see note), wrap well in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour; the dough will freeze well, up to 2 months.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the tart dough to about 14″ in diameter and 1/8″ thick. Carefully transfer into an 8″ springform pan, pressing lightly into the bottom and sides. Roll your pin over the top of the pan to shave off the extra dough; reserve a bit of the scraps. Refrigerate the unbaked shell until chilled (up to 2 days or freeze, well wrapped, up to 2 months).
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Layer pieces of parchment or aluminum foil over the tart dough and fill with the dry beans or rice. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights, patch any holes with raw dough, and bake another 12 minutes or so until the shell is golden brown and the bottom is very dry and set. Let cool slightly. Layer half the cheese, the chard, remaining cheese and pour the custard over all. Bake for 20 minutes; turn down the heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake, about 45 minutes, until the filling is puffed and set. Let cool 15-20 minutes in the pan, remove the springform and serve. To reheat, cover loosely with foil and warm in a 325 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
Note: you can substitute a regular 9″ pie or quiche dish for this recipe. Split the dough into two separate discs (freeze one for another use) before chilling and scale down the custard by about half.
adapted from Daniel Boulud; makes enough for one deep-dish, 8″ quiche or two regular quiche
- 10 eggs
- 2 yolks
- 2 C heavy cream
- 1 C whole milk
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
Whisk all together until well-combined and proceed with the recipe above.