The stars aligned this year and I had Pi Day off (you know, Pi, that pesky irrational number we all do battle with in math class, 3.1415 . . . .) I also had just returned from Seattle with a cooler full of farmer’s market deliciousness like fresh eggs and leeks. A friend was visiting us from out of town (heck of a time to tour Southeast Alaska, but we were happy to have her). So on March 14th, 3.14, we all slept in a little and made a bit pot of coffee and watched the precipitation change from snow to sleet to rain to Graupel and back to snow. That is just the sort of March we’ve had here. It seemed like the right sort of day to dive seriously into pie. Or Pi. Depending how you want to slice it. Also my tax paperwork was due to the accountant and our business reports needed to be compiled, so naturally I made straight for the kitchen.
A few caveats on this recipe – I am going to write it as I did it, but I would recommend a few tweaks that are yet untested. Also, Normally when I make quiche I skip the crust entirely. I find it to be time consuming and also when I make crust-free quiche I really don’t miss the crust at all. I have certainly never taken the time to pre-bake a piecrust before (as described in the beginning of this recipe). I decided to give it a try since I was going “all in” for Pi Day, but I am not convinced the “juice was worth the squeeze”. So give it a try if you have time. Otherwise just move forward with raw piecrust. Or none at all.
A note on format – In the past I have given you the ingredients up front and then interspersed the photos with the instructions. As I’ve spent more time reading and using other cooking blogs, I have realized that as a user, this format is enough to drive a cook crazy. So I am going to give you all of the information up front, then follow it up with photos that you can peruse at your leisure. Let me know what you think of the change, I always love your feedback.
Prep Time: 60 min (if using home made pie crust), 20 min if using pre-made or no pie crust.
Cook Time: 60-75 min
Your Favorite Pie Crust Recipe for a Single Crust Pie
2 Leeks (Cleaned and Chopped)
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Pint Smoked Salmon, including juices if using canned
1 Cup Sour Cream
¼ Cup Mayonnaise
½ Cup Shredded Sharp Cedar
2 Tbsp Onion (Minced)
1 Jalapeno Pepper (Minced)
1 Large Handful Spinach (Chopped)
2 Tbsp Milk (optional)
- Make your favorite piecrust recipe and roll out the crust.
- If you are not pre-baking the crust, skip to step 5. If you want to pre-bake the crust for your quiche, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and place a baking sheet in the oven to pre-heat. Arrange your piecrust in a 9” pie pan and crimp the edges.
- Cover the piecrust in tinfoil and fill the tinfoil with something weighty. I used dried beans. I think rice would also work well, and apparently there is a product out there called “pie weights” designed for this very purpose.
- When the oven is up to temperature, place the pie pan on the preheated backing sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust has lost its raw look.
- While the pie shell is baking, wash and chop the leeks. Heat butter in a pan on medium heat and add the leeks. Sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, and set aside.
- Remove the piecrust from the oven and sprinkle the bottom with grated cheese. This step is definitely optional but I found it was a nice touch, so long as I had gone through the trouble of pre-baking the crust. It also helps seal the crust from the liquid and keeps it crispy.
- Decrease the oven temperature to 325, the temperature required to bake the quiche.
- In a large bowl, beat together the three eggs. Stir in sour cream, mayonnaise, leeks, chopped spinach and minced jalapeno. Stir in the cheddar cheese. Flake in smoked salmon and stir until it is evenly distributed. Add the liquid from the canned smoked salmon. This is also where I added 2 Tbsp of milk, which I later regretted as I found the final product a little watery. I would recommend using the milk if you are not using canned salmon. If you are using canned salmon, the canning juices are probably enough. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell. Add salt and pepper to the top if you’d like. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until the quiche is slightly brown on top and doesn’t appear liquidly in the middle. In my oven I find this can take as long as 75 minutes.
- Remove and cool. Serve with hot sauce and a steaming cup of tea or coffee. And, if it is sleeting sideways out, and oh-so close to St. Patrick’s Day, perhaps a dollop of Irish cream in that coffee . . .
Prepared Pie Crust with Appropriate Pi-Day-Its-Sleeting-Out-And-Practically-St. Patty’s-Day libations (can you SEE the weather through that window?)
How the Dog Feels about The Weather
Pie Crust weighted with beans for pre-baking
Baked Pie Shell with Melted Cheese
Ready for the Oven
Ready to Eat and Enjoy!
Peace and Pi friends. See you next time.