As you can probably tell, I love quiche. It is the perfect blend of flaky, eggy, vegetable goodness, delivered in an easy-to-eat format. Plus, quiches are infinitely adaptable as long as you have a basic stocked pantry of flour and butter to make a crust, and eggs and milk for the filling. Don’t have a tart tin? Not a problem – I have made quiche in a variety of round cake pans, pie tins, and even spring-form pans! What’s not to love?
This version of quiche takes on the French ratatouille, which traditionally is a mixture of vegetables stewed in tomato. For this recipe, the vegetables are sliced and pan-seared separately, and arranged beautifully on a pre-baked pâte brisée before being covered in egg.
This quiche does take a bit longer to prepare, but the depth of taste you get with the extra effort is well worth it!
My absolute favourite pâte brisée recipe is from Martha Stewart. I’ve found that the trick to a heavenly flaky crust is not so much cold butter, but the way you handle the dough. In the many times I’ve made this crust, the best result I’ve gotten was when I handled it with gentle but sure motions of just one hand – the temperature of butter didn’t seem to make a difference – as long as it’s straight out of the fridge.
How to make Ratatouille Quiche
- 1 pâte brisée tart dough
- 1 each of a large red or orange sweet pepper, zucchini, yellow squash
- 2-3 ripe tomatoes
- A bunch of fresh thyme
- 6 eggs
- 1/3 cup milk
- salt and pepper
For the crust:
First, make the pâte brisée as per Martha Stewart’s recipe. (It makes enough for 2 pies or 2 quiches, so you can freeze one portion for another time!) Refrigerate one portion of the dough. After 30 minutes in the fridge (during which you can prepare the other ingredients), you can roll out your crust, and pre-bake it. The best result I’ve gotten was to make sure to prick the bottom with the times of a fork, line it with foil and use weights or dry beans, and bake it at 400F for 10 minutes only. When done, remove from the oven, and take off the tin foil, and let cool.
For the filling:
First, slice your zucchini and yellow squash into half centimetre round slices, and do the same with your pepper in rounds by laying it on its side and slicing from the bottom up. Heat up a pan with a bit of oil, and cook these three ingredients separately, until about half are seared and they start weeping. The idea is to get them to lose their moisture so your quiche doesn’t end up like a swimming pool! Set aside in a colander or strainer to drain and cool, making sure to keep the three ingredients separated.
Slice your tomatoes and de-seed them. Set aside.
Then, prepare your egg filling. Beat together your 6 eggs and milk, plus fresh thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper.
Once your crust is cooled sufficiently so that you can handle it without oven mitts, you can start the assembly! Alternating between all four ingredients – pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, and tomato, lay them out in a spiral scalloped pattern on the pan until you reach the top or run out.
Then, pour your egg filling in slowly, making sure it is well distributed.
Bake in the oven at 350F for about 30 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
What to do with left over pie crust? Tune in next time!