When I made this deliciously simple quiche for Christmas Eve brunch, my uncle deemed it, “the best quiche he has ever had.” Of course I was flattered and thought that was a nice compliment, but my mom later informed me that it was a bold statement coming from him because he is infamous for being somewhat critical and sending things back in restaurants. I was pretty pumped that I could please everyone with this classic dish, even the pickiest of eaters.
In my experience, the key to a fabulous quiche is a flaky, buttery crust and lots of cheese. In this instance, I used Real Simple’s Basic Flaky piecrust recipe and 1.5x the amount of gruyere cheese that the recipe originally called for. With those two components, you really can’t go wrong because quiches are such a versatile dish. The Martha Stewart recipe that I loosely followed was for making two quiches, so I decided that since I was feeding nine people, it would probably be a good idea to have two, one vegetarian and one that I threw some breakfast sausage into. Both turned out equally delicious and I had some surprise vegetarians in the family who appreciated the strictly vegetable option.
Beyond the basic shallots, spinach, gruyere, eggs and half and half, the surprise ingredient that really added an interesting new level to this dish was the nutmeg. I even put in a little bit more than 1/8 of a teaspoon because I really wanted to be able to taste that added kick of flavor. This turned out to be a good decision because I could really taste the hint of nutmeg in every bite.
One of my favorite things about quiche is that it is literally fitting for every meal of the day and always sounds good, hot or cold. I enjoyed leftovers for days to come, sometimes popping it in the microwave for breakfast or eating it straight out of the fridge for dinner. The ingredient options are also endless and can be made using seasonal favorites or simply by throwing in what you already have. Always crowd pleasing, I think that this quiche has become a tradition for my family’s Christmas Eve Brunch celebration.
Here is the full recipe:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 shallots, minced
- 3 bunches flat-leaf spinach, thick stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
- 8 large eggs
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or a little more)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks set in upper and lower thirds. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium. Add shallots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add as much spinach to skillet as will fit; season with salt and pepper, and toss, adding more spinach as room becomes available, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer spinach mixture to a colander. Press firmly with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Divide spinach mixture and cheese between prepared crusts. Place each crust on a separate rimmed baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Dividing evenly, pour egg mixture into crusts.
- Arrange baking sheets on racks, and bake until center of each quiche is just set, 55 to 60 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom halfway through. Let quiches stand 15 minutes before serving.