One of the best things about quiche is the opportunity to mix and match ingredients and flavorings to create a range of tastes. Although quiche is usually savory, it certainly doesn’t need to be. A delectable mix of sweet and savory flavors can help the quiche transcend its humble origins.
There are many savory dishes that incorporate a bit of sweet to transform them from dull to divine. Curries are enhanced with a sprinkling of sweet mango, tagines are enriched with the addition of dried figs, and Catalan-style spinach is immeasurably better with a handful of plump raisins added to the pan.
Sweetening an otherwise savory quiche with a drizzle of honey is a wonderful way to add richness and flavor. It pairs beautifully with so many things — from fresh herbs such as thyme and rosemary, fresh and dried fruits like apples and apricots, and is rather marvelous added to roasted pork, beef, or chicken.
This week I added it to the custard part of a chicken and cheddar quiche. It’s sitting on my counter now, fresh out of the oven, smelling heavenly.
I made a buttery spelt thyme crust for this quiche, thinking that such robust ingredients needed a more toothsome base. I par-baked it, then filled the shell with grated sharp cheddar and a couple handfuls of diced, cold chicken mixed with a lusciously creamy custard of egg, heavy cream, honey, fresh thyme, salt, and cracked black pepper.
Honey Thyme Quiche with Chicken and Cheddar
- 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
- 1 heaped Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper
- 1/3 cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In medium bowl, stir together spelt flour, brown sugar, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper.
Add melted butter and stir until no flour is visible.
Press dough evenly into tart or quiche pan with removable bottom. Prick all over with a fork. Place in oven and par-bake about 20-30 minutes until surface appears dry.
While crust is baking, whisk honey, eggs, heavy cream, and fresh thyme in a small bowl until smooth.
As soon as crust is done, remove carefully from oven (I like to slide it onto a wooden cutting board so I don’t accidentally press the bottom up and break the crust) and set on counter. Sprinkle bottom of crust with cheese, then chicken. Slowly pour custard over filling, being careful not to overfill or it will spill in the oven.
Return carefully to oven (use the same wooden cutting board to aid your efforts) and bake a further 30-35 minutes until filling is set and edges of crust are golden.
Remove from oven to cooling rack and let sit at least five minutes. Serve warm or cold.
All photos courtesy of author