A quiche for Fall

Fresh duck eggs have become one of my new favorite ingredients. They’re more formidable than chicken eggs, with a larger, creamier yolk and a richer taste:


And the high protein levels in duck egg whites also promise fluffier consistencies when used in recipes. If you can find a good source of local duck eggs, they’re a perfect way to amp up your omelettes or make a creamier carbonara sauce. I’ve found that they pair especially well with the wild mushrooms that are in abundance this year in the Seattle area. Here’s a bonus Fall mushroom recipe for a duck egg quiche with chanterelles and Gruyere:


In addition to a pie crust, you’ll need about:

7 duck eggs
1/2 cup cream or milk (you can get away with 2% milk because duck eggs already lend a lot of creaminess)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 pound of chanterelles, cut in halves or thirds (before cooking, clean your chanterelles with a damp paper towel, and trim the tip of the bottom stem)
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese (my favorite is Raw Milk Cave-Aged Gruyere)
A few tablespoons of olive oil
Salt & pepper

Start by making your pie crust. For a single quiche, I halve my double crust pie recipe, eliminating the sugar from the dough.

As the dough is chilling, you can get started on the filling. Sauté the green onions and chanterelles in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms brown, and season with salt and pepper. Next, beat the eggs in a large bowl, adding more salt and pepper, as well as the milk/cream.

Roll out the dough and transfer to a pie plate. Add the mushrooms and onions, making sure they are spread evenly, then sprinkle the Gruyere on top before pouring in the egg mixture.

Bake in a 350° oven for about 30 minutes, or when the quiche browns to your liking. If the crust browns faster than the top of the quiche, you can make a protective ring with aluminum foil to prevent burning.

Also – if you don’t have the time or energy to make crust from scratch (though it’s really not that bad!), you can easily make a frittata version – a sort of Italian omelette (frittata comes from the word “fritta,”which means fried, referring to the use of a skillet to make the dish). After sautéing the mushrooms and onions, pour the egg mixture, without adding milk/cream, directly into the same skillet. Cook for several minutes to let the eggs set, lifting the edges with a spatula a few times. Then sprinkle some cheese on top and bake in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes. There’s your less buttery alternative – whether that’s better or worse is up to you!


One for dough and dough for all

A good crust recipe provides the foundation for countless experiments in the kitchen, from double-crust pies to latticed fruit tarts, puffy quiches to savory appetizer bites. Once you become comfortable rolling out dough, the world of baked goodness is your oyster, since coming up with fillings is the easiest – and most creatively fulfilling – part of all.

For anyone in the Seattle area, I recommend taking the PCC Cooks class “Easy as Pie” for a great hands-on lesson in making crust. The recipe from the class, which I’m sharing below, is now my go-to guide for pies. It’s based around a food processor, so it’s quick and easy to clean up. And it’s easily adaptable; when making a savory dish, I just eliminate the sugar.


This recipe makes enough for a double-crust pie (or a latticed pie, with extra crust for a little mini pie). You’ll need:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks of butter (1/2 lb), cut up in small cubes – Since using cold ingredients is very important in achieving a flaky crust, put the cubes of butter in the fridge until you need them.
1 teaspon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
About 6 tablespoons of cold water – Again, temperature is key. I usually fill a small bowl with water and ice cubes as I get my ingredients together, and stick it in the fridge, measuring out the amount I need just before using.

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt together in your food processor. Add the butter cubes and pulse several times, taking care not to over-mix. You’ll know when to stop when the butter cubes turn into pea-sized clumps:


Next, add the water as you pulse the mixture. Since there are many variables that affect the dough coming together (like humidity, freshness of the flour), don’t assume you’ll need to use all of the water. I recommend pouring in about 3/4 of the estimated amount in a slow, steady stream, then assessing the consistency of the dough before adding any of the rest. It should be starting to clump together, but shouldn’t be a solid mass. If it sticks together when you press it between your fingers, you’re set:


Dump the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and mold it into a ball, bringing the four corners of the sheet of plastic together at the top. It’s important to do this quickly – the warmth of your hands will start to break down the butter, diminishing the flakiness of your crust. Cut in half and wrap each piece in plastic, flattening it into a disc, before placing in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

While the dough is in the fridge, you can come up with a filling. I’m still on a Washington State apple kick, so I thought I’d stick to good old fashioned apple pie here. For an apple pie filling you’ll need:

A large bowl of sliced tart apples (about 8 apples) – It’s up to you whether you want to peel them or not.
3/4 cup sugar
1 lemon (zest & juice)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch


Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl (if you like the apples in pie to be soft and mushy, you can also put the mixture on the stove for 5-10 minutes). Roll out your first disc of pie dough and gently transfer it to a pie pan. Pour the apple mixture into the pan, making a slight mound towards the center. Dot with a few pieces of butter.

Roll out the second disc of dough and place on top of the apples. Cut off any overhanging dough, and crimp the crust using the index finger of one hand while pinching the dough with the thumb and index finger of your other hand. Cut a few decorative slits in the crust to allow steam to escape during cooking. Lastly, beat an egg and brush over the exposed dough to ensure a beautifully golden crust.

Bake for about an hour in a 375° oven, covering with aluminum foil halfway to prevent the crust from burning. Let cool for a few hours, even overnight.


And there you have it – domestic bliss!