SAVORY CARAMELIZED ONION & MUSHROOM QUICHE
Short crust pastry for one 9- or 10-inch pie plate (recipe follows), prebaked
2 medium yellow onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
11 to 14 oz (300 to 400 g) white mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
2 – 3 Tbs (30 – 45 g) butter for sautéing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5 large eggs
1 ½ cups mixture of light or heavy cream and whole milk
¾ tsp salt
Generous grinding of black pepper
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
About ½ to 1 Tbs unsalted butter
About 1 cup grated gruyère, emmenthal or Swiss cheese (full-flavored & nutty)
2 – 3 Tbs freshly grated Parmesan
Prepare the Short Crust Pastry:
1 3/4 cups (245 g) flour
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
12 ½ Tbs (180 g) unsalted butter
6 Tbs cold water
Place the flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the cubes of butter, tossing to coat with flour so they don’t stick together. Using the tips of your fingers and thumbs, rub the butter and flour together rapidly as if pushing the butter into the flour until the mixture is crumbly and it resembles damp sand. Do not overwork this mixture as the butter will melt and start to clump; it will be blended better later.
Add about 4 tablespoons of the cold water and blend vigorously with a fork. Add more water, as much as needed, onto the dry flour and continue to stir up from the bottom until all of the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough begins pulling together in a shaggy ball.
Scrape the dough out onto a floured work surface. With the heel of one hand, rapidly smear and push the dough onto the surface and away from you, about a tablespoon of dough at a time, smearing it onto the work surface. This will complete the blending of the butter and the flour.
Scrape the dough up and gather it into a ball. Knead gently and briefly, just enough to make a smooth, homogenous ball of dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out easily, about 15 minutes.
Lightly butter a quiche or tart pan (if using the smaller diameter, make sure the sides of the pan are higher/deeper). I used a 9-inch wide x 2-inch deep (23 x 5 cm) tart pan.
Roll out the dough on a well-floured work surface to fit the pie tin. Gently lift and fit into the pie tin, lifting and pressing the dough into the corners. Crimp the edges and trim. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork before baking.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Remove the plastic and place a square of parchment or oven paper in the shell and weigh down with dried beans or pastry weights. Bake for 8 or 9 minutes then remove from the oven. Carefully (so as not to burn yourself) lift out the parchment and beans and return the shell to the oven for an additional 5 to 8 minutes or until pale and light golden brown. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack or wooden cutting board.
Lower the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).
Prepare the Quiche Filling:
Slice the onions thin and chop into large dice. Heat a skillet, melt about a tablespoon of butter and sauté the onions over medium-low to medium heat, stirring often, until golden and tender. If you like, add about half a teaspoon of sugar to the onions to help the caramelization process. Scrape the caramelized onions onto a plate or bowl and add another tablespoon butter to the skillet. When the butter is melted, add half the mushrooms, salt and pepper, then, stirring often, cook until sautéed and tender. Remove from the skillet and repeat with the rest of the butter and mushrooms.
Spread the caramelized onions in the prebaked shell then cover with the mushrooms. Cover evenly with the grated gruyère, emmenthal or Swiss cheese.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Whisk in the cream and milk along with the salt, pepper and nutmeg until well combined. Pour this over the vegetables in the tart shell. Sprinkle with as much or as little of the grated Parmesan as you like, dot with small bits of butter then bake for about 40 minutes or until slightly puffed, a deep golden and set.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool briefly then serve with a garden salad and a loaf of bread.