Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Crab Quiche

Serves 6-8

Crab Quiche

1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 # jumbo lump crab *
2 Tbl good quality whiskey
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp tomato paste
2 Tbl chopped chives
2 Tbl chopped parsley leaves
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese, divided
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 partially-cooked tart shell (see recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 375ᵒF, and arrange a rack in the center of the oven. 

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan.  Add the shallots and sauté until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and being careful not to let them brown.  Add the crab meat (Make sure to first drain the crab of any excess liquid from the can.), season with a good pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the whiskey and stir to combine.  Sauté about 1 minute more, until the whisky is evaporated.  Allow to cool slightly. 

Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl, then add the tomato paste and whisk to combine.  Add the cream, chives, parsley and half a cup of grated gruyere, along with a good pinch of salt and a good few grinds of pepper.  Whisk to combine.  Add the cooled crab mixture and gently stir to combine with a rubber spatula.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pastry shell.  Evenly sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of gruyere over the top.  Bake in the upper third of the oven until the top of the quiche is golden brown, and the center is set, about 45 minutes.  Allow the quiche to cool about 5 minutes before slicing.  Serve hot.

* Use a great quality canned, refrigerated crab meat.  Make sure it’s jumbo lump crab. And do make sure it tastes good all on its own.  If the crab itself is not delicious, this quiche won’t be delicious either.  But if it’s awesome crab, the end result will be beyond awesome!  I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of this brand, and I’d highly suggest it.  (I found it at Costco.)

Pre-Cooked Pastry Shell
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

This recipe makes a tall and very impressive looking quiche shell.  It’s height allows for plenty of room for extra filling, which of course makes for an extra-delicious quiche!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) butter, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes, cold
4 Tbl shortening, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes, cold
about 1/2 cup ice-cold water

Add the flour, salt and sugar to the bowl of a food processor, and flick the machine on and off a few times to combine.  Add the cold cubes of butter and shortening.  Flick the machine on and off again about 4-5 times, until the ingredients are just combined.  Turn the machine on, and with it running, add a little less than half a cup of the ice-cold water (Do not add any ice cubes!) and turn off the food processor.  The dough should pull together into a rough mass.  If not, sprinkle a little water over the ingredients, and repeat.  Repeat again, if necessary.  The dough is ready when it just begins to mass together.  Be careful - Make sure not to over-mix the dough, or add too much water. 

Transfer to dough onto a clean, dry counter top.  Gather the dough and kneed very briefly into a fairly smooth round ball.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to over-night.  (The dough will keep refrigerated for 3 days, or can be frozen for several weeks, and thawed overnight in the refrigerator.)

Preheat the oven to 400ᵒF.  Butter the insides of a 9-inch spring-form cake pan (with 2 1/2-inch tall sides and a removable bottom).

Working quickly (because it’s best to keep the dough as cold as possible), roll out the dough:  Place the dough on a clean, dry, lightly floured countertop.  Lightly press the dough into a fairly flat circle of about 1-2 inch thickness.  It should be just malleable enough to roll out without cracking.  If the dough is too hard, lightly beat it with the rolling pin.  Lightly flour the top of the dough.  Roll the pin with firm but gently pressure back and forth over the circle of dough.  Lift and turn the dough about 45 degrees.  Roll the pin across the dough again.  Continue rolling, lifting and turning the dough, sprinkling the counter and top or the dough as necessary with a bit of flour to prevent sticking.  Roll the dough into an even, large circle of about 15 inches, about 1/8 inch thick. 

Lift the dough with the rolling pin and drape it over the prepared pan.  Gently press the dough along the bottoms and up the sides of the pan. Using kitchen shears, trim off excess dough around the circumference of the pan.  Use your fingers to press the top edge of the dough into a smooth rim.  Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork, about 15 times.  Chill in the refrigerator, about 20 minutes.

To keep the sides of the pastry shell from collapsing, line the chilled pie shell with parchment paper, or tin foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang over the edges.  Fill to nearly full with dried beans or pie weights.  Refrigerate if not baking immediately. 
Bake until the pastry is just set, about 12-15 minutes.  Remove the parchment paper/foil and beans/pie weights.  Prick the bottom of the pastry crust again with the fork.  Return to the oven and cook until the shell just starts to color, and begins to shrink from the sides of the pan, about 5-10 minutes more.  (You only want to partially cook the pastry shell.)
Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  The cool pastry shell can be covered with plastic wrap and held at room temperature, over night.  




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