Monday, January 17, 2011

Gluten-Free Pie Crust: Leek & Goat Cheese Quiche

Pie crust proves to be difficult, even when it is not gluten-free (GF). Working on the perfect GF pie crust, I went back to basics using my professional baking textbook from culinary school and found two different types of pie crusts: a flaky one and mealy, enriched pie crust. I thought to myself, doesn’t everyone want a flaky pie crust as opposed to a mealy one? That tends to be the first complaint about GF baked goods: mealy. Regardless, I made up the two texturally different types with my GF adaptation magic and low and behold, the flaky one was the winner. Well, as flaky as we will achieve with gluten-free. The mealy one turned out to be slightly mealy, but more like a shortbread with the egg yolk in it. (Maybe we will revisit that later.)

While looking at the produce, I was stuck at how beautiful the leeks look this time of year. Leeks have a great mild flavor that is slightly sweet with light almost chive character. Leek and goat cheese quiche sounded like the perfect filling for the pie crust. Leeks and a good goat cheese works well as a great flavor pairing. Keep it simple. By making the quiche using both goat cheese and goat milk, it is lactose free. I do not recommend soft goat for this recipe; too much water and not enough flavor. Go for something that you can grate, with some more character to it. While cheese shopping, ask the cheese monger for samples of different types of a semi-hard to hard goat cheese. You will be amazed how many different kinds there are. Pick your favorite; do not worry about the strength of the flavor. The goat cheese and the leeks are the stars of the quiche.


For the gluten-free pie crust:

  • 105 grams | 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 60 grams | 1/3 cup sweet rice flour
  • 55 grams | 1/3 cup millet flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 100 grams | ½ cup shortening (like Crisco)
  • 2 egg whites, cold (large)

For the quiche:

  • 1 leek
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 120 grams | 4 oz | 1 ½ cups grated goat cheese
  • 4 eggs, large
  • 175 grams | ¾ cup whole goat milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pinch ground white pepper
  • pinch ground nutmeg


For the gluten-free pie crust:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, millet flour, salt, and sugar. Put the shortening into the food processor bowl, fitted with the blade attachment. Add in the mixed dry ingredients. Pulse until incorporated; it will look mealy. With the processor running, slowly pour in the cold egg whites. Stop right when it looks like uniform dough. Turn out the dough onto a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Place another sheet on top. Using a rolling pin, roll out into an even ¼” thickness. The less you handle it, the flakier it will be. Place in refrigerator for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Remove top sheet from the pie dough. Flip carefully into your pie pan, exposed side down into the pan. Remove the other sheet. Carefully press into bottom, corners, up wall. Trim off the excess around the edges. To give the fancy edge, pinch using your thumb & forefinger of one hand with your other forefinger between those two. It takes practice, but very pretty if using a plain pie tin/pan. If there are any gaps in the dough, just carefully patch up with excess dough. “Dock,” poke the bottom with a fork evenly distributed to keep the crust flat, preventing it from rising. Pre-bake for 10-12 minutes until barely lightly golden. Place on cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature before putting in filling. (Keep the oven on to bake the quiche.)

For the quiche:

The most tender and flavorful part of the leek is the white stalk. Since that part that was in the ground, it can be very sandy. Make sure to rinse it well. Trim the leek, cut it length wise, then rinse, well. Cut into thin strips. Cook in a sauté pan with a teaspoon of vegetable oil (little flavor) over low/medium heat until they become soft and semi-translucent. Allow to cool.

Into the pie, evenly sprinkle the sautéed leeks and the grated goat cheese. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Pour the egg/milk mixture into the pie, covering the cheese and leeks evenly. Carefully place pie on lined baking pan and place in center of oven. Bake at 375 F until the filling is set, turning as needed for even cooking, until it is lightly golden brown on top. Cooking time is around 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting (or it will not hold shape).

Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature. Cut into wedges of desired sized. A simple salad of spring greens with a mustard vinaigrette is a perfect accompaniment for quiche.

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure

1 comment:

Paul said...

I'm a real man, and I do eat quiche ... especially this one cause it sounds delicious! Thank you for posting this Erin.