There are times to eat healthy, count calories, and watch what you eat. This post will NOT be about those times. Instead, it will be about quiche – quiche made with real eggs, heavy cream, and two cheeses all baked in a flaky buttery crust. And, let’s not forget the sweet delicate crab that will make your mouth happy with every bite. I say if you’re going to indulge, make sure you indulge in something worthwhile. This crab quiche is more than worthy.
I know two cups of cream AND four eggs AND one cup of cheese sounds like an unnecessary amount of richness for one quiche. You could probably use half and half or cut back on the cream or the cheese if you really wanted to. I follow the recipe as written and have never been disappointed. The filling bakes into a creamy custard dotted with lumps of crab meat that is perfectly seasoned thanks to all the fresh herbs. The crust adds just the right amount of texture.
This is probably one of the most decadent (non-dessert) dishes I make, but, considering I make healthy meals for my family a vast majority of the time, I don’t feel guilty when I serve this. It is obviously not something you should be eating every day but when you can, enjoy it to the fullest. Happiness is all about balance.
For the crust
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
- 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning (I use Old Bay Seasoning)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated Swiss cheese
To make the crust
- In a food processor, blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water evenly over the mixture and pulse in processor until incorporated.
- Squeeze a small handful together. If it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until just incorporated, then test again.
- Gather dough together into a ball, then flatten into a 1/2-inch thick disk. Wrap dough in plastic and chill, until firm, about 1 hour.
- Roll out dough into a 12-inch round on a generously floured surface with a floured rolling pin and fit into a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Trim excess dough, if necessary, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under pastry and press against rim of pie plate to reinforce edge. Decoratively crimp edge (if desired) and lightly prick bottom and sides of shell with a fork. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line shell with parchment paper and fill with dried beans (or pie weights). Bake until pastry is pale golden along rim and set underneath parchment paper, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove paper and beans and bake shell until bottom and sides are pale golden, about 10 minutes more. Cool completely in pie plate on a rack, about 20 minutes.
To make the filling
- Whisk together eggs, cream, herbs, seafood seasoning, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then stir in cheeses and crabmeat.
- Pour filling into pre-baked crust and bake until filling puffs and is no longer wobbly in center when quiche is gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in pie plate on rack 15 minutes before cutting.
I find that the crust still puffs up no matter how much I chill and dock the dough. I just usually push the crust back down with the back of the spoon once the crust has finish baking.
Recipe from Bon Appétit, September 2004.