Asparagus Quiche
Baked, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Asparagus Quiche (‘Spargel-Quiche’)

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There are few dishes more satisfying than a quiche. I love the textural contrast between the crispy crust and silky custard. Without the shortcrust pastry, quiche would just be a boring custard.

For me, quiche is one of those dishes which are perfect to use up whatever you have leftover in the fridge. You can hardly go wrong with the filling. Vegetables, cheese, meat: everything goes.

I eat quiche year-round and always alter the ingredients depending on the season. In the springtime, I favor asparagus quiche. In summer, zucchini and eggplant quiche are what excites me. Fall is mushroom season and in winter I love the classic: Quiche Lorraine with bacon and cheese.

Isn’t quiche a French dish?

You might insist that quiche is rater a French than a German dish. And I agree. It originated in Lothringen, which has been part of Germany in the past but now belongs to France.

However, its French name is said to be derived from the German words ‘Kichel’ and ‘Kuechel’ which mean nothing else than ‘cake’. And indeed, there’s a German dish that is very similar to the Quiche Lorraine: The Swabian onion cake (‘Zwiebelkuchen’).

Zwiebelkuchen

There are quite a lot of dishes in Southern German cuisine which are neither fully French nor fully German. Some other dishes from the Alsace-Lothringen region that can be considered German-French fusion food are:

  • Flammkuchen (Tarte flambée)
  • Hahn in Riesling (Coq au Riesling)
  • Elsässer Sauerkraut (Choucroute)
  • Elsässer Baeckeoffe (Baeckeoffe)

How to prepare the shortcrust pastry

It’s inevitable that you use high-quality European-style butter to prepare the shortcrust pastry. Butter is what makes it delicious. It’s one of the easiest pastries to prepare. The only thing you need to remember is to work quickly.

The butter should be cold when you incorporate it and the egg needs to be kneaded into the dough only briefly. You want the crust to come out flaky, not doughy. Also, always give your dough time to rest before rolling it out.

For quiche, you need to blind bake the crust so that it won’t get soggy. I’m sure you’re already familiar with that procedure from baking pies. You put some weight onto your pie and prebake it in the hot oven for 10 minutes.

Shortcrust pastry
Blind baking shortcrust pastry

How to assemble your quiche

After that, it’s time to fill the pie shell. The asparagus needs to be parboiled because it won’t soften enough otherwise. I also recommend parboiling the wild garlic for a few seconds just to wilt it. That way it won’t take up as much space and you can add more.

For the custard, combine crème fraîche, whole milk, and eggs in a blender. I like to season the custard with nutmeg and a pinch of salt. I like to also aerate the custard just before pouring it into the quiche form. That way it will be super light and the quiche won’t come out too heavy.

Once baked, make sure to let your quiche rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. It’s easier to get a clean cut that way and you won’t burn your hands. I often prepare my quiches in advance and let them cool down completely. Then I slice them when cold and reheat the individual slices in the oven for serving.

How I like to serve quiche

It’s optional to reheat quiche as it is often eaten at room temperature just like other cakes. In France, it’s considered an appetizer or first course. But in Germany, it’s seen as a main meal. Serve it together with a green salad and you won’t need anything else to go with it.

Quiche freezes perfectly which is one of the reasons why I love to eat it for breakfast. I just freeze any leftovers and put them in the oven for 15 minutes in the morning. It’s better than any bread roll. I sometimes wonder why it’s not considered the ultimate breakfast food in Germany.

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