This deep-dish quiche is a hearty, flavor-packed meal in a pan. There are a few culinary tricks built into the recipe, like making a very stable cream cheese dough that — in an unusual twist — has eggs in it, and plenty of chilling and pre-baking. The result is a showy, lightly eggy, deeply satisfying meal that's worth every moment of effort.
The dough can be done ahead in any of several ways: It requires a good, long chill of at least four hours, so you can make it the day before and refrigerate it overnight, or you can chill it for 30 minutes and freeze for up to two weeks. The fillings are also flexible; try any cooked green, like leftover long-simmered collard greens (my favorite), or try a different meat, like a smoky, freshly seared sausage.
Deep-Dish Quiche Lorraine with Swiss Chard and Bacon
2 teaspoons cider vinegar, cold
For the filling:
12 ounces (6 to 8 slices) thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch squares
16 medium shallots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 3/4 pounds (about 3 bunches) fresh Swiss chard, trimmed, spines discarded and leaves roughly chopped
8 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 3/4 cups heavy cream, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
6 scrapes nutmeg (see Recipe Notes)
6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) shredded aged Gouda, Fontina, Gruyere or a mixture of these
Prepare the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse 10 times to combine and lighten. Add the cold butter, pulse 10 times, about 1 second per pulse. Add the cream cheese and pulse about 12 times, just until the mixture resembles pebbles. Add egg, egg yolk, and vinegar and pulse just to combine. Do not overmix. Pat the dough into a rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, until thoroughly chilled.
When the dough is chilled, dust a work surface and rolling pin lightly with flour.
Place the dough on the work surface. With the rolling pin, roll outward to form a circle, turning the dough slightly to ensure that it won't stick, until it is 6 inches wider than the diameter of the bottom of the 9- or 9 1/2-inch springform pan (for a 9-inch pan, the dough will be 15 inches in diameter; for a 9 1/2-inch pan, it will be 16 inches in diameter). Fold in half into a semicircle and lift with your hands or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Center it on the pan and tuck the dough into the edge and up over the top, making sure not to pull or yank while fitting the dough. (This dough is forgiving enough to patch if necessary; just make sure it is thoroughly sealed and of course, try not to tear it!) Trim the top edge or flute decoratively if desired. Using a fork, poke the bottom and sides of the crust about 12 times. Line completely with parchment paper, making sure no small crevices are uncovered and leaving an overhang of 6 inches of parchment on either side. Fill with baking beans or pie weights (they should be at least 3 inches deep). Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
When the crust has chilled, preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly cover the top edge (which should be poking up — not hanging over or hooked over the edge or you won't be able to get it out later) with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and wait until the parchment is cool enough to handle; then grasping the paper on either side of the crust, lift out the baking weights. Return the crust to the oven and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before filling.
Make the filling: Heat a large saucepan over high heat until it is hot. Line a platter with paper towels and position it near the stovetop. Carefully place the bacon in the pan, and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 11 to 12 minutes, allowing the bacon to render all of its fat and become crisp. With a slotted spoon, transfer the the bacon to the prepared paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan and discard or save the rest for another use. (To store, cover and refrigerate.)
Add the shallots to the pan, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 45 minutes, until softened and richly brown, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent burning. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a heatproof bowl and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high and add half of the Swiss chard, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes, until wilted. Add the rest of the chard and stir to move the fresh chard to the bottom of the pan. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until all of the chard has wilted and released its liquid. With tongs, transfer to paper towels, cheesecloth, or a strainer, and when it is cool enough to handle, squeeze well and discard the liquid. Transfer to the bowl with the shallots and let cool.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the crust, still in the springform pan, on it.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and whisk well. Add half of each of the reserved shallots, chard, bacon and half of the cheese and mix gently to combine.
Temporarily remove the foil from around the top of the crust and set it aside. Place half of the remaining shredded cheese on the bottom of the crust. Top with all of the remaining bacon, shallots, and chard. With a ladle, scoop the egg mixture into the quiche. Return the foil ring around the top edge of the dough to prevent over-browning. Immediately place in the oven on the baking sheet and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours, or until a thin knife blade inserted into the the center of the quiche comes out without runny egg. The quiche will be quite soft, but please don't return it to the oven; it will continue to cook while it cools, and overcooking will dry it out. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing the springform and serving.
- An easy way to remove the spines from green leafy vegetables is to fold the leaf in half down the spine (as if you were closing a book). Place the folded leaf on a work surface and, with a sharp knife, slice as close to the spine as you can and discard. Prepare the leaves as directed in the recipe.
- This crust can be frozen after 30 minutes of refrigeration, but if so, the crust should be baked directly from the freezer and it will take 15 to 20 minutes longer to bake. You can freeze it for up to 2 weeks.