Saturday, January 22, 2011

Caramelized Pear & Goat Cheese Quiche

When I saw this recipe on Closet Cooking I had to try it.  I told Corey about this recipe I wanted to try and he looked at me like I was crazy.  A pear quiche, for dinner?  Don't get me wrong, we have quiches every once in a while for dinner, they are so good!  But I think he was a little weirded out of the idea of a pear one!  It reminded me of this recipe for Pancetta Crisps w/ Goat Cheese and Pear so I knew the flavors would be good.  I'll be honest, this recipe was a lot of work for the results.  I think if you make the pie crust before hand (as in a day before) it would make things a lot easier.  And I honestly felt like I could have skipped the caramelizing of the pears part.  The pears I used were pretty ripe so I barely cooked them for that long or they would have become mushy.  Plus they didn't really all fit in one pan to reach the bottom and get caramelized.  But if you were using not too ripe of pears I think its a good idea.

Caramelized Pear and Goat Cheese Quiche

1/4 cup pancetta (diced) (I actually used 3 slices and it just broke them up once they were crispy)
1 large shallot (diced)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 pears (cored and sliced into bite sized pieces)
4 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup goat cheese (or Gorgonzola the original recipe calls for)
1 pre-baked walnut butter pie crust (see below)
1. Cook the pancetta and shallot in a pan.
2. Add the butter and let it melt.
3. Add the sugar and cook until bubbly, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the pear and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
5. Mix the pears, eggs, half and half, thyme and goat cheese and pour it into the pre-baked pie crust.
6. Bake in a preheated 375F oven until golden brown on top and set in the center, about 25-45 minutes. (mine took more like 45) 

Walnut Butter Pie Crust

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground walnuts (toasted before ground)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
4-5 tablespoons water (cold)

1. Pulse the flour, ground walnuts, salt and sugar in a food processor to mix.
2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 6-8 times.(if you remember my food processor is TINY so I had to do in batches, then mixed together with a hand mixer)
3. Add a tablespoon of water at a time pulsing in between until it starts to clump together.
4. Place the dough on a clean surface and shape it into a disc.
5. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
6. Roll the dough into a 12 inch circle about 1/8 of an inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
7. Place the dough into a 9 inch diameter spring form pan with the edges going up the side of the pan.
8. Place a piece of parchment paper in the pie and fill it with rice or beans to hold it down.
9. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes.
10. Remove the parchment paper and weight and poke the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times.
11. Bake until a light golden brown, about 10 minutes.

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