This quiche with creamy leeks and crisp pancetta is a wonderful addition to any Sunday brunch!
I love getting together with friends for Sunday brunch. It's a nice way to end the weekend, and hosting at someone's house makes it a little more relaxed than going out. It also gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of the menu. Quiche is one of my all-time favorite brunch dishes. It's perfect for a casual brunch or even a more formal holiday event. If you've read some of my other posts you'll know that leeks and pancetta are one of my favorite combinations, so I thought it was time to put them into one of my favorite dishes! I first made this one for a Saturday rooftop brunch with some of my co-workers and got lots of compliments!
For the most part, all quiche consists of the same basic ingredients - eggs, dairy, cheese, spices and fillings (veggies, meats, etc), usually baked in a nice flaky crust. Quiche is another great dish to experiment with, as you can substitute pretty much anything that suits your taste for the filling.
- Unsalted European butter: When making crusts the key is to use high-quality butter. There are a number of different options so pick your favorite.
- Gruyere cheese: I prefer gruyere for its sharper taste however you can substitute swiss cheese.
- Large eggs: Be sure to use large not extra-large eggs
- Pancetta: You can buy it thinly sliced and then chop it yourself or you can buy pre-chopped cubes if you can find them in your grocery store (I usually find them in the section with the bacon).
- Leeks: After you slice the leeks you can toss them into a bowl of water to clean off any excess dirt. Just be sure to dry them well before cooking them.
- Half and half: I use half and half in my quiche, however, if you want it to be a little bit lighter you can substitute whole milk.
- Italian parsley: Fresh parsley is best for this dish.
- Spices: cardamom
- Pantry staples: All-purpose flour, ground pepper, salt
Tips for making quiche
Making quiche is fairly easy and really has two components - the crust and the filling.
Make the crust: If I'm in a hurry, I'll substitute pre-made pie crust, though it is just not quite the same as making it from scratch. This is an easy basic pie crust recipe. When I first started baking, I made pie crust using a pastry cutter, which is what you can do if you don't have a food processor, however, you'll find that using the food processor gives the crust a better consistency and quite honestly, is much easier!
Roll the dough. Use a well-floured surface when rolling the dough and roll to the appropriate size for your baking dish. You can make the crust a few hours up to a day ahead of time. If making the day before, be sure to wrap tightly in plastic wrap before you refrigerate it.
Make the filling. You start by cooking the pancetta and leeks. Then you whisk the eggs together in a large bowl and incorporate the half and half. The remaining ingredients get added and mixed together.
Bake the quiche. You'll want to let the quiche cool for at least 10 minutes before serving so add that time to your prep plan. You can also serve quiche at room temperature if you like.
Quiche makes a great main dish for any brunch and can be served on its own if you want to keep things simple. If you want to create a full brunch spread, I'd add a simple green salad, some sliced fruit, or maybe these Mozzarella and Mellon Skewers. If you want to finish with something sweet I'd go with this Banana Bread or these Mini Lemon Cheesecakes!
Quiche travels well so it's also a good option if you are going to someone else's house for brunch. And since it doesn't have to be super hot when served, it works if you don't have the option to reheat.
If you whip up a few mimosas or your favorite brunch drink, you'll have the start to a perfect Sunday Funday!!
things you may want for this recipe
Quiche Pan – If you make a lot of quiches, or tarts, it's nice to have this dish as creates the perfect depth for this type of recipe. At only $10 it's a good kitchen tool to have around if you have space. A standard pie plate will also work for this recipe.
Food Processor – A food processor is really a must-have kitchen tool, as it makes life so much easier! For pie crust it's a huge time saver. The 8-cup size is great for most uses and is a space saver if you have a smaller kitchen.
Quiche with Leeks & Pancetta
For the crust:
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 oz European style butter, cut into small cubes
- 4 tablespoons very cold water
For the filling:
- 3 oz thin sliced pancetta, chopped
- ¾ cup leeks, thinly sliced
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup half and half
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 oz gruyere, grated
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Add flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a standard blade; pulse 2-3 times. Add butter and pulse several times until a pea-sized mixture forms. With the motor running, pour in water, continue to process until a ball forms.
- Lightly flour a work surface. Roll dough into a circle to fit your pie pan. Place dough in the pie pan; flute the edges if your pie pan does not have a natural curve to it. Refrigerate until ready to assemble quiche.
- Heat a medium saute pan to just under medium heat. Add pancetta and cook 7-8 minutes, until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on a plate covered with a paper towel. Add leeks to the pan, sauté 1 minute. Remove leeks from pan and add to cooling pancetta.
- Place eggs in a large bowl, whisk until all yolks are broken. Add half & half, salt and pepper; whisk until blended. Add cheese, leeks, pancetta, cardamom and parsley. Mix well.
- Pour egg mixture into the prepared pie crust. Cook for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving.
Updated. Originally published June 2015.