A baking marathon, to be more specific. I've yet to participate in any large, well-organized walks or runs. Probably the only similarity that my marathon has to your standard marathon is that it's for a good cause.
That, and I think it's high time I shared my favorite quiche and all-star brunch item. As a quiche is a custard with a tasty filling, it is endlessly adaptable to whatever is in season or to whatever the preference of the chef. I took a trip to the Farmer's Market yesterday morning to look for a seasonal tasty filling. Knowing the weather would be nice, I was sure the mayhem (thousands of people wander, sometimes aimlessly, through the booths every Saturday) would start earlier than on less gorgeous days- and I made it there before 10- which wasn't early enough to miss the crowd, but, more importantly, I made it to the market before all of the farm-fresh eggs had been snatched up.
I made a B-line to Raynblest farms, some folks from Elkton who sell everything from eggs to honey and beeswax creations but also prunes and limes. Barb and Gus Eberhardt's eggs are perhaps the best I've ever seen or eaten what with their incredibly orange and firm yolk. I will continue to do my best to drag myself out of bed on Saturday mornings if only for these eggs.
Once in my posession, I went back home to prepare two items where good eggs are able to shine- lemon curd and a quiche.
I've made lemon curd before- and it was tasty, but I used a light brown sugar (all I had at the time) which made the curd turn, well, light brown. Also, I didn't strain the zest from the curd at the end which made the texture a little less smooth. If you do these things, your curd (an unfortunate name) will look, feel AND taste wonderful.
3 meyer lemons (zest and juice)
3/4 cups sugar
1 stick butter, sliced into 6-ish pieces
In a double boiler, combine sugar, lemon juice and zest and eggs, stirring constantly until mixture starts to thicken. Add sliced butter and continue stirring until incorporated. Remove from heat and strain through mesh colandar to remove zest. Pour into containers and refrigerate.
With how tasty this stuff is, I don't think anyone needs to worry about it going bad- it will be long gone before that happens.
Mushroom, Leek and Gruyere Quiche
Adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook.
I've been making this quiche for years and have yet to be dissapointed, I'm just sayin'.
1 cup flour (3/4 white and 1/4 whole wheat)
1/3 cup cold butter (if unsalted, add 1/4 tsp salt to flour)
3 tbs milk or buttermilk
Cut butter into flour until well incorporated. Add liquid and mix until dough holds together. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Filling (endlessly adaptable)-
a couple knobs of butter
3 medium leeks
1/4 lb mushrooms of choice (I used shitake this time around)
thyme, salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese
Sautee leeks and mushrooms in butter. Add thyme, salt and pepper halfway thrugh the sautee process.
Grate gruyere cheese and place in the bottom of the pie pan. Cover cheese with vegetable mixture.
4 eggs from Raynblest farms
1 1/2 cups milk
1-2 tbs dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbs flour
Pour custard mixture over veggies and cheese.
Stick into oven at 375 for about an hour or until the custard has set and does not so much jiggle when shaken, but shakes when jiggled.
Let cool for about an hour or refrigerate and consume the next day.