Life in a Northern Town

The Best Of Summer...In A Quiche

Nothing says summer like Corn Man corn and nothing says 'summer is over' than bags of his corn, freshly shucked, in my freezer and a kitchen full of tomatoes in various shades of green, yellow and red. Quiche is a quick and easy dinner option and since breakfast for dinner is a Dougherty family favorite, it was a no-brainer as I stared into the refrigerator, looking for inspiration. This quiche really shines with garden fresh tomatoes and sweet corn— although it won't be as good with grocery store tomatoes, it's still worth making. That corn cream is seriously good.

I've made lots of quiches over the years but this recipe had a technique I haven't used before, steeping the sweet corn in cream, and it was a revelation. The quiche is loaded with the essence of sweet corn without the kernels (you pass the cream/corn mixture through a fine mesh sieve and you end up with a seriously delicious corny cream). I added a few corn cobs to the cream and corn mixture to guarantee an intensely flavored custard. If you don't have any cobs, don't worry about it— the corn kernels will flavor the cream just fine on their own.

I used dried beans and parchment when I blind baked the crust— an important step if you like a flaky pastry home for your quiche.

The corn cream is out of this world delicious and it's the most beautiful color of light yellow.

I added pancetta and Gorgonzola to the original recipe— nothing like gilding the lily, right?

Tomato & Sweet Corn Quiche (adapted from FreshTartSteph & Minnesota Monthly September 10, 2013)

1 9-inch pie crust (I used Pillsbury pie crust from the grocery store)
2 teaspoons butter
3 ears peak-season sweet corn, shucked, kernels sliced off cob (about 2 1/2 cups)
3 - 6 corn cobs (optional)
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 large eggs
1/2 cup Gorgonzola, crumbled
1/2 cup pancetta or bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups assorted garden-ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices 9-inch pie plate, nonstick cake pan, or fluted tart pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll out the crust and fit into baking pan. Trim and crimp the edges. Gently set a large piece of foil or parchment paper into and on top of the crust and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights and set crust aside while you prepare the filling.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta or bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, stir in the corn. Saute the corn, stirring a couple of times, for 5 minutes. Stir the milk, cream and corn cobs into the corn. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer corn for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the corn cobs.

Set out a colander placed over a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a blender, purée the corn and cream together (use caution when blending hot liquids). Pour the pureed corn and cream into the colander to strain out the cream. Press down on the corn to extract as much of the cream as possible. Discard the corn. Measure out and 1 1/2 c. of the cream and return it to the bowl.

Add salt, pepper and eggs to the corn cream and whisk to combine.

Sprinkle the pancetta and Gorgonzola over the bottom of crust. Pour egg mixture into crust, stopping 1/2-inch from top of crust. Arrange tomato slices over the top of the egg mixture. Bake quiche for 40-45 minutes, until edges of crust are golden brown and center of quiche is just-set. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving warm.

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