Mariel here. My husband and I spent some time this summer in France – our last hurrah before baby number deux makes his arrival around the holidays. While we’ve escaped here and there since the birth of my first son two years ago, we hadn’t been on a proper week-long getaway since our honeymoon FIVE years ago, so we really lived it up on this trip. Or as much as a non-drinking, non-pasteurized-cheese-eating preggo can live it up en France.
The trip was a dream – it feels so far away I literally feel like I dreamed it – and I’ve been searching for ways to incorporate the incredibly delectable food we enjoyed into my normal life. I made this Cassoulet almost immediately upon landing, and when I was assigned The Painted Apron for this month’s edition of Secret Recipe Club, I instantly gravitated towards Jenna‘s Pear & Gorgonzola Quiche. She made her rendition with a proper walnut-infused Pate Brisee, but I happened to have two frozen pie crusts in my freezer (from last Thanksgiving, mind you), so I took the easy way out. While Jenna only made one quiche, I found the filling made more than enough for the two crusts I had (perhaps they were shallower than her homemade rendition). The result was flavorful and rich, and the caramelized pancetta and pears will make magic in your mouth. I’d suggest serving this with a fresh green salad and a frosty glass of Chardonnay, which I plan to do the minute this baby makes his big debut.
Pear & Gorgonzola Quiche with Toasted Walnuts Serves 8-10
Ingredients: 4 oz. diced pancetta (or bacon) – $3.69 1 extra-large shallot, diced – $0.79 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter – stock 1 Tablespoon brown sugar – stock 2 large ripe pears; 1 pear cut into chunks, 1 sliced thinly – $1.99 4 eggs, lightly beaten – stock 1 cup 2-percent milk – stock 4 oz. gorgonzola cheese crumbled (or crumbled blue cheese) $3.49 2 9-inch frozen or ready-bake pie crusts – $5.99 ½-cup crumbled walnuts, toasted – stock Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $15.95 Cost per serving: $1.59 Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 375. 2. In a large ungreased skillet, cook pancetta and shallot, stirring frequently until golden – about 8 minutes. 3. Add butter to the skillet and melt. Add brown sugar and cook and stir about 3 minutes until bubbly and starting to caramelize. Add the pear chunks (not the sliced pear) and saute 3 to 5 minutes until tender. 4. Divide the pancetta mixture evenly between the two frozen crusts. Sprinkle each quiche with an equal amount of gorgonzola. 5. Combine milk and eggs, mixing well, and divide evenly, pouring over pancetta mixture in the crusts. Arrange sliced pears on top. 6. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes, or until crust is golden and quiche is set in center. Use a toothpick or cake tester to check doneness. 7. While the quiches are baking, heat the same large skillet you used to cook the pancetta over a low flame and gently toast the walnuts, stirring frequently until fragrant. 8. Once the quiches are done, sprinkle walnuts over top and serve warm.