Arugula and Cheddar Quiche
By Sandro Romano
Crust (or buy 1 pre-made pie crust)
3½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp granulated sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
1 tsp salt
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten to combine
⅔ cup whole milk
1 quart heavy cream
1 lb washed and dried arugula leaves
1½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 cup of dry beans or pie weights to blind bake the crust
1 cup Dubliner or Irish cheddar
Follow the recipe below or alternatively, use 1 pre-made crust and skip down to the instructions for the filling
In a large mixing bowl, using a pastry cutter or working quickly with the tips of your fingers, rub together the flour, sugar, salt, and butter till the mixture has the granular texture of wet sand. Add the egg yolks and milk and work the mixture together slowly until it forms a pliable and smooth dough.
Form into a thick disc, wrap with plastic, and chill for at least an hour.
Butter and flour an 8-inch round pie dish with rimmed sides that are at least 1 inch high.
After it has chilled for an hour, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
Using a heavy rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a rough circle approximately 1/5 of an inch thick.
Place the rolled-out dough in the prepared pie dish, making sure to press the dough into the corners of the dish. Trim the extra dough using the edge of the dish as a guide but leaving a ½ inch overhang. Make sure to gather up the trimmings and freeze them (wrapped in plastic wrap) for another use. Crimp the edges of the dough into a decorative pattern of your choice.
Use a fork to dock the bottom of the pie crust—gently and quickly poke tiny holes all over the bottom of the crust to ensure the dough doesn’t rise during baking, but be careful not to tear the crust.
Place the pie crust back in the fridge and let it chill for a few minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack placed in the middle.
Once the crust is chilled, remove it from the fridge and crumple up a sheet of parchment paper and then smooth it out (this will make it more pliable and easier to fit into the nooks and crannies of the pie crust). Line the chilled pie crust with the parchment paper and cover with a layer of dried beans or pie weights.
Bake it in the preheated oven for 12 minutes. Remove the pie crust from the oven and carefully remove the beans or pie weights and parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack placed in the middle if you haven’t done so already.
Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the arugula leaves to the hot cream and let them simmer till tender, about 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a blender, making sure not to fill the blender jar more than halfway. The hot mixture is volatile and overfilling your blender can cause it to explode, making a mess of your kitchen. Blend till smooth. Don’t wash out the blender jar—you’ll need it again in a minute.
Pour the puréed mixture into a bowl and set over ice to cool.
Once the mixture has cooled down slightly, add the eggs. Pour the mixture back into the blender and blend till well combined. Strain back into the bowl, discarding any bits of arugula stems or egg white that don’t pass through the strainer. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.
Sprinkle the grated cheddar evenly in the pie crust and return to the oven for 5 minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese.
Remove the pie crust from the oven. Place the pie dish on a cookie sheet and carefully pour the arugula batter over the melted cheese.
Place the pie dish (on its cookie sheet) back in the oven and continue to cook for 20 minutes, or until the batter is set and a toothpick inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean.
Serve warm or at room temperature.