40 Cloves of Garlic Quiche

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The bar, my friends, has officially been raised.

From this point forward, this quiche will be the benchmark against which all others will be judged.   But I should have known that magic would ensue when you combine forty cloves of sweet, caramelized garlic and tangy goat cheese and then surround it with rich and creamy quiche custard.

The quiche is adapted from London chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s Caramelized Garlic Tart, which is included in his first cookbook,  Plenty (and by next week I should have his follow-up cookbook, Jerusalem, in my hot little hands).

I figured this would be a good recipe to try, considering that the headnote mentioned that the recipe-tester proclaimed it the “most delicious recipe in the world!”

Yeah, it’s really that good.

Because the original recipe used puff pastry as the crust, I used my tried and true quiche crust instead.  And since the crème fraîche I had in the fridge wasn’t really all that “fraîche”, I decided to use my go-to quiche custard from Julia Child that uses eggs and heavy cream.

And there’s no need to worry about the garlic being overly potent.  Just like in those 40 cloves of chicken recipes, the garlic mellows out considerably after being blanched and caramelized.  Of course, you still need to be a garlic fan, since each serving will have about a half dozen cloves.   If any of you are having any holiday brunches and still need a couple extra dishes, I’d highly highly recommend this one…

40 Cloves of Garlic Quiche

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

Crust:
* 1/3 cup millet flour
* 1/3 cup superfine rice flour
* 1/3 cup potato starch
* 2 Tablespoons sweet rice flour
* 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 6 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into at least 6 small pieces
* 1 large egg
* 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Filling:
* 40 cloves of garlic, peeled
* 1 Tablespoon olive oil
* 1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
* 1 cup water
* 2-1/4 teaspoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 4 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre), crumbled
* 4 ounces hard goat cheese, such as goat cheddar, shredded (you can also substitute cow’s milk cheeses)
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9 or 10-inch tart pan with cooking spray and dust generously with rice flour.

In a large bowl combine the millet flour, rice flour, potato starch, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar, xanthan gum and salt. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter in. Add the egg and lemon juice and mix until the mixture comes together in a ball. Use the heel of your hand to quickly knead the dough to ensure even blending. Do not overwork the dough; you do not want to melt the butter.

Place the dough on a large piece of waxed paper. Cover with another sheet and roll out the dough to the appropriate size. If the dough feels tacky, you can refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes. Gently peel off the top layer of wax paper and invert the dough into the tart pan. Remove the other sheet of waxed paper and press into the pan.

Partially bake the crust for ten minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

While the crust is baking, make the caramelized garlic. Place the garlic cloves in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a simmer. Blanch for about 3 minutes and then drain well. Dry the saucepan and place over high heat. Add the garlic and give it a stir or two to make sure the cloves are dry.

Add the olive oil and cook, stirring constantly, for two minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt and continue to simmer until the liquid has mostly evaporated, leaving the cloves coated in syrup. Set aside.

Scatter both cheeses into the pre-baked crust. Spoon the garlic and syrup over the cheese. In a medium bowl combine the eggs, heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some black pepper. Pour mixture over the garlic and cheese, taking care to fill in the gaps between the cloves of garlic. Make sure you leave some of the garlic visible; you may need to use slightly less filling than the amount prepared.

Bake the quiche for approximately 45 minutes, or until the filling has set and the top is golden. Remove from oven and let cool. Garnish with a couple sprigs of thyme, if desired, and serve at room temperature or chilled.

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