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Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 06:22 am

Savory pumpkin quiche

This quiche is perfect for fall. Though I’ve used various herbs for it, sage is my favorite. If you’d rather make a vegetarian pumpkin quiche, eliminate the bacon and use olive oil for roasting the pumpkin cubes and sautéing the onion.
  • 1 partially baked tart shell, either a 9-inch regular pie pan, 10-12-inch for a thinner tart pan with removable bottom
  • Dijon mustard
  • 3 slices thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 c. pumpkin, cut into approximately 1-inch cubes
  • Olive oil (if not using the bacon)
  • 3/4 c. finely chopped onions OR 1/2 c. onions and 1/4 c. red bell pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. half and half
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Freshly ground nutmeg to taste, about half a teaspoon
  • 1 T. minced fresh herbs such as sage leaves, rosemary or thyme, optional
  • 1 c. coarsely grated natural Swiss cheese, such as Gruyère or Emmanthaler
Preheat the oven to 400°.

Brush the pie shell with the mustard. If there are cracks or holes, make sure that enough mustard gets into the cracks and holes to seal them. If you’d rather not use mustard, beaten egg will also work well. Put the pie shell into the oven for a few minutes, until the mustard or egg has congealed. This keeps the crust from getting soggy when the custard mixture is added. Let the pie shell cool to room temperature.

Sauté the bacon in a skillet until it is crisp. Remove the bacon from the skillet and drain the pieces on paper toweling. Pour off most of the fat into a bowl, leaving just enough to coat the skillet’s bottom.

Toss the pumpkin cubes in the bowl with the bacon fat, then place them into a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish. Place in the oven and bake, stirring a few times, until they are somewhat browned (caramelized) and completely cooked through. Set aside to come to room temperature.

Over medium heat, add the onions to the skillet and stir to coat them with the fat. Cover the skillet and cook for a few minutes, or until they have softened and become somewhat translucent. Remove the cover, and continue cooking until the onions are golden and caramelized. Remove from the heat and let come to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until they are completely blended, then add the cream, salt and pepper, nutmeg and herb(s), if using.

Scatter half the cheese evenly over the bottom of the pie shell, then scatter the roasted pumpkin cubes and sautéed onion.

Pour the egg and cream mixture gently into the pie shell, and then scatter the remaining cheese over the top. Be sure not to overfill the shell, or it may run over the sides. Bake 30-40 minutes or until the tip of a knife inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean or almost clean. The quiche will continue to cook through its internal heat after it is removed from the oven. Baking time will depend on the size and thickness of the quiche. Serves 6-8.
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