Trompe L'oeil

What does this look like to you?

It's creamy and mousse-like. The buttery crust frames the rich, custardy interior, cradling it as gently as a nest holds its prized golden egg. Is it a lemon pie? A crusted cheese-cake? A seasonally appropriate pumpkin pie?

Close, but you're barking up the wrong tree. This isn't a dessert. Nope, this is the fall brunch or luncheon dish of your dreams, something your friends will rave over and plead with you for access to the recipe. Simple, silken, and sophisticated, you will find this recipe is easier than you expect, but you don't have to tell anyone that.

Winter Squash Quiche

You will need:
A pre-baked, savory, flaky pie-crust--use your favorite recipe
5 eggs
2 cups of winter squash puree from that huge squash you roasted last night and have leftover today (make sure to puree well for the smoothest texture in the final product)
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup cream
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1 scant teaspoon salt (or to taste)
4 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese

To make the quiche:
Make sure your pie-crust is baked through. Your oven will probably still be warm from baking the crust, but preheat, or leave heated to 355 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs until they are thoroughly mixed. Stir in the squash puree, mascarpone, cream, chipotle, and salt. Whisk until all ingredients are mixed and the whole combination is a pale gold. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pie-crust.

Place the quiche in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, after which time, open the oven, slide out the quiche and sprinkle on the parmesan. Slide the quiche back into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the quiche is just set in the middle.

Serve with crisp fruit slices and a fluffy green salad, dressed with a zingy vinaigrette.


Anonymous said…
Wow, Christina. I love the mix of sweetish and savory. And then to add the fire of chipotle? Excellent! Beautiful photography too, as usual.
Susan said…
Painterly...that's how I would describe your first photo. And the quiche itself really is very nourishing, even though drop-dead decadent. It makes the guilt go away.
Rowena said…
I am SOLD! I like that it isn't a dessert and the suggestion to serve with fruit and a green salad makes it even more tempting. Will let you know how it worked out (hopefully soon!).
winedeb said…
Yep, had me fooled at first. I thought it would be something with pumpkin and thought it would be a dessert! I might even get this one past hubby due to the addition of the chipolte! Lovely photos and nice serving plate:)
Wendy said…
Totally over-indulged at the weekend and am atoning for it this week by eating light. You're not making it easy, m'dear!
This sounds divine!
Anonymous said…
Oh my lord woman! Did you come up with that recipe yourself? Seriously, I cannot wait to tackle this. Thank you so much for sharing!
Lucy said…
That plate of yours is gorgeous. Is it old? It's sheen is a great visual foil to that slice of tart.

I must admit that I've never had pumpkin sweetened in anything, ever. I much prefer that sweetness to be tamed with creamy, savoury flavours. Anything described as simple, silken and sophisticated has me drooling!

Man, do I love mascarpone and parmesan together...
Christina said…
Terry B.: Thank you. The chipotle isn't much here--it just adds a little kick and smoke, but you could add more for more heat. Oh, how I love chipotle.

Susan: What a nice compliment! Thank you. It is a nourishing meal, high in protein and beta caroteins, and since the eggs are free-range, high in omega 3s as well. I love it when good food is good for me!

Rowena: If you can't find ground chipotle in Italy, you can substitute for another chile, with a different effect. If you still want the smoke of the chipotle, perhaps you could use smoked Spanish paprika instead. And, this works well--I believe--with just about any kind of roasted winter squash, with the exception of spaghetti squash. I hope it works well for you.

Winedeb: As I told Terry, you can easily up the chipotle for more fire if you like. Thank you for the compliments!

Wendy: I'm gearing up for over-indulgence later this week with Thanksgiving on Thursday. Perhaps I should stop making food that includes cream as an ingredient. Um. Somehow, I don't think that is going to happen.

Ann: I had seen a mention of a pumpkin quiche on a menu; that got my brain working, and this is the result. I'd love to see what happens when you play with the recipe.

Lucy: Thank you. I love that plate too. In fact, I love that plate so much that after I found it about 8 years ago at a swap meet, I've been collecting orange lusterware ever since. Now, I have plenty of serving bowls, soup/cereal bowls, and other pieces, but plates are the hardest to find. I think you'd really like this recipe; as the quiche cools, it falls slightly, and becomes an even denser, smoother custard than what appears in the picture. And yes, mascarpone and parmesan are a fantastic combination.
Anonymous said…
Mascarpone and cream and I'm in :)
Susan in Italy said…
Wow, I would never have thought of this as a savoury dish but with chipotle, is sounds wonderful!
Anonymous said…
Ooh, I must try that! After some very sloppy Thanksgiving pies, I resolved I need to make pie crust more often, to keep in practice. _Perfect_ excuse.

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