It's the last day of the month, so that must mean it's time for another gluten&dairy-free-pie-of-the-month post! Strawberries (and delicious ones too!) have already made their way to my farmers' market, and so I seriously thought about a strawberry pie this month, followed by two more strawberry variations for April and May, but opted instead for a savory one. I saw a Martha Stewart recipe for a quiche with a hash brown crust and was immediately smitten with the idea. But the recipe was a bit lacking- you dump a bag of frozen hash browns in a pie pan and bake it for a measly 25 minutes, which didn't seem like enough time to get the potatoes sufficiently crispy. Then, on instagram a few days ago, mrswheelbarrow posted a pic of a gorgeous potato crust all ready for the oven. She very kindly explained her technique to me (which is listed in the recipe below) and the results were just as I'd hoped for. Like a delicious latke, beautifully seasoned, firm but easy to cut through on the bottom of the quiche and delightfully light and crisp around the edges. The inside of the quiche features local bacon from Flying Pig, spinach from my garden (planted as a lovely surprise by the Kitchen Gardener!) and my favorite easy quiche filling, with the normal heavy cream and milk mixture replaced by a can of full-fat coconut milk. I was very happy with it, and it is one of those blessed results where you miss neither the gluten nor the dairy.
Bacon and Spinach Quiche with Latke Crust
filling adapted from Cooks Illustrated's quiche lorraine, crust slightly adapted from Mrs. Wheelbarrow
- 2 medium-large russet potatoes
- 1/2 large white onion
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- lots of kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 oz bacon
- small bunch spinach, washed and chopped into rough 1-inch pieces
- more kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- one 14oz(ish) can of full-fat coconut milk
- still more kosher salt and black pepper
- For the crust: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the potatoes and onion half and grate them, by hand or with the grater attachment of your food processor if you've got one. Put the grated potatoes and onion in a colander set in the sink, and let sit for a few minutes. Grab one small handful at a time and squeeze as much water out as possible, until you've squeezed it all, then let sit for another 5 minutes or so and squeeze all the water out again. The more water you're able to squeeze out the better your final product will be- it's worth being meticulous here! Transfer the squeezed-out vegetables to a medium bowl, and toss with the two beaten eggs and plenty of salt and pepper. Press the potato mixture into a pie pan or a springform pan, pushing the mixture up the sides. Bake the crust for 40 minutes. Then take the crust out of the oven, brush all over with the canola oil, and put back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
- For the filling: Meanwhile, dice the bacon into roughly 1/2 inch pieces and put in a cast iron skillet set over medium heat. Cook, tossing occasionally, until most of the bacon is crisp, 5-7 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Pour off all but about a tablespoon of the bacon fat into a small bowl for another day and add the washed and chopped spinach to the bacon-greased skillet. Cook until the spinach has wilted and much of the water has evaporated, about 3 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
- For the quiche: When the crust is done, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Sprinkle the bacon in the bottom of the crust and distribute the sauteed spinach on top of that, as evenly as possible. Put two whole eggs and two egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk gently and then add the can of coconut milk and a good amount of salt and pepper (at least a teaspoon of kosher salt) and whisk again so that the ingredients are well blended. Pour the egg mixture over the bacon and spinach and put the quiche in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the center of the quiche is set when you jiggle the pan. Let cool a bit and eat warm or at room temperature.