Breakfast/ Main Course/ Vegetarian

Quiche Florentine

April 8, 2020 by Chef Molly
slice of Quiche Florentine with other slices in background

Whenever I decide to treat myself to lunch at one of the boulangeries in my neighborhood, more often than not, I’m coming home with quiche. I love to see the different types of quiche lined up behind the bakery counter. My favorite bakeries change up their fillings depending on what’s on hand—a salmon pea quiche one day, and a sweet potato blue cheese one the next. Often, though, a Quiche Florentine is on offer, and though it’s a classic, it’s one of my all-time favorites. That, and a cup of the soup of the day, and I’m walking home with a smile on my face. 

The good news is that you don’t need to live in walking distance of a French bakery to enjoy Quiche Florentine on a regular basis. In fact, it’s so easy that you can make it anytime. (Especially if you cheat, like I did in this recipe, and use store-bought crust!) And, this is an excellent make-ahead recipe. You can bake the quiche a day before you want to serve it, then just reheat it in the oven. Or, let it cool after baking, then cut and freeze slices for future lunches or dinners. You can eat it warm, or at room temperature. It’s a great dish for a party, or to bring over to someone who needs a home-cooked meal. A little taste of French heaven no matter where you are. 

What is Quiche Florentine?

To back up, let’s talk about quiche. A quiche is a traditional French dish in which a pastry crust is filled with a mixture of eggs, cream or milk, cheese, and vegetables, seafood, and/or meat. The filling for Quiche Florentine is spinach and cheese, along with an egg custard. It is a vegetarian dish, unlike another famous French quiche, Quiche Lorraine which typically includes lardons (or bacon) in its filling. 

spinach, butter, nutmeg, shallots, crust, cheese, mustard, heavy cream, and eggs

How do you make Quiche Florentine?

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius. Place your baking rack on the bottom slot of your oven. Unroll your pie crust or pâte brisée and line a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan. If your crust comes on a sheet of parchment paper, just leave it on the paper when you fit it into the pan.

If your crust does not come on a sheet of parchment, you can line your pie or tart pan directly with the crust. That said, if you are using a traditional ceramic tart pan for your quiche, adding parchment underneath the crust will prevent the quiche from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You may not even need to wash the pan afterwards! 😀 Another option is to use a tart pan with a removable bottom. These pans let you pop out your tart beautifully to display on the table before slicing. 

If necessary, trim the edges of your dough so they don’t hang much over the edge of your pan. Fold the edges of the crust back and under so that you form a border at the top that does not go around the edge of the pan. Any crust around those edges will just snap off when you try to remove the quiche slices.

pie crust lined with parchment paper in quiche pan

Now, you’re going to blind bake your pie crust. Use a fork to prick the crust all over the bottom of the pan. Then line the crust with parchment paper and cover with pie weights, raw rice, or dried beans. This will ensure the bottom doesn’t puff up as it bakes.

quiche crust dough lines with parchment paper and rice to blind bake

Bake on the bottom oven rack for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights, and bake for an additional 5 minutes. The edges of the crust should be golden, and the middle should no longer look raw. 

blind baked quiche dough in pan

While the pie shell is baking, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 ounces of shallot slices and sauté for about 3 minutes, until starting to brown. Remove from heat.

sautéed shallots in skillet

Whisk together 5 eggs, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1/2 t. salt, and 1/4 t. pepper in a large bowl.

bowl of eggs, heavy cream, mustard, salt, and pepper with whisk

When crust has been removed from oven, spread the shallot slices on top of the baked crust. Distribute 6 1/2 ounces of frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed dry) evenly across the crust. Then add 1 1/2 ounces of shredded gruyère cheese.

quiche crust filled with shallots, spinach, and cheese

Pour in the egg mixture. Sprinkle with an additional 1 1/2 ounces of cheese and grate 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg over the top.

Quiche Florentine ready to bake

Bake for 30-35 minutes on the bottom oven rack, or until the egg custard is cooked through and lightly browned on top. The filling should be completely set—if it jiggles when you touch the pan, it’s not done. Wait to slice the finished quiche for at least 10-20 minutes. This will allow the quiche to fully set, and you’ll get cleaner slices. If you’ve baked your quiche on parchment paper, you can just lift it gently out of the pan before slicing. Serve either warm or at room temperature.  

baked quiche Florentine

Recipe and Ingredient Notes

Note: if you don’t have gruyère cheese, you can substitute Swiss cheese, fontina cheese, comté cheese, or Monterey Jack cheese. You can use cheddar cheese as well, but I’d recommend using half cheddar and half one of the other cheeses listed. Cheddar does not melt as well as the other cheeses do, so it benefits from being mixed with other cheeses. 

Feel free to use fresh instead of frozen spinach. Just cook and wilt it before adding to the quiche. You can add it to the skillet while you are sautéing the shallots. Take care to squeeze out as much liquid as possible after cooking.

I should note that quiches (and pies!) are always better with homemade crust. If you’re up for giving this recipe a little more time, and want to make your own crust, look no further than Cathy Barrow’s Flaky Pie Dough. She is a pie expert, and her pie dough recipes are foolproof and fantastic—well worth the time you put in to make them. 

What is blind baking?

Blind baking is the term used for pre-baking a pie crust before adding the filling. Typically, blind baking is used when a pie shell will be used with a filling that does not need to be baked (such as a fruit tart with pastry cream or chocolate cream pie). In that case, the pie shell is fully baked before the filling is added.

Blind baking is also used when the pie crust is filled with a very liquidy filling, as in this recipe. In that case, the pie shell is partly baked, then continues to bake after the filling has been added. This avoids the dreaded “soggy bottom,” as Mary Berry says on the Great British Bake-Off. The key to successful blind baking is to make sure that you have scored the dough, and then weighted it down with pie weights or uncooked rice or beans. Otherwise, the pastry dough will puff up when you bake it, leaving less room for your filling.

Can you make this spinach quiche without a crust?

Yes, you can, though in that case the dish is probably better termed a frittata. I love frittatas, and have several favorites on my site like this Spinach Frittata with Mushrooms and Feta. Meat-eater options include my Pancetta, Corn, and Leek Frittata and my Bacon, Broccoli, and Cheddar Frittata. Regardless, if you choose to make a crustless version of this Quiche Florentine, make sure you butter the sides of your pie or tart pan before adding the filling. Eggs have a tendency to stick, making the frittata hard to remove. Just stir the shallots, spinach, and cheese into the egg mixture rather than layering it into the pan. 

Can you make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, quiches are great for make-ahead. You can bake it up to 2-3 days in advance, then let it cool completely before wrapping tightly and putting it into the refrigerator. Then just reheat in the oven when you’re ready to serve. I wouldn’t recommend prepping the quiche in advance and not baking it right away. This will cause the raw egg mixture to soak into the crust, making it soggy. 

Can you freeze Quiche Florentine?

Yes! Quiches freeze very well. Just make sure your quiche has fully cooled before wrapping it tightly and freezing. I prefer to wrap any leftover quiche in individual slices. That way I can pull one out for a solo lunch or dinner. Defrost for 24 hours in the refrigerator. For best results, reheat in the oven on a foil-lined sheet pan. You can, of course, reheat in the microwave, but your crust will stay much crisper if you reheat in the oven.  

slices of quiche Florentine next to whole quiche with sliced cut out

What should you serve with quiche?

Quiche is such a versatile dish. You can serve it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. For breakfast, you might eat it on its own, or if you are meat-eater, enjoy it with a couple of slices of bacon or sausage on the side. Quiche Florentine makes a great addition to a brunch spread, especially when paired with a fresh fruit salad and something sweet, like this Easy Lemon Ricotta Cake.

If I’m eating quiche for lunch or dinner, I love to pair it with a big green salad. You might try it with my Fig Salad with Blue Cheese or with my Kale Salad with Cranberries. Or make your own green salad tossed with my Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing. Another favorite of mine is to pair it with soup, such as Vegan Potato Leek Soup or Carrot Ginger Soup with Creme Fraiche. In the summer, a slice of Quiche Florentine is spectacular with Tomato Salad.

slice of quiche Florentine next to mache salad
close up of piece of quiche Florentine with other pieces in background

Quiche Florentine

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Quiche Florentine is a traditional French dish in which a custard of eggs, cream, cheese, and spinach is baked in a pastry shell. Delicious for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1 store-bought pie crust or pâte brisée pur beurre (230g)
  • 1 T. butter
  • 3 large shallots (about 4 oz), sliced
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) heavy cream
  • 2 t. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 6.5 oz. (184g) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 3 oz grated gruyère cheese
  • 1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius, and place your baking rack on the bottom slot of your oven.
    2. Unroll your pie crust or pâte brisée and line a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan. If your crust comes on a sheet of parchment paper, just leave it on the paper when you fit it into the pan. If your crust does not come on a sheet of parchment, you can line your pie or tart pan directly with the crust. That said, if you are using a traditional ceramic tart pan for your quiche, adding parchment underneath the crust will prevent the quiche from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You may not even need to wash the pan afterwards! 😀 Another option is to use a tart pan with a removable bottom. These pans let you pop out your tart beautifully to display on the table before slicing.
    3. If necessary, trim the edges of your dough so they don’t hang much over the edge of your pan. Fold the edges of the crust back and under so that you form a border at the top that does not go much over the edge of the pan. Any crust around those edges will just snap off when you try to remove the quiche slices.
    4. Next, use a fork to prick the crust all over the bottom of the pan.
    5. Line the crust with parchment paper and cover with pie weights, or raw rice or beans. This will ensure the bottom doesn’t puff up as it bakes.
    6. Bake on the bottom oven rack for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment and weights, and bake for an additional 5 minutes. The edges of the crust should be golden, and the middle should no longer look raw.
    7. While the pie shell is baking, heat butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat.
    8. Add shallot slices and sauté for about 3 minutes, until starting to brown. Remove from heat.
    9. Whisk together eggs, cream, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
    10. When crust has been removed from oven, spread the shallot slices on top, followed by the spinach, and half of the gruyère cheese.
    11. Pour in the egg mixture.
    12. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and grate nutmeg over the top.
    13. Bake for 30-35 minutes on the bottom oven rack, or until the egg custard is cooked through and lightly browned on top. The filling should be completely set—if it jiggles when you touch the pan, it’s not done.
    14. Wait to slice the quiche for at least 10-20 minutes—this will allow the quiche to fully set, and you’ll get cleaner slices.
    15. Serve either warm or at room temperature.

Notes

If you don’t have gruyère cheese, you can substitute Swiss cheese, fontina cheese, comté cheese, or Monterey Jack cheese. You can use cheddar cheese as well, but I’d recommend using half cheddar and half one of the other cheeses listed. Cheddar does not melt as well as the other cheeses do, so it benefits from being mixed with other cheeses.

Feel free to use fresh instead of frozen spinach. Just cook and wilt it before adding to the quiche. You can add it to the skillet while you are sautéing the shallots. Take care to squeeze out as much liquid as possible after cooking.

Quiche can be baked up to 2-3 days in advance, then kept in the refrigerator. Reheat in the oven to serve. Once quiche has been baked, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours before reheating in oven.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 199mgSodium: 750mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 6gSugar: 4gProtein: 19g

Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Monica Nedeff
    April 15, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you for going into so much detail! I love quiches and have been wanting to make them for awhile. This was so helpful!

    • Reply
      Chef Molly
      April 15, 2020 at 8:09 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, Monica! I’m so glad this post was helpful for you. Here’s to much successful quiche baking for you in the future!

  • Reply
    Sherry
    June 7, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Great recipe, will try this very soon. If I make it the day before what temperature & for how long should I reheat ?

    • Reply
      Chef Molly
      June 8, 2020 at 11:17 am

      I would reheat it at 375 or 400 Fahrenheit for around 10 minutes. Less if you’re just reheating a slice. Pro tip: preheat a baking sheet in the oven while the oven is preheating, and put the quiche on that when the oven is hot. That will help crisp up that bottom!

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