A Ham, Blue Cheese, and Pear Quiche – CTBF
So it seems that I am somewhat keeping up with the cooking aspect of Cook the Book Fridays, but maybe not the writing aspect. Ah, c’est la vie. My life is quite busy right now with garden planting, yard work, extra writing, a sudden influx of event opportunities, final exams for both teenagers (and thus, the impending job searches), one of which is graduating (which has led to endless hours of searching for scholarship opportunities). It is a rule of life, however, that no matter how busy your are, you are still required to eat.
In this Cook the Book Friday blog post, I write about the Tarte Salée au Jambon, au Bleu, et aux Poires that I cooked from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. Quiches are quintessentially the very easiest of ‘uber French’ recipes that you can make if you are new to French cuisine. The good news is that they can be blank canvases, meaning you can add ingredients to suit your own tastes if you really aren’t much of a blue cheese lover (as an example). I did think about tailoring this quiche to my liking, but happened upon some beautiful, creamy blue cheese at The Italian Centre Shop and cooked the Tarte Salée exactly as it was written in the book. There was only one exception, because I just couldn’t bear to use parsley in the quiche, I picked some fresh tarragon and added that instead.
I am no stranger to pastry making, but the crust for this quiche was quite unique as it used cornmeal as an ingredient. The recipe made just enough to line a 9 inch spring form and it baked up quite nicely. It is essential that you do patch up any cracks in the dough and be sure to chill it before filling as David suggests. The cornmeal gave the pastry a unique texture that we really enjoyed. As for the filling, I really couldn’t believe how much cream and cream cheese were in the recipe, though after I tasted a slice I was faced with an ‘aha’ moment. I used some Seckel pears that were quite small and floral, though I wished I had gone with the more standard Bartlett variety. This time of year is the best because there are no more trips to the store to buy fresh herbs…all the herbs I used in the quiche were picked fresh right from my garden.
I am having so much fun cooking my way through My Paris Kitchen. I think my family would agree that this quiche is by far the best quiche they’ve ever tasted, especially with all the cream and cream cheese involved. I would make the crust again, but perhaps scale down on the calories in the filling.