The Perfect Zucchini Quiche
We know it’s a bold claim, but the chefs in the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen say they’ve developed the perfect zucchini quiche. What makes it perfect? The texture of both the crust and the filling are just right. All too often, quiches end up dry or spongy, but the chefs have created a silky-smooth, custard-like filling by finding that magical ratio of eggs to cream. They mastered a flaky, super-buttery crust that pairs well with the light texture of the filling. Keep in mind that the filling needs time to set up in the refrigerator, and that’s a win for you when you’re entertaining because you can prepare this dish entirely in advance.
11 hrs 30 mins total time
30 mins active time
For the crust:
- 1½ cups (6½ oz) all-purpose flour
plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp (2 oz) cold unsalted butter
cut into cubes
- 1¼ cups (2¼ oz) cold vegetable shortening
cut into small pieces
- ½ cup (4 oz) ice water
For the filling:
- 1 tbsp (½ oz) butter
- 2 shallot
- 1 cup (7½ oz) packed shredded zucchini
squeezed dry (about 2 small zucchini) plus 1 small zucchini for slicing
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (8 oz) heavy cream
- 1 cup (8 oz) milk
- 1 cup (4 oz) grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp packed chopped basil
- Fresh arugula
- Fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1To make the crust, in a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt, then add the butter and shortening. Using your hands, toss the butter and shortening with the flour, just to coat the pieces. Gather the flour mixture in your hands and rub it between your fingers and thumbs, letting the pieces drop back into the bowl. Repeat this quickly until the mixture resembles coarse meal; some larger butter chunks are okay.Tip: Add the ice water, 1 Tbs. at a time, and use your hands to toss the mixture and distribute the water until there are no dry spots; you will need to use about 4 Tbs. water. Then add more water as needed until the dough becomes tacky and you can gently press it into a small ball in your hand (you may need more water depending on the temperature of your kitchen).
- 2Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Using floured hands, fold the dough once onto itself, then shape into a ball and flatten into a 4-inch (10-cm) disk about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. The dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
- 3When ready to use, place the chilled dough on a floured work surface and sprinkle both sides lightly with flour. Using a rolling pin and starting from the center of the disk, gently roll outward to the edges, applying gentle, even pressure and turning the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls, until you have a 14-inch (35-cm) round about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Sprinkle the dough with more flour if it starts to feel sticky as you roll. Carefully transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23-cm) deep-dish pie dish. Using your fingertips, gently push the dough into the bottom and sides of the dish, making sure it is smooth. Using scissors, trim the edges as needed, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) overhang. Fold the overhang under itself and use your fingers to crimp the edges of the crust decoratively. Using a fork, gently poke holes all over the bottom crust. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- 4Carefully transfer the dough to a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish. Using your fingertips, gently ease the dough into the base and side of the dish, without stretching, making sure it is smooth. Using scissors, trim the edge leaving ½-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under itself and use your fingers to crimp the edge decoratively. Using a fork, gently poke holes all over the bottom crust. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- 5Insert the wire rack into position 7.
- 6Line the chilled piecrust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish. Bake until the edges are starting to turn color.
- 7When the oven signals, remove the foil and weights and continue cooking until the crust is golden brown. Meanwhile, make the filling.
- 8Transfer the crust to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- 9Place a frying pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the shredded zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes, until softened and starting to brown. Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and cool.
- 10In a blender, combine the eggs, cream and milk and blend on the lowest speed. Transfer to a bowl and gently whisk in half of the Parmesan, the basil, cooled zucchini and shallots, 2 tsp. salt and a few generous grindings of pepper.
- 11Using a mandoline, slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick pieces.
- 12Transfer the egg mixture to the cooled crust. Top with sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and the sliced zucchini. Season with salt and pepper.
- 13Carefully place the quiche in the oven and start the timer.
- 14The quiche is ready when the crust is lightly browned, and the edge of the filling is set but the center still jiggles when gently shaken. If not, give it a bit more.
- 15Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate for 6 hours or up to overnight, until the filling is set.
- 16Insert the wire rack into position 7. The quiche can be served at room temperature or hot. If serving at room temperature skip this step. Place the quiche in the oven and start the timer.
- 17Toss the arugula with lemon juice, olive oil, and season with salt. Serve the quiche with arugula.