Quiche is such a great, easy brunch dish which can be made ahead and eaten at room temperature, or enjoyed as a simple dinner with a salad! And there are so many tasty flavor combinations. Since spring is here, and asparagus season is upon us, I thought it would be the perfect time to make a crustless asparagus quiche. Seasonal vegetables, a touch healthier, and gluten-free. It’s all good!
Right now as I’m posting this, we are only a few short weeks away from having fresh, local asparagus at our farmer’s markets here. The supermarket asparagus is looking quite nice as well (since it’s not traveling as far as it was over the winter), but I am so looking forward to swinging by and buying some asparagus that was just picked that day or the day before. And, along with the asparagus, will come shelling peas, pea tendrils, baby white turnips with their greens, fresh beets with their greens, spring spinach, lettuces, garlic scapes, and all my other favorites!
I may like the farmer’s market just a little…
While I enjoy making quiche, I have to admit that I am much more likely to make a crustless quiche than I am to make a more traditional quiche with the crust. A big factor is that, if I’m going to go through the bother of making a pie dough (and though I enjoy making pie dough, it is time consuming), I prefer to get a fruit pie or tart out of the deal. 🙂 For dinner and for savory meals, I tend to skip the crust if I can. And it does have the benefit of decreasing the calories/fat content of the meal while also making the quiche easily gluten-free, so bonus!
As you can see from the photos above, filling the quiche is pretty simple. Grease the plate well with butter and then give a good coating of breadcrumbs, gluten-free or regular, depending on your needs. Once the plate is prepared, layer all the filling ingredients followed by pouring the custard mixture over. I like adding a little touch of decoration in the form of a few asparagus spears arranged around the top. (Totally optional but cute!) Then into the oven it goes.
A few pointers: First, always cook any vegetables or watery ingredients before adding them. You do not want a watery quiche! Second, I prefer a moderate oven, since it allows the filling to set before the top browns too much while also being safer for the custard. Too high a temperature can wring all the moisture out of those eggs, giving you a watery quiche again. Still do not want! And, third, I like to go with the 1 egg + milk = 1/2 cup custard formula. Which means you break the egg and then add milk until the milk mixed with the egg reaches the 1/2 cup level. For this quiche I broke 5 eggs into a 4 cup measure and then filled it to the 2 1/2 cup mark. It makes measuring easy. This method was good enough for Julia Child, so it’s good enough for me. 🙂
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs, gluten-free
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 6 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1 oz parmesan cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 5 large eggs
- 1½ cups whole milk, approximately
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Butter a 9-inch pie plate and then coat it with the breadcrumbs. Swirl the breadcrumbs around the plate until you have an even coating and then tap out the excess.
- Cover a baking sheet with foil; arrange the asparagus on the baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Add the scallions and bake for 2 minutes more. Collect 8 of the asparagus spears and set them aside to top the quiche and then cut up the remaining spears into 2 inch pieces.
- Spread out the bacon on the same baking sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until brown and crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
- Lower the heat of the oven to 350F.
- Spread out the chopped asparagus and the scallions in the pie plate. Crumble the bacon and spread that out. Add the gruyere, parmesan, and parsley in an even layer.
- Break the 5 eggs into a 4 cup measure and then add milk until you reach the 2½ cup point on the measuring cup. This will be about 1½ cups of milk. Mix together the eggs and whole milk until well blended. Pour the custard over the ingredients in the pie plate. Tap the plate and give it a little shake to remove any air bubbles. Then cut the reserved asparagus spears so they are a little shorter than the radius of the pie plate. Arrange them evenly around the top and press them into the custard a bit.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is browned and the custard is set. The quiche will still jiggle in the middle but the edges will be puffed and firm.
- Allow to cool until just warm or to room temperature. Then cut and serve.