Smoked Salmon Quiche
This dish was hard for me to make. I had the idea in my head and I was determined to give it a shot, but there was a very serious problem.
The problem was that smoked salmon is one of my favorite foods of all time. I don’t like to mess with it. I like it very simply on crackers or a bagel. Why would you do anything else with it?
Besides that, it’s not the most economical thing in the stores. Four ounces of it can easily set you back $8-$9.
Don’t screw it up, I kept telling myself.
It was really hard for me to just call the whole quiche off and eat the salmon straight. But I pulled through. I made the quiche and it was good. The key to it is to make sure you don’t try to challenge the salmon flavor. Just let it do its thing and add a few other simple ingredients to accent the flavors.
1) To make crust, mix together flour and salt in a bowl or food processor. Then cut in cold butter until it resembles pea-sized pieces. Add a few tablespoons of cold water and stir together or pulse a few times.
2) Turn out dough and press it together to form a tight ball. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes at least.
3) Roll dough carefully (use lots of flour) into a 12 inch diameter. Transfer the dough to the 9 inch pie dish.
4) Add parchment paper to the bottom of the pie and fill with a few cups of dried beans.
5) Pre-bake the crust at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let cool.
6) Mix the eggs with the cream and milk. Whisk together well. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
7) Layer salmon, goat cheese, and chives in the bottom of the pie crust. Add half of the egg mixture.
8) Add the last of the filling ingredients followed by the last of the egg mixture.
9) Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes until set in the center.
10) Let cool for a few minutes prior to serving.
Making the Crust
This is my standard pie crust recipe, but if I’m making it for a real pie I add in a pinch of sugar also. You can definitely buy pie crust pre-made, but I enjoy the process of making it and think that the homemade versions are generally better even if they aren’t always as pretty.
To get started, mix your flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl or food processor. Then cube up your cold butter and cut it into the flour. You can either pulse it a few times in a food processor or just mix it in with your fingers.
Once the butter is mixed in, add a few tablespoons of ice cold water and mix a bit more. You’ll end up with crumbs basically.
This scares some people I think because it doesn’t appear to be a dough at this point, so they add more water and that’s a bad idea.
You should end up with crumbs, like this.
If you press these together a bit, you’ll notice that the crumbs stick very nicely to each other. After all, there’s a lot of butter in those there crumbs!
Eventually you should be able to mold the crumbs into a tight ball of dough.
Wrap this guy in plastic wrap very tightly and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour though to make sure it’s really nice and cold.
Then, roll out the dough slowly. Use flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. It’ll probably crack some but just work slowly and try to keep it rolled in a circle. For a nine inch quiche, you’ll probably want 12 inches of pie crust.
Then just carefully plop it into your dish.
As you can see, there’s some cracks in mine and it isn’t even all around. I cut off the parts that overhang and use it to patch up the missing parts. It almost always works out well.
I tried to form a kind of pretty edge around the crust, but mine definitely has a “homemade” feel to it.
The good news is, the hard part is over!
Pre-baking the Crust
I’m not sure if this step is entirely necessary, but I always pre-bake my crust a bit for quiches. To do this, just line the pie with some parchment paper and add a few cups of dried beans. I use the same beans every time which I just store apart from my cooking beans.
Bake this guy for 10-12 minutes at 350 and it should be slightly firm, but probably not browned at all which is perfect.
Let it cool a bit while you make the filling!
The Quiche Filling
I kept my filling pretty straightforward. Some of the ingredients (salmon, goat cheese) are a bit pricey though.
To fill the quiche, I like to add about half of my filling into the bottom of the pie crust. Just kind of evenly distribute the ingredients.
How pretty is that salmon?!
Then mix your eggs, cream, and milk together well and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour half of that on top of the filling. Then add the rest of your filling ingredients (more salmon, goat cheese, etc). Then finish it off with the final bit of egg mixture.
Doing this in phases will create layers of sorts in the quiche so the goodies are evenly distributed throughout the quiche.
This guy is ready for the oven!
Bake the quiche as 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. It should be slightly firm in the center. If you’re unsure if it’s cooked all the way through, use a tester to check the center for any uncooked egg.
If you can help it, let this cool for a few minutes before slicing it up.
I was very happy with the flavors in this quiche. The eggs were nice and fluffy and the smoked salmon flavor was intense, which I was hoping for. The goat cheese just adds another level of richness.
Was it hard for me to rip up 4 ounces of delicious smoked salmon and pour eggs all over it? YES.
But I’m glad I did.