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Bacon, Leek, and Asparagus Quiche

  Well, I've done mini ones, so it's inevitable that I had to try a ferreal quiche.  And what better recipe to try than Joy's?

  I am lovin' this group.  The ladies of Sundays with Joy freely offer up pro tips, encouragement, and awesome advice.  Why are leeks sometimes gritty?  Soak the slices in water, and you get rid of the gritty sand that sometimes makes it way into the layers, duh!  How do you prepare asparagus?  Rinse, pat dry, and bend gently.  The woody parts will snap off, and the rest is all use-able.

  It's a beautiful community we're building.

  So many of the ladies made their own puff pastry this week, and I am jealous.  I had some leftover in my freezer.  It is of the boxed, non-butter variety.  Sad, I know, but it had to be used up.  But the important thing is that they did it!  I've seen their pictures, and after much toil they've come out with such beautiful puffs.

  A word on the quiche: be generous with your bacon, if you're into that sort of thing.  And bake it longer.  My top and crust aren't very brown...and they should be more so.  But!  This is still a victoriously delicious thing.  I used a 12-inch pie pan, but a 10 or 9-inch will also do the job, you'll just have some filling leftover.

  And in my non-puff-pastry-making defense, I'll just add some words from Joy the Baker's cookbook here... "Just because I know how to make a perfectly flaky pie crust does not mean it's something I want to do just to get breakfast on the table."

  But, if you can, try and find the all-butter variety.  It probably tastes loads better.  And since I've almost used up this boxed stuff, you bet your buttons I'm going to try making my own soon.

Bacon, Leek, and Asparagus Quiche
Yield: one 12-inch quiche

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup leeks, thinly sliced from the white to pale green flesh
  • 1 cup asparagus, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 2 cups sliced, cooked bacon
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17 1/4-ounce package), thawed but kept cold
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add oil and leeks.  Saute until just translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add the asparagus rounds and cook until bright green, about 3 minutes.  They don't have to be entirely cooked through, since they'll cook more in the oven.  Remove pan from heat and set aside. (Now would be a good time to cook the bacon, if you didn't beforehand).

On a lightly floured work surface, unfold the cold puff pastry.  If the seams tear, just press back together.  With a floured rolling pin, gently roll the pastry, extending the about an inch on all sides.  Fit the pastry into a 12-inch pie pan (you can also use a 9 or 10-inch, just deduct the size accordingly, and know that you'll have some filling leftover).  Using a small, sharp knife, trim puff pastry so that 1/4 inch of dough hangs over the sides.  Place in the refrigerator to chill while you assemble the filling.

In a large bowl, whisk together milk, cream eggs, salt, and nutmeg.  Whisk in 1/2 cup of cheese.  When ready to bake, remove the pie plate from the fridge and fill with cooked leeks, asparagus, and bacon.  Pour egg mixture over the vegetables, and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and pepper.

Bake for 45-60 minutes.  Quiche will puff up in the oven when done, and sink down again when it cools, be sure it's fairly well browned on top.  Let quiche rest 1 hour before serving.  Serve warm or cool.  Quiche will last, well wrapped in the fridge, for up to 3 days.

Sources: adapted from Joy the Baker's cookbook