Well hello there. It’s been a while hasn’t it? I’m glad to be back with a brand new SLR camera and a fresh bag of local produce from Owls Hollow Farm! So far, a fresh start (a tad late) to spring. I just love spring here in Alabama. Luckily for us here, it starts around the time when the North gets dumped on with, yet again, another snow storm and only dream of several more months down the road. This year our spring season started in February (aren’t we lucky!). The flowering trees have taken their rotation and with all of the rainstorms we’ve had it’s as lush as ever here in Birmingham. With spring of course comes a foodie’s favorite part, fresh spring produce. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know farmer, Rod Palmer of Owls Hollow through my job. A few months back Rod lost 6 of his greenhouses in an ice storm and I helped set up a benefit for him at Urban Cookhouse, raising around $6,000 to get him back on his feet. In turn, Rod has been so generous to supply me with fresh farm eggs and some of his wonderful spring produce.
For my quiches and savory pies I like to use Lucinda Scala Quinn’s cream cheese pastry recipe from her book “Mad Hungry”. It’s super tender and flakey and is a great compliment to the fluffy egg filling.
Start with the crust. In a stand mixer beat together cream cheese, butter, and heavy cream with the paddle attachment. Sift in the flour and salt and mix until smooth. remove dough and form into a flattened ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator or freezer.
While dough is chilling, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet. Saute the zucchini and leeks over medium-high heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the spinach, stirring until just wilted. Remove from heat. Drain vegetables in a mesh strainer and gently press out excess liquid. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl beat together eggs with heavy cream, salt, and pepper.
Roll out pastry dough into a circle about 1/4-1/3 inch thick. Drape over a 10 inch deep dish pan, gently pressing into the pan (You will have a bit of excess dough around the edges). Spread the vegetable mixture into the bottom of the crust. Dollop the cheese evenly amongst the vegetables. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the filling. Trim the edges of the pastry leaving at least an inch around. Pinch the edges together allowing the crust to fold over on top of the filling. When it comes to quiches, I’m not a perfectionist about the shape of the crust. I prefer a more rustic look and I enjoy when part of the crust folds under the egg mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes, a knife inserted should come out clean.