Crab and Herbs Quiche: Delicious and Elegant

Crab Quiche

Crab and Herbs Quiche

The crab quiche makes a tasty lunch or brunch dish with a salad or cup of soup. Here is that delectable open-faced pastry crust , this time, filled with a savory custard of crab, cheese and a variety of herbs.  Believe me when I say that it will be gone in one sitting.

Fresh is best when it comes to the star in any dish, but you can make this dish just as delicious with canned or packaged crab as well, so don’t let that hold you back. Of course, if you wish to invest in fresh crab, by all means use it in this seafood quiche recipe, it will only taste all the better.

I love it. I can still remember the first crab quiche I prepared… it was the star of the show and I almost always serve it when I have company for lunch because it makes such a pretty presentation, but it’s not hard to make. It gets rave reviews from family and friends—almost everyone who tastes it asks for the recipe. 

Time: 1-3 hours

Serves: 8

Ingredients

For pastry*

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

* Feel free to use a store bought pie crust… it will cut down on time.

For filling

  • 1 (1-lb) king crab leg, thawed if frozen, or 1/2 lb lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning such as Paul Prudhomme’s or Tony Chachere
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 oz coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese (1/2 cup)
  • 2 oz coarsely grated Swiss cheese (1/2 cup)
  • Special equipment: a pastry or bench scraper; a 9-inch glass or ceramic deep-dish pie plate; pie weights or raw rice

Preparation

Make pastry:

  • Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps.
  • Drizzle evenly with 3 tablespoons ice water and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in processor) until incorporated.Squeeze a small handful: If it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until just incorporated, then test again. (Do not overwork mixture, or pastry will be tough.)
  • Turn out mixture onto a work surface and divide into 4 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat.
  • Gather dough together with scraper and press into a ball, then flatten into a 4-inch disk. Chill dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.
  • Roll out dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin and fit into pie plate. Trim excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under pastry and press against rim of pie plate to reinforce edge.
  • Decoratively crimp edge and lightly prick bottom and side of shell with a fork. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until pastry is pale golden along rim and set underneath foil, about 20 minutes.
  • Carefully remove foil and weights and bake shell until bottom and side are pale golden, about 10 minutes more. Cool completely in pie plate on a rack, about 20 minutes.
Make filling:

  • If using crab leg, hack through shell with a large heavy knife and cut meat into 1/2-inch pieces. Discard shell.
  • Whisk together eggs, cream, herbs, seafood seasoning, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then stir in cheeses and crabmeat.
  • Pour into prebaked crust and bake until filling puffs and is no longer wobbly in center when quiche is gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Cool in pie plate on rack 15 minutes before serving.

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