Saturday, September 28, 2019

Tarte aux courgettes

For Friday's lunch, I made what could be called a zucchini quiche. It's a twist on a quiche I've made many times, the difference being the custard. Instead of a standard quiche custard, I used the thicker cheesy batter that I make for the springtime asparagus and ham tart. It worked out very well.

The quiche is cooled, but still warm, and ready to serve.

The first step, as always, is to blind-bake a pie crust. I use papier cuisson (parchment paper) and pie weights so the crust will hold its shape and I bake it at 180ºC (350ºF) for about twenty minutes. The crust is cold when it goes into the oven because I let it rest in the refrigerator after I roll it out and line the pan. Once it's baked, I let the crust cool before removing the paper and weights.

The torture instrument, er, mandoline, I used to cut thin zucchini slices.

Next, I sliced the zucchini into thin rounds. For this step, I used a mandoline to cut thin slices of 3mm, about 1/8 of an inch. This gives me a uniform thickness (or thinness, if you will) of slices for the tart. I lined the cooled crust with the zucchini slices in a pattern called une rosace, as it resembles a rose window.

The bottom layer of zucchini in a "rosace" pattern.

I made the batter with two eggs, 10cl of milk, 10cl of crème fraiche, and about 50 grams of finely grated cheese. Any grating cheese you like will work. This time I used some sheep's milk cheese from the Basque region. I poured the batter onto the layer of zucchini then added some diced roasted breast of chicken that we had on hand. Lardons (smoked bacon) would also be good, but you can leave the meat out for a more vegetarian-like quiche.

The batter is poured onto the bottom layer of zucchini and diced cooked chicken (don't use raw!) is sprinkled on.

Finally, I covered the batter with another layer of zucchini, sprinkled on some more cheese, then baked it in a 200ºC (about 400ºF) oven for about 30 minutes, turning the oven down toward the end of the cooking. I let the tart cool some before serving to help the custard firm up.

The top layer of zucchini is added in the same "rosace" pattern, then sprinkled with a little salt and some cheese before baking.

You might notice from the photos that the tart pan is sitting inside a larger tart pan. I did this because the pan the quiche cooks in has a removable bottom, and melted butter from the crust can drip out during baking. The big pan catches the butter so it doesn't drip onto the oven bottom and burn.

The quiche was delicious. I'm going to have to remember this recipe and do it again soon (if I get more zukes out of the garden) or definitely next year.


  1. Thanks for those good instructions- I will make a quiche like this one soon.

  2. That looks fabulous! I think that adding some kind of cream into the quiche's custard, makes a huge difference in flavor and texture. So many American recipes suggest that you can just use low-fat milk, instead, and end up with the same results, but it's not true at all. Whole milk and some heavy cream--that's what makes a delicious quiche.

  3. Such talent you have for describing your baking, Walt! Who wouldn't want to have a large slice of that quiche! I surely would enjoy that - especially on this cold, damp and grey day we are having. I might even have to turn on my heat!
    I will need to buy some more zucchini before I can make my own comfort food !

  4. That tart looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for describing how you blind bake the crust. I'm going to try to copy that exactly. Our tart bottoms are usually a bit soggy. :(

  5. That looks, and sounds delicious. I wonder if you could also use summer squash with the zucchini?
    And in a world of many uncertainties, i think you can be fairly sure of one thing: There will be more zucchini from the garden.

  6. jan, it was pretty tasty!

    evelyn, let me know how it turns out!

    judy, I agree. I used whole milk and crème fraiche.

    mary, it's getting to be that time of year. The house is cooling off and I'm expecting the heat to come on any morning now.

    elgee, blind baking definitely reduces the instances of soggy bottoms!

    emm, any summer squash would work, I'm sure. :)

  7. Of course I have very carefully read every step of the recipe and now have it memorized. (So I'll recognize it the next time YOU make it.) The photo alone makes my mouth water.

  8. I have one of the horrid guillotine like slicers - it scares the dickens out of me to use it lest off go my digits.


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