Christmas Brunch Recipe: Cheese and Leek Quiche

Looking for a great brunch recipe to make for your family during the holiday season? Quiche is delicious, easy to make the day before, and can be served warm or at room temperature.

Soon after we bought the inn in 2010, I went in search of good quiche recipes, for the exact reasons listed above. I found two great ones–a delicious quiche Lorraine, and a vegetarian quiche with artichoke hearts. I liked them because they had an unusual crust–a savory mix of cheddar and paprika that provides a great contrast to the custardy quiche.

As popular as those two quiche are, I wanted to have another option. I wanted something with a regular pie crust–again, to offer a little variety to the other breakfast recipes we have.

A few months ago I found one at the blog Once Upon a Chef. I am a huge fan of leeks, and I can never find enough recipes that feature the fresh taste of thyme (insert joke here about never having enough ‘thyme’). This quiche is creamy and savory, and one of my favorites. It makes a great brunch recipe…freeing up your oven on the day of the event, and tasting amazing at room temperature.

I hope you enjoy it!

Easy Brunch Recipe: Parmesan Leek Quiche

• 1 9-inch pie shell
• 1-1/2 tablespoons butter
• 1 cup finely chopped leeks, white and light green parts only, from 1-2 leeks
• 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
• 4 large eggs
• 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
• Pinch ground nutmeg
• 1-1/4 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (the powdery parmigiano is not as good–larger pieces are better)
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the pie shell from the freezer and thaw it until just soft enough to easily prick with a fork (10-20 minutes). Prick the bottom and sides all over with a fork and bake on the center rack until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees.
Melt the butter in small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 15 minutes. Do not brown. Taste and adjust seasoning (they should be well-seasoned). Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, eggs, thyme, nutmeg, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix well.
Spread the cooked leeks over the pre-baked pie shell, taking care not to puncture the crust (it may be fragile around rim, or where there are air bubbles). Pour the egg mixture over top. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-55 minutes, or until the custard is set but still moist. Serve hot or warm.

Notes: Be sure to clean the leeks well, especially between leaves where there can be a lot of grit. If your crust cracks during pre-baking, patch it lightly with a paste of flour and water before adding the filling, otherwise it will leak.